Achieving good health and balance can be challenging in this fast-paced world that we live in.
Subscribing to a healthy diet that is not severely lacking in fruits and vegetables is just as challenging where fast food cafes can be found in almost every street.
A good way to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables is by juicing them.
Drinking these fruit and vegetable juices serves as a delicious way to fit in more raw vegetables into your diet.
Benefits Of Vegetable Juicing
The healthy juicing craze actually started in the early 1990s.
Raw fruits and vegetable juices have many benefits. Juicing helps to break down the stringy plant fibers.
The resulting glass of juice has a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients as well as enzymes for fast absorption. Yes, juicing lets you enjoy the full nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables in a matter of just seconds.
Researches done by the Department of Agriculture has proven that 90% of antioxidants were found in the juice and not in the discarded fiber pulp. Researches have also shown that those who consume juices regularly have a lower risk of life threatening diseases such as cancer.
Juicing is a very effective way to get your nutrients from vegetables. Not every one can get their daily quota of vegetables with their meals.
Not every one enjoy the taste of vegetables, whether raw or cooked. Juicing offers a way out for these people to get these essential nutrients which might otherwise be missing from their diet.
For example, celery juice is said to lower blood pressure. However, you will need to eat at least 4 stalks of celery to reap this benefit. Juicing 4 stalks to get the juice is so much easier.
According to a Vanderbilt University study, “three or more servings of fruit and vegetable juices per week had a 76 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those who drank juice less than once per week”.
Juices are easily absorbed by your body. You get an immediate energy boost after drinking your glass of minerals and vitamins rich juice.
Drinking raw green vegetable juices have an alkaline forming effect on your body system.
According to the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information, part of the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM)):
Increased fruits and vegetables in an alkaline diet would improve the K/Na ratio and may benefit bone health, reduce muscle wasting, as well as mitigate other chronic diseases such as hypertension and strokes.
The resultant increase in growth hormone with an alkaline diet may improve many outcomes from cardiovascular health to memory and cognition.
An increase in intracellular magnesium, which is required for the function of many enzyme systems, is another added benefit of the alkaline diet. Available magnesium, which is required to activate vitamin D, would result in numerous added benefits in the vitamin D apocrine/exocrine systems.
Alkalinity may result in added benefit for some chemotherapeutic agents that require a higher pH.
Juices are best drunk immediately after extracting from the juicer. The antioxidants and nutrients start to break down with exposure to air and light. Stored juices also increase their vulnerability to bacteria contamination.
What type of juicer or juice extractor should you buy?
Investing in a juicing machine is very rewarding. Juicers come in 2 main types; centrifugal juicers and masticating juicers.
Centrifugal means pushing away from the center or axis. Centrifugal juicers are generally less expensive and spins at high speed to extract the juice.
The fruits and vegetables are pushed through a chute into a mesh chamber, cut and shred into a pulp.
Next the juices are pushed through the mesh filter into a container by fast spinning centrifugal force.
Due to the fast spinning speed (can be anywhere from 1,650 to 15,000rpm), the resulting juice is foamy and is oxidized.
The juice is best drunk as soon as possible. Adding some of the pulp back into the juice adds fiber into your glass of juice.
Another point to take note of is the heat generated by a centrifugal juice extractor operating at high speed. The heat is said to destroy some of the raw enzymes and nutrients.
However, the Breville line of juicers come with patented mesh filter basket which spin at speeds of up to 13,000 RPM, but raising the temperature only by 1.2°F.
Third party accredited labs have testified that the vital nutrients and enzymes are not destroyed by the heat generated through the process.
In fact, juicing celery using the Breville juicers show no increase in temperature at all when comparing the celery stalk to the glass of celery juice.
Masticating juicers do not spin. Instead the fruits and vegetables are slowly crushed and squeezed by gears and the juice squeezed out. Masticating juicing machines do a better job at juicing vegetables due to their low speed.
The Breville Juice Fountain Crush masticating juicer machine operates at a low and quiet speed of only 80rpm.
These juicers are also more quiet compared to the fast spinning centrifugal juicers. They are also much easier to clean.
Due to the slow extraction, more juice and thus nutrients are squeezed out and the juices also have a longer shelf life as there is less oxidation.
They also contain a bit of the fiber.
You have single gear and double gears masticating juicers. The double gear or twin gear juicer is the most efficient at extracting all the nutrients from the pulp.
The downside is the higher initial cost in buying the masticating juicing machine. However, due to the higher amount of juice extracted, it stands to be more economical in the long term.
Low Speed Juicers
Another newer type of juicers making their presence felt are the slow juicers or cold press juicers. With a design similar to the centrifugal juicer but operates like the masticating juicer, these newer slow juicers are said to be even more efficient in the extraction of nutrients.
Slow juicers from the Hurom and Omega brand are popular.
The pros and cons of juicing
Juicing, as like all things in life, has its pros and cons.
- Fast absorption of nutrients
- Easily digested due to the absence of fiber content
- Certain fruits do not blend well. For example, carrot juice taste far superior to a glass of blended carrot juice
- Juicing makes it easier to take in your daily quota of fruits and vegetables
- Juicing allows you to add a wide variety of vegetables to your diet
- Juicing left out the pulp with its high fiber content. However, it is also this insoluble fiber which help us to prevent a spike in sugar absorption after a drink high in sugar content. A good example is juicing sweet oranges. The increase in blood sugar and insulin levels is bad for diabetes. Vegetable juices do not have this disadvantage.
- Juicing if not properly carried out, can result in food borne illness. Dangerous microorganisms may exist in your glass of fruit and vegetable juice, leading to diarrhea or even more serious illness such as hepatitis. Careful cleaning of the fruits and cleaning of the juicer is important to minimize this risk.
- Cleaning out the juicer can be tedious, especially centrifugal juicers.
Is juicing good for your health?
What are the health benefits of juicing?
Strengthen your immune system the safe, natural way through healthy juicing.
Loads of natural vitamins and minerals, as well as active enzymes in your glass of juice makes your immune strong.
A juice diet can also act as a means for detoxifying your body every now and then.