Take a good hard look at your weekly shopping list. How many fruits and vegetables are on there? If not very many, you’re not alone. While a recent survey found that Americans are better at it than we were five years ago, many of us still aren’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables. One way to introduce more fresh foods into your diet is through juicing.
Freshly juiced fruits and veggies are a steadily growing trend in this country, and with the many associated health benefits it’s easy to see why. Juicing can improve your cardiovascular and heart health, detoxify your liver, improve your immune system, increase your energy levels, and more. Juicing alone won’t instantly make you healthier or drop twenty pounds, as is sometimes claimed, but it can be an important component of improving your overall health when incorporated into an active lifestyle.
Did you know that juicing is nearly as healthy as eating whole fruits and vegetables?
The juice of fresh fruits and veggies contains most of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that make fresh food so important to overall health; the only thing left out is the healthy fiber, which is generally lost in juicing. While some say that the lack of fiber is actually good for you, both solid and liquid versions are great for your health!
That means that juicing can be a great way to get the health benefits of fresh foods without wolfing a plate full of celery and carrots for breakfast. It may also encourage you to try some vegetables you wouldn’t normally eat – for example, hearty cabbages like kohlrabi or bok choy.
Some fruits and vegetables have specific health benefits, such as vegetables in the crucifers family like broccoli or cabbages, which are high in folic acid. The white pith of citrus fruits like lemons contain nutrients that strengthen capillaries in the blood.
And here’s something that’s underrated: Juicing allows for a level of creativity that you simply can’t get from solid fruits and veggies. There are a million delicious combinations out there waiting to be discovered! You can find tons of great recipes online with suggestions for healthy and tasty combinations. Try adding some earthy greens to sweeter fruits and vegetables like apples or carrots – you might be surprised by the delicious results. Get those creative juices flowing!
Fante’s Nina Rose recommends this simple recipe for what she calls “Morning Juice”. She takes half of a lemon (sans the bitter rind) some spinach or kale, a cucumber, one or two carrots, and a bit of ginger, then combines everything into a juice that gets her ready to face the world. You can just tell it will give you a little more pop than coffee!
You’ll need to decide is whether you want a masticating juicer or a centrifugal juicer.
Centrifugal juicers work by grinding the fruits and veggies into a pulp, then spinning the pulp at high speeds to separate out the juice.
Masticating juicers, by contrast, chew up and break down fruits and veggies to squeeze the juice out with much of the pulp.
That’s the science – here’s what you really want to know. High-quality models of both types exist, but masticating juicers tend to produce more juice, since they squeeze every last bit of pulp as dry as possible – in fact, they are so thorough that some extra-fibrous foods can be too thick to drink without a little water mixed in. Juice made through mastication also tends to have more nutrients.
The fact that mastication takes less power means there’s a lot less heat involved in the process – even the small amount of heat produced in the centrifugal process cooks out some nutritional value. Still, centrifugal juicers can produce a fine cup of juice that tends to be less pulpy. Centrifugal juicers are generally more affordable as well.
The Hurom Slow Juicer is a fantastic masticating juicer and one of our most popular models. As a vertical masticating juicer, the Hurom is one of the best on the market at extracting as much juice as possible. The “slow” part of “slow juicer” may sound like a bit of a misnomer; while the machine operates at low speed, it extracts so much juice that you actually fill up a cup much faster than many other juicers.
If you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank, the Cuisinart Juice Extractor is a great centrifugal juicing option. One of the best features of the machine is its ease of cleaning. The juiced pulp is automatically ejected into a large container for disposal, and all the removable parts are dishwasher-safe. Although masticating juicers will land you a higher-quality juice, the Cuisinart Juice Extractor produces a great product at a fantastic value.
Not sold yet? Come down to the store on Saturday and check it out in person. We’ll be showing both the above models, along with free samples of a variety of juices. Check it out this Saturday from 11 to 3!
*Juice photo courtesy of Michelle Reaves via Wikimedia Commons