Juicers – Which One is Right for You?
Let’s start with, what is juicing exactly? It is a means of extracting juice from produce leaving behind the pulp. Not to be confused with blending vegetables in your blender to a juice-like consistency. That’s a whole different story and potentially an upcoming blog post 😉
Why is juicing such a big deal for the average Joe these days? It’s a great way to get a plethora of fruits and vegetables into your diet with very little effort. It is recommended to get 4 servings of fruit and 4 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. For some that might be incomprehensible. So, what better way to get a good chunk of those daily servings in a quick, easy and delicious juice? And if you’re family turns their nose up at the kale you just brought home, why not sneak it into a lovely juice. I had you at quick right? Great! But first let’s discuss the pros and cons of juicing.
I’ve already mentioned the quick, easy and delicious part, but in addition to that, juicing is a great way to get an immediate uptake of nutrients into the body. Some call it a multivitamin in a glass. Because the fibrous exteriors of most raw produce can be hard to digest, breaking down the cellular wall allows you to get to those nutrients without having to burden your digestive system. Those who have digestive conditions like Crohn’s, Colitis or IBS can truly benefit from juicing. And since these nutrients are highly alkaline, it helps moderate common acidic refined food diets. Some revered protocols like The Gerson Therapy base their juicing therapy on getting the body into a highly alkaline state because disease won’t live in an alkaline environment.
Although quick and easy, juices should not be used as a meal replacement, rather as an addition to a meal. Juices are low in protein and contain no fat and none of the fiber or it’s beneficial nutrients. Those who suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol should show caution when juicing as it is a high concentration of sugar.
If you’re family turns their nose up at the kale you just brought home, why not sneak it into a lovely juice.
Whether you’re suffering from an illness, cleansing or just trying to be healthier I would always advise to juice your vegetables and blend your fruit where possible. Fruit contain natural sugars which will be more concentrated once the fiber has been removed. Adding the odd blueberry, pear or apple to a juice is still ok, just try to avoid a strictly fruit juice. Lemons and limes are fine, as they don’t contain the same concentration of sugar. They also help tone down the bitterness of many leafy greens. And most importantly, have fun! Experiment with different flavours and greens you’ve never used before. Add in some ginger to boost immunity during the winter. Try juicing some herbs for their medicinal properties. The juicing world is your oyster!
Now that you’re considering juicing let’s see what’s out there on the market for juicers.
Hand Crank Juicers
These manual juicers will range in size, strength and purpose. Some are strictly for citrus fruits and some are for wheatgrass and delicate greens, herbs or sprouts. The more heavy-duty variety are a great addition to your kitchen and can handle harder vegetables. Some of the simple hand crank juicers are great if you just want to juice things like wheatgrass to be added to green smoothies. This can be a great starting point as they’re typically inexpensive and a nice arm workout early in the morning.
These juicers are a little bit more expensive and are available at many department stores. The blade in these juicers will chop your produce and spin the extracted juice at high speed similar to the action of a washing machine. These juicers will allow you to juice very quickly. The setback is that the blade and high speed will create a lot of heat, friction and oxidation to the delicate nutrients and will diminish most live, active enzymes.
These juicers are the most expensive and available at health food stores. They have single or dual augers, which squeeze and press the juice out of your produce. Single augers press the produce against a wall and dual augers will grind together to press the juice out. Dual auger pressing style juicers will give you the most extraction out of your produce, leaving you with a very dry pulp. Single auger pressing style juicers are not far behind with a pretty dry pulp. The great part about the press is that it is slow and will not create heat or oxidation for the nutrients and will leave more live enzymes. Single auger juicers allow you to retain your juices for about 24hrs and the dual 48hrs. Ideal for people doing juicing protocols. Some of these juicers can be a little more cleanup than the rest, but nothing too difficult.
I typically advise people to consume their juicers very soon after juicing. You want all the live, active enzymes and nutrients at their most potent to reap the benefits. That being said, if you do want to store your juice to consume later, try putting it in an air tight container like a mason jar leaving very little air to oxidize the nutrients.
Now I don’t want to play favourites, but I’m a big fan of the pressing style juicers having used them all myself. I find they give you the most extraction out of your produce because of the slow press and you’re left with a high potency of the nutrients and enzymes, the reason you probably starting juicing in the first place. There are a number of different styles and price points to choose from so be sure to talk to sales staff about what you’re trying to achieve before taking the plunge.
Jeanette Rauch, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN)