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Juicing, Juicers, and Juices: Extracting the Lifeblood From Fruits and Vegetables

Reviewed by: Dr. Steven Knauf, D.C.

By Sara Butler

Juicing Fruits and Vegetables

No doubt you’ve heard the term juicing -- it’s something that has garnered a lot of attention. Many people will swear by juicing as a way to boost health and wellness, including celebrities who rave about the latest juice cleanse they’ve used to help them lose weight and get healthy. What can be so bad about getting into your fruits and veggies by juicing each day, right?

There’s a lot of information to wade through when it comes to juicing, juicers, and juices. But have no fear, intrepid juicer, because The Joint Chiropractic is here to help you understand if juicing is worth the squeeze.

What Is Juicing and Why Has It Become So Popular?

So, what is juicing? Juicing is exactly what it sounds like. Fresh juice is made by adding fruits or vegetables to a machine that extracts all their liquid. Its popularity can be linked to the juice cleanse movement in which people consume only the fruits and vegetables they have juiced for some time. Those who do juice cleanses claim that it helps to detoxify their bodies, helps improve their gut health, and helps with weight loss.

What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Juicing?

Although many health professionals encourage eating full fruits and vegetables instead of drinking fruit juice, there are some health benefits linked to juicing. Some of these benefits include the following.

Higher intake of nutrients - One of the benefits of juicing is that it allows the body to fully absorb the nutrients in the juice faster because it doesn’t have to digest other components of the foods. It also helps provide a boost to the vitamins and minerals you get, allowing you to consume more fruits and vegetables in your diet than you may otherwise be able to.

Support for the cardiovascular system - High blood pressure can be caused by inflammation. Fruits and vegetable intake is known to help reduce chronic inflammation with their anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to lower blood pressure and help support healthy blood vessels throughout the body.

Getting enough water - Fruits and vegetables have a high water content, so juicing them and drinking the juice can help to ensure you get enough fluid to keep your body healthy each day.

There are risks to juicing as well that you need to be aware of. All of these risks depend on several factors such as how much juice you drink each day and the produce that you’re using.

High calorie intake - if you’re juicing to help support efforts to maintain a healthy weight, then juicing may not be a good fit. There is some danger in ingesting too many calories each day when juicing.

Elevated sugar intake - Fruits and vegetables have sugar in them, sugar that is often offset by fiber and other components. With fiber removed, the sugar is absorbed quickly and can spike blood sugar and lead to weight gain.

No protein or fiber - Your body needs fiber and protein to function properly, both of which are absent in juice.

What Are the Different Types of Juicers?

There are a few main types of juicers that can be found on the market today. Here’s a look at them.

Centrifugal juicers - Also called fast juicers, these juicers use a high-speed blade to shred the fruits and veggies into pulp, then centrifugal force pushes the pulp through a mesh where the juice is extracted. These are great juicers if you’re on a budget and need something easy to use.

Masticating juicers - Also referred to as cold press juicers or slow juicers, these juicers extract the juice at a slower speed than others. An auger slowly rotates inside the juicer that sort of chews up the fruits and vegetables, then squeezes the pulp to extract the juice. These types of juicers will yield very high-quality juice with a lot of nutrients.

Manual juicers - A manual juicer is powered by you! Manual juicers often have a hand crank, and hand press, or a hydraulic press to extract the juice. Typically, these types of juicers are far less expensive than their electronic counterparts.

Twin gear juicer - Also known as a triturating juicer, this juicer uses two augers to grind the fruits and vegetables, then the juice is extracted from them. These types of juicers produce less waste since it extracts all it can from the ingredients.

Steam juicer - These juicers utilize steam to extract the juice from raw material. Hot steam breaks down fruits and vegetables to release the juices, which are then collected by a hose. Comparatively inexpensive, these types of juicers are used mostly for making homemade jellies and jams.

If you’re in the market for a juicer, then there are a few things to consider when choosing the right one. You’ll want to look at how much juice they can make and how fast they can make it. Size is often a consideration if it’ll be hanging out on your kitchen counter for daily use. How much noise they make is also something to consider. Also, do some digging to find out how easy they are to use as far as prep and cleaning go. Finally, find one that fits into your budget.

Juicing on a Budget

Juicing may be rich in vitamins, but it’s not solely for those with a large bank account. There are a variety of juicers at different price points, so surely you can find one that fits into your budget. You can also start practices such as buying fruits and vegetables you want to juice in bulk throughout the week, using less fruit and more vegetables to juice since vegetables tend to be lower in cost. You should also use vegetables and fruits with a high water content so they will stretch farther when juicing.

Which Fruits and Vegetables Are Best Suited for Juicing?

The juicing process is well suited for almost any fruit or vegetable. Some of the more popular ingredients in juice include citrus fruits, berries, melons, celery, kale, cucumber, spinach, pineapple, apples, and grapes. Cabbage, broccoli, papayas, and cabbage also do well in a juicer.

And don’t forget you can kick up the flavor factor in your juice and boost the nutritional value by including other elements such as parsley, ginger, and turmeric. Experiment and discover what combinations you like. Juicing recipes are easy to find online.

Juicing can be a great tool to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. If you’re curious, buy an inexpensive juicer to start your journey and see where it takes you.

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