Juicing: A Beginner’s Guide
If you live life on the go, it gets difficult to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. A great way to sip your nutrients while you run out the door is with a bottle full of nature’s gifts through juicing.
Time and time, we hear about the benefits of juicing and juice cleanses while the likelihood of investing in a juicer or program is ridiculously small. An apple a day might not keep the doctor away, but eating two whole fruits and three to four veggies a day will help keep your immune system in line and leave you energized throughout the day. An easy way to achieve this is through sips of a freshly made juice.
What is juicing, really? Separating juice from its fruit or veggie parent provides a way to access digestive enzymes and other important nutrients that are typically locked away behind the fiber. Commercial juices are often processed and lacking the nutritional benefits, while making your own – or getting it from a fresh source – gives you a dreamy concoction packed with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Where art thou juice? The most convenient way for beginners is taste-testing your local fresh foods stores, juice shops and other healthy digs. In Miami, I swear by my local jugofresh at least once a week. If you’ve got the funds and time to dig deeper, you should definitely invest in your own juicer. The process of getting your own will feel a little like buying a car but it’s well worth the research.
Masticating vs. Centrifugal Juicers
If you’re taking the plunge toward making your own fresh sips at home, you’ll be wondering what you need to buy. Juice expert and best-selling author, Cherie Calbom, says “getting a juicer that is easy to use and clean is the best way to get started.” The less work on your part, the more time you have to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Centrifugal juicers are some of the most common and less expensive of the two. They extract juice by spinning pulp around in a chamber while being pushed through a mesh that separates the juice from the rest of the fruit. These are quick and perfect for beginners looking to start with basics and those using less leafy greens. The downside? The increased speeds will break up the nutrients faster, meaning you’re getting fewer goods in your cup than a Masticating counterpart.
A Masticating juicer, sometimes labeled a cold-press juicer, is the more expensive of the two but trumps in quality. The system works by “chewing” the fruits and veggies to separate the juice from the core. The Omega Vertical Slow Juicer is an example of a system that brings produce to life by creating juice that’s full of flavor and more nutrients. This one rotates at 43 revolutions per minute (RPM), one of the slowest you’ll be able to find. This slow rotation keeps nutrients more intact and leaves room for a seamless rinse and repeat.
Don’t forget the fiber! When you juice, the machines are removing the skins and other pulp material full of healthy fibers that you’ll also need in your diet. You can opt to drop in some pulp into your juice or use it in another cooking recipe to keep your body fortified.
Calbom also mentions that the top health benefits to juicing include “an improved immune system, better and happier moods, clearer thinking through better cognition, recall and memory, healthier looking skin, better sleep cycles and lots of more energy.” She says, “One of the first things people are usually surprised by is how much energy they have!”
What do you say, are you going to give juicing a spin?