I don’t know about you, but I was one of those people who sometimes needed an energy drink to get my butt out of bed. Highly effective, but was it healthy? Um, no. I wanted to find something better. Green juice was a good option, but what if I didn’t have the time and wanted something quick? That’s when I discovered aojiru.
So, what is aojiru? Aojiru is a green juice from Japan gaining popularity with juicing fans. Aojiru is a traditional Japanese drink made from kale and barley grass. Dr. Niro Endo created the drink as a response to food rationing during war times. He turned parts of kale and other vegetables into a drink that helped him sustain through difficult times but claimed it also improved his health. While you can juice these ingredients yourself, Japan convenience stores offer aojiru in many forms, including powder and liquid.
For those who love new green juices, particularly those with kale, wheatgrass, and other earthy ingredients, you’ll like this new green juice that’s been popular for ages with health fanatics in Japan. For one, you’ll feel energetic, and it apparently may even help calm the mind, similar to matcha.
So what should you be looking for in a glass of aojiru?
Powdered aojiru is perhaps the most popular form of the drink. When you need to calm down without losing energy, aojiru may be your go-to drink, and it takes minimal effort to make.
Here are our favorite 4 aojiru powders we will be reviewing:
- Yakult Watashi No AOJIRU (Ooita Young Barley Grass)
- Asahi AOJIRU and 21 Vegetables Powder Stick
- Yakult AOJIRU No Meguri (Ooita Young Barley Grass)
- Yakult MAROYAKA Kale AOJIRU (Ooita Young Barley Grass)
As a Japanese barley grass powder, it may not initially look that appealing, but it can be quite sweet when made from the latest formulas. Before we show you what to look for, let’s look at aojiru’s potential benefits.
Aojiru Benefits with Japanese Juice
For those who have been drinking aojiru over many years, the benefits are quite easy to see. Similar to wheatgrass, aojiru has tons of vitamins and minerals, and many of these are also antioxidants. Modern aojiru comes from kale, which is one of the main ingredients in green juices. Aojiru is probably the most popular juice in Japanese form. In the past, recipes for this juice have been passed down from generation to generation.
Here are some of the main benefits of this green drink:
Rich in Nutrients
Aojiru has a bit of every mineral due to its components. While it isn’t a good substitute for all fruits and vegetables, you’ll get more calcium by drinking aojiru than regular milk. It also has five times more iron than broccoli. Furthermore, studies show that it enhances overall nutrient intake, too.
With its ability to increase your energy and metabolism, you can lose more weight drinking aojiru when added to your exercise routine. Since it’s rich in nutrients, you can add aojiru to your diet to help with your digestion as well.
Better Immune System
Aojiru has also been known to help with healthy blood production, detoxification, and improved wound healing. Chlorophyll and its antioxidant properties are the main reason why this juice helps so much.
Some aojiru drinks also have ashitaba, which is another grass found in Japan. It may help with high blood pressure, weight loss, and inflammation. In general, it’s better to drink ashitaba types of aojiru if you are looking for help with obesity and related diseases.
Japanese Mugwort Benefits
You’ll notice that some packets also contain a lighter green vegetable known as Japanese mugwort. This vegetable is packed with iron, fiber, and folic acid. You’ll want to drink this type of aojiru when you are dealing with digestive problems. If you have diarrhea and nausea, you can calm your stomach using this aojiru recipe.
Other Aojiru Health Benefits
Modern formulas take the essence of what is aojiru and make it friendlier to the palette of today’s consumers. This means that you likely won’t enjoy the taste of a fresh aojiru made directly from barley grass and kale. It can be quite bitter when not formulated for powder drinks.
You can also add aojiru to a variety of different drinks and juices. There are even ways to add it to your yogurt since it does have probiotic properties.
The drink itself isn’t too expensive. In most cases, it’s cheaper than purchasing energy drinks or trying to re-create the juice from other ingredients.
You also don’t want to drink aojiru for too long. It’s important to drink aojiru that has been organically produced and naturally sourced from ISO-certified facility. This ensures that you’ll get the best quality without any of the adverse digestive effects.
How Do You Drink Aojiru Juice?
Aojiru is a powder drink made from barley grass. When you add it to ice-cold water, you can create a crisp, refreshing energy drink for yourself from natural ingredients. It’s grown without using any pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and it doesn’t contain any sweeteners either. It’s a simple drink that you mix with water and fills a small mug or cup. For those who want the health benefits of aojiru, it’s preferred to drink one cup daily in the morning.
For some, the taste is a little bit bitter while still having a slightly sweet taste. Some mix their aojiru with milk and honey to balance it out.
To get the most benefits out of this drink, you’ll need to keep drinking it over time and building up your nutrients. You can purchase these packets in 30-day or 60-day supplies, but it’s recommended that you go at least 14 days drinking this juice every day to see results.
What to look for when buying
There are a few things that you should check for when purchasing aojiru. However, much of the packaging is in Japanese, which means you’ll need to check with reviews and look for specifications before you buy.
The most popular aojiru drink products will have these characteristics:
- Created in ISO certified facility
- Shows JAS certification: This tells that there are no additives in the maxing of the drink.
- Organically grown: Most aojiru products are local and organically grown in Japan. These packets will have a certified label also showing that they were grown without pesticides.
- Pesticide-free: You don’t want to drink anything that has been covered in pesticides. Most aojiru packets don’t have any pesticides, and if so, you won’t see the JAS certification.
- Tested for chemicals
You should also see what the main ingredient is. Typically this will be barley grass or kale.
Best Aojiru Powders to Try
With this historic and natural energy drink just now moving over to America, it’s clear that some things are lost in translation. From the different powders that we tried, these aojiru mixes tasted the best, and we immediately felt the benefits of this vitamin-rich drink.
By far the most popular aojiru drink is made by Yakult. The brand makes several types of aojiru. This one is made from ooita or young barley grass. The brand is known for using high-grade and young barley leaves that are grown in a particular part of Japan known as Oita.
Without pesticides or any chemicals, this aojiru is all-natural and only has dextrin as an added ingredient, which adds natural fiber. The taste is sweet, similar to green tea with honey, but it can be bitter if not mixed properly.
You can purchase a 60-day supply that comes out to 240g, and you can drink 4g a day to get all of the nutrients from the Yakult brand aojiru.
- Great taste
- Easy to mix up and create
- Directions are only in Japanese
For those who want to try aojiru for the first time, Yakult is the brand to go with. It’s delicious and easy to make by the packet. You can have a packet a day to instantly feel the benefits of aojiru’s antioxidants and nutrient-rich ingredients. While you can drink it alone, you may want to add nut milk and honey or agave to your aojiru to enhance the taste.
Like Yakult, Asahi is another top brand from Japan that sells aojiru. This formula is a powder stick, and you’ll get 40 packets of 3.3 g. One main difference with this powder is that it contains spinach in addition to barley grass and kale.
If you are looking for more nutrients and want an earthier green juice, Asahi has all of that and more. However, it shouldn’t be used as a meal replacement. It’s better when treated as a supplement that you take before the gym or early in the morning before you need to get something done.
The taste isn’t always the best at first, as it is a bit bitter with so many leafy green vegetables. You may want to add tea or lemon to the mix to get a better taste.
- Includes spinach, kale, and barley grass
- Great flavor if you like green juice
- The packaging is all in Japanese
If you want a heartier version of the aojiru drink, this one contains more spinach. There are a ton of nutrients in this powder, but it’s the taste that many customers love. This one has a bit of a green smoothie taste when mixed with ice and sweetner of choice.
Like the other Yakult product, this aojiru is made from young barley grass, too. However, it has more than that listed in its ingredients. This Yakulta aojiru has no meguri in it, but it’s a mixture of kale and barley grass. The packets are also much larger in this version. You’ll get 30 packets of 7g each.
While this powder’s ingredients are similar to the regular Yakult aojiru and Asahi, you’ll enjoy this kale juice more if you are a fan of leafy greens. This one is a bit more bitter than the previous aojiru drinks. The best way to drink this is over ice, or if you can blend it with lemon and honey using a blender, you can turn this powder into a delicious green smoothie.
The Yakult No Meguri aojiru is also such a fine powder that it can dissolve into your other favorite teas and juices. It’s a good option if you want to increase your nutrient intake daily in one fell swoop.
- Easy to mix
- High amount per packet
- Uses kale and barley grass
- Little expensive
For those who want the finest aojiru powder, this Yakult mix does the job. You’ll get 7g of kale and barley grass powder to mix with any juice or tea of your choice. While it goes great just with ice water, you can even use this packet to create a delicious frozen smoothie.
Finally, we come to a fresh new product from Yakult that uses Maroyaka kale. This is a special type of kale that you can only find in Japan. It’s highly nutritious, containing tons of fiber, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C. At 4.5g per packet and 60 packets per box, you’ll get your money’s worth.
This powder takes all the work out of juicing kale and barley grass with a masticating juicer. You can add this mix to any juice or ice cold water and get a frothy, earthy green juice. You can even combine it with your favorite yogurt in the morning. It contains tons of nutrients, and it’s one of the best options if you need a quick pick-me-up in the morning and want to boost your energy levels.
- Great value
- Includes tons of nutrients and vitamins
- Includes Maroyaka kale and barley grass
- Instructions hard to understand
- Will need to look up recipes to make the best use
Yakult is one of the top brands when it comes to aojiru. At the forefront of the movement for bringing this juice to America, Yakult Maroyaka kale aojiru has one of the purest flavors made from a powder mix. You can instantly create the most perfect, healthy smoothie at home just with ice and water.
Have you been thinking of making your own healthy juices? Aojiru is the best one to get started with. You’ll increase your nutrient intake ten times over, and it’s been named one of the best ways to keep your skin young and rejuvenated.
We recommend trying Yakult’s Watashi No AOJIRU style because it’s not only a great option for newbies but, in my opinion, has a great taste. You’ll easily be able to start drinking this juice every day.
Here’s to your health!
Can I make my own aojiru juice at home? You sure can! Check out this aojiru recipe we found on Tastemade.com.