An Introduction to Juicing
There are many things that you can do to improve your health and appearance, such as getting enough sleep, eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising more, and drinking more water. It is especially important to stay hydrated and the best water to drink is filtered water and not tap water. This can easily be achieved by installing a faucet water filter.
In addition, to eating a healthy diet, and staying properly hydrated, to get more nutrients into your body you can also try juicing.
Juicing is the extraction of juice from fruits and vegetables. You need a juicer to do this, which is an appliance that extracts the juice by separating the pulp from the juice. Blenders do not make juice. They can liquify foods, but it is not juice. A blender makes ground up fruits and vegetables, but not juice.
The important aspect about juicing is that the juice is fresh. Store bought juice is missing the enzymes that are found only in fresh juice. Not that store-bought juice is bad for you, but it isn't going to benefit your health the way drinking freshly juiced juice will.
Is Juicing Really Better than Eating Whole Foods?
The main reason that drinking vegetable and fruit juices is superior to eating the foods whole, is that you can drink more of them than you can eat. For example, it is very easy to drink the juice of 5 large carrots, but most people don't want to eat 5 large carrots in one sitting.
The juice is also much easier to digest than eating the entire food. Juicing helps you absorb more of the nutrients from the fruits and vegetables than if you'd eaten them whole.
Also, for those of you who don't really enjoy eating your veggies, this is a good way to get them in. I personally don't really enjoy eating vegetables, but don't mind quickly downing a glass of vegetable juice.
To gain the most health benefits, you should drink your freshly made juice right after it is made, otherwise it starts to oxidize. Make only as much juice as you can drink at one time. Fresh juice doesn't store very well because it doesn't have any preservatives and isn't pasteurized like store-bought juice. You might be able to store your juice in the refrigerator for a few hours, but be very careful because fresh juice grows bacteria quickly.
Detractors of juicing give the following reasons why juicing is bad:
1. The juice doesn't contain fiber.
2. The juice contains sugars.
Let's address these concerns...
Because you shouldn't get all of your calories from juicing, the lack of fiber shouldn't be a concern. Eat something else every day that does contain fiber.
While it is true that juice does contain sugar (fruit juices more so than vegetable juices), I've actually lost weight since starting to juice. I drink at least 8 ounces of carrot-apple-ginger juice every day and I've lost about 12 pounds since starting, and I wasn't very big to start with. I can't say for sure that this is typical, but this has been my experience.
I'd be interested to hear from people that state they have gained weight from juicing. My guess is that this doesn't happen very often, and I'd say that weight loss after juicing is much more common. However, regardless of your weight-loss or weight gain from juicing we'd like to hear from you. We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post your comments on the site.
Also, people tend to think of all sugar as bad. However, it isn't as if you are ingesting sucrose or high fructose corn syrup in your vegetable/fruit juice.
Types of Juicers
There are 3 basic types of juicers: centrifugal, masticating, and juicers with a separate grind and press, such as the Norwalk.
The type of juicer you get will influence the amount of health benefit you get from juicing.
In general, all freshly made fruit and vegetable juices improve health. However, the centrifugal juicers don't make juice that is as healthy as other types. This is because the spinning creates a negative charge that destroys some (but not all) of the enzymes. If you are following an anticancer program, such as the Gerson Therapy, they will tell you that a centrifugal juicer just won't work.
In fact, they state that you must have the really expensive separate press and grinder juicer. However, this type of juicer is a little too pricey for most people. They are probably correct, that the separate press and grinder type makes the healthiest juice, but I think many health benefits can be achieved with other types of juicers, and there have even been people who claim to have cured their own cancer using other types of juicers.
I personally like the masticating juicers. If you are looking for a good juicer, that still retains a large amount of the enzymes, then a mid-priced juicer that I recommend is the Champion Masticating Juicer. Omega also makes a decent masticating juicer, it is very similar to the Champion brand. The Champion is the juicer that I currently use. Before that, I used a very cheap centrifugal juicer, but I didn't notice quite as many health benefits as I do from this juicer. Plus, it seems the quantity of juice is better from the Champion Juicer.
The Champion Masticating Juicer also seems easier to clean. It certainly doesn't clean itself, but I don't find it too cumbersome to clean, plus the chute is large enough that I don't have to cut my vegetables up too much for them to fit. It is best to clean your juicer shortly after juicing to make clean-up much easier and faster.
However, if you are new to juicing and don't want to spend $200-300 purchase, then by all means go with a centrifugal juicer. Many or these can be bought for under $50-100. Although some brands of centrifugal juicers are higher than others.
Watch the Centrifugal vs Masticating Juicers in Action
For a comparison of juicers in action watch the video below.
I own 2 juicers, a Champion Juicer and centrifugal juicer. By far, I like the Champion Juicer better than the Hamilton Beach centrifugal juicer, but I still think a cheap centrifugal juicer is a good way to get into juicing to see if you like it. Now that I've started juicing I will most likely never stop, and I'm guessing you won't either.
This is a photo of the Champion Juicer with a link to the product on Amazon.com.
My Favorite Juice Recipe
There are many types of juice you can make. You can find lots of free juicing recipes online or you can even buy a book on juicing. My favorite juice that I drink every day is Carrot-Apple-Ginger juice. Here is the recipe:
- 5 large carrots
- 1 apple
- about 1/2 inch fresh ginger root
There is no need to peel the carrots, apple, or ginger. I do wash them off, and cut the large end off the carrots and core the apple before putting it into the juicer.
Whenever possible, try to use organic produce to gain the most health benefits.