“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ~Thomas Edison
Juicing vs Blending
The difference between juicing and blending is simply what is left out of the process. Juicing fruits and vegetables eliminates the fiber, while blending them allows you to include the pulp and fiber. Both options can be an integral part of a wellness program.
Juices are ideal for fasts and detox regimens. Drinking juice versus having blended drink or smoothie, also allows you to consume more nutrients since juices are less filling.
Once you decide to embark on a juicing program, there are a few things to consider in order to make the process easier and ensure that you stay the course and succeed.
Choosing Your Produce
There are two aspects to choosing your produce. First, you should decide what types of fruits and vegetables you want to incorporate into your regimen. There are combinations which are recommended for detoxifying, weight loss, or reducing inflammation. With a little research, you can customize your juicing protocol.
Then you have to make sure that you choose the healthiest produce available. Make sure that it looks healthy, that there are no blemishes or bruises, and that it is as fresh as possible. Go organic whenever availability and your budget allow. If you can’t, make sure to thoroughly wash your produce to remove as much of the chemicals and pesticides as you can. Another alternative worth considering is to start a small garden so you can grow your own.
Fruits and Vegetables to Juice for Detoxing the Body:
Lemon, lime, beets, spinach, kale, collard greens, cabbage, celery, parsley, cilantro, cucumbers, ginger root, wheatgrass.
Fruits and Vegetables to Juice for Weight-Loss:
Green and red peppers, cucumbers, kale, spinach, lemon, lime, grapefruit, ginger root, celery, parsley, kiwi, lettuce, mint, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, apples.
Fruits and Vegetables to Juice to Combat Inflammation:
Spinach, kale, collard greens, celery, ginger root, wheatgrass, tomatoes, pineapples, beets, turmeric root, broccoli.
Choosing the Right Juicer
There are so many juicers on the market that it can get overwhelming when it comes time to shop for one. Doing research before purchasing will eliminate a lot of the confusion and ensure that you choose the right one for you. Here are some things you should know before you buy a juicer:
• What type of fruits and vegetables will you be juicing? It’s important to determine what types of produce you will be juicing because some fruits and vegetables are fibrous and require a more powerful juicer. Herbs and grasses do best in a juicer which presses them to extract their juices.
• What is your budget? There are juicers in practically every price range. Budget models can be as little as $40, while premium juice extractors can run $1500 or more. If you’re only going to use your juicer occasionally, then you can get away with buying a less expensive model. But if juicing is going to become part of your regular diet, invest in the best juicer you can afford. You’ll save money in the long run because you won’t have to replace a cheaper juicer every 3 to 4 months.
Before You Start Juicing
Proper preparation is important for both your health and to ensure that you stick to your program. After all, if you don’t clean your produce, you can become sick from the bacteria found on it or you’ll end up ingesting toxins which may have been sprayed on them.
Wash Everything Well!
- Thoroughly wash all produce. You don’t need to purchase a commercial cleanser, water or a mixture of 1-part vinegar to 3 parts water, will do the job with no harmful chemicals.
- Leafy greens need to be rinsed well, since dirt can collect in between the leaves.
- Beets and similarly textured produce should be scrubbed with a brush.
- Have everything ready to keep things simple and easy.
- Keep your juicer in an easy to reach spot in your kitchen.
- Make it fast and easy to juice by washing your produce as soon as you bring it home. Then store it in containers in the coolest part of your refrigerator so it stays fresh.
Storing Your Juice
Juices should be consumed as soon as possible after preparation to ensure you are receiving the optimum level of nutrients. However, that is simply not possible all the time. Perhaps you made too much juice, or you need to save time by juicing enough for more than one meal.
In order to preserve the nutritious value of your juice, store it in your refrigerator immediately. It should be consumed within 48 hours for the best results.
Use a glass or stainless-steel vessel to store your juice. Do not use plastic containers, even if they’re BPA-free. Why? They can still leak chemicals and toxins into your juice. They’re also not completely airtight, so they allow oxidation to occur which will destroy the nutrients in your juice
Buy The Right Juicer
A juicer extracts juice from fruits, vegetables, and even from nuts and seeds. There are several types of juicers: centrifugal, masticating, manual, and triturating. Manual juicers work best with fruits and vegetables with a high-water content.
Deciding which juice extractor is best for you and your home, will depend on the produce you will be juicing, the amount of juice you require, and your budget.
There are three popular types of juicers on the market:
Centrifugal juicers are the most popular type of juice extractor. They are readily available and are reasonably priced. They use a flat blade to cut the fruit or vegetable and then spin at a very high speed to separate the pulp from the juice. The juice is extracted by the force of the centrifugal force which is being generated by the motor.
The juice travels through a strainer basket into a container at the bottom. The pulp remains in the strainer basket.
These juicers are easy to assemble and disassemble and are most are dishwasher safe.
There are some disadvantages to centrifugal juicers. These include:
- These juicers tend to be quite noisy.
- This type of machine isn’t very effective when juicing wheatgrass, leafy vegetables, and herbs.
- Centrifugal juicers produce a low juice yield when compared to masticating or twin gear machines.
- Some nutritionists believe that the high-speed spinning produces heat which destroys enzymes.
Despite the drawbacks, centrifugal juicers are a good option for beginners who are unsure whether they are going to juice long term or for people with a limited budget.
Masticating juicers are ideal for juicing leafy green vegetables, herbs, and wheatgrass. They work by grinding produce and extracting a high yield of juice from the pulp with the least oxidation. In fact, masticating juicers produce on average 20% more juice than a centrifugal juicer.
Most of these machines are slow juicers which means it may take you longer to juice but you’re retaining more of the important nutrients. They’re also quieter than centrifugal machines.
Masticating juicers can range from about $250 to $500, so they are more expensive than centrifugal machines but less expensive than the average twin-gear juicer.
Here are some things to consider if you decide on this type of machine:
- The mechanism that mashes the produce called an auger, can be difficult to clean. Choose a machine which comes apart easily so you can thoroughly clean all the nooks and crannies.
- A machine with a double auger will juice tougher produce and will last longer.
- Look for a dual-stage model. This type of machine juices the produce and then juices the pulp, so you end up with a lot more juice.
There are really only two disadvantages to masticating juicers: the price point and that they tend to have narrower chutes than centrifugal juicers. This means that you’ll have to cut your fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces.
Twin Gear Juicer (Triturating Juicer)
A twin-gear juicer also known as a triturating juicer grinds or pounds fruits and vegetables to extract the juice. It does this in a way which does not disrupt the cellular structure of the produce being juiced which means that it preserves the nutrients.
Twin-gear juicers are priced from about $400 and can go as high as $1,500, making them the most expensive juice extractors on the market.
The advantages are clear: high juice yield, minimal oxidation which means the juice contains the maximum amount of nutrients and the ability to easily juice wheatgrass, leafy greens, and herbs.
Besides the expense, the disadvantages are:
- The feed chute is smaller so produce must be chopped into smaller pieces, and it takes longer to finish juicing.
- Juicing hard fruits and vegetables takes more effort and can be challenging for people with arthritis or conditions which affect strength.