Ever thought about including fresh juice into your daily routine? While it’s definitely the right decision in your quest to a healthier you, have you researched it? Check out these interesting juicing facts and benefits to consider prior to beginning.
Omega J8006 Juicer – Credit: Author – Crystal R Widger
Basically, juicing is the method of separating the insoluble fiber of produce from the juice. The flesh of the produce is either slow pressed or pulverized at high speeds to extract the juice. There are two basic juicer types—centrifugal (fast) and masticating (slow). Obviously, the type of juicer you choose will depend on your preferences and needs.
A centrifugal juicer effectively removes juice at extremely high speeds. The juice is ready in less than a couple of minutes. Most centrifugal juicers have wider mouthed openings, allowing for larger pieces of produce—such as whole apples or oranges—to pass through the machine. It’s convenient and saves the user time, fitting in well with someone who has to rush out every morning. The negative side to this is where you save on time; you sacrifice on the quality of the juice.
A masticating juicer slowly crushes and presses the pulp against a juicing screen to safely extract the juice without damaging the nutrients and antioxidants in the juice. When you extract the juice slowly, it tastes better and contains a higher level of nutrients. Since the opening of the chute is smaller, the preparation time is longer. You will need to cut up your produce into smaller pieces. Plus, the juicing process takes slightly longer than if you were using a centrifugal juicer. There are many types of juicers to choose from that are designed to fit a variety of kitchens and lifestyles.
Juicing Facts and Benefits
Q. Isn’t it better to eat raw fruits and vegetables?
A. While it is good to eat whole fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, most individuals do not. Some people don’t even like eating vegetables, and therefore, avoid them completely. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2013, only 13.1 percent of individuals across the United States were meeting fruit intake guidelines and only 8.9 percent met vegetable intake guidelines. Juicing is a healthy option to include in your diet when you don’t want to force lots of vegetables down just because your body requires the nutrients. Simply juice your vegetables with a bit of fruit to balance the flavor and drink it down to easily meet your daily needs. Plus, juicing gives your digestive tract a break, especially if you decide to partake in a juicing fast.
Q. Can you lose weight from juicing and is it safe?
A. When used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise—absolutely! However, when the experts start talking about losing weight from juicing—they are referring to juice made mainly from dark leafy greens and vegetables. Even freshly squeezed fruit juice is full of sugar and calories. It doesn’t matter where the calories originate. If you aren’t consuming less than you are burning—you will not lose weight. If you’re going to use juicing as a means to lose weight, don’t forget to balance your diet with additional healthy foods. It is important to include protein and a tiny bit of healthy fat in your diet to aid in the absorption of essential nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. An example of a healthy fat would be a handful of almonds or a small portion of avocado. It is important to consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet. Most of all—use common sense. If you’re hungry, eat something healthy and light.
Freshly squeezed apple juice – Credit: Author – Crystal R Widger
Q. Can’t I just buy my juice from the store?
A. Well, you can buy your juice from the store, but it will not contain the same nutritional content freshly extracted juice will. Store-bought juice is put through pasteurization, killing healthy phytonutrients and enzymes in the process, in order for it to last beyond three to four days. Freshly extracted juice from a slow juicer only stays fresh up to three days. The juice in stores contains a lot of calories—seriously, have you ever looked at the calories listed on a bottle of Naked juice?!? Fresh green juice is extremely low in calories and is full of phytonutrients, vitamins and enzymes. Plus, you know exactly what you’re putting into your glass! Nothing beats that.
Q. How much do I have to drink?
A. If you are juicing low-calorie green juices, you can drink as much as you want. Try to drink it on an empty stomach. For a better idea, aim for two to three servings of about 10 to 24 ounces daily. You can drink less or more, depending on how you feel. Listen to your body. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
Q. Is there anything that I shouldn’t juice?
A. Do not juice carrot tops, papaya peels, kiwi peels, most citrus peels, plum or peach pits, apple seeds, wild parsnips and carrot tops. Feel free to juice lemon and lime peels.
Q. Can I use a blender or a Magic Bullet to make fresh juice?
A. No, you have to use a juicer to create fresh juice. A blender shreds and mixes the produce into a shake. It does not separate the pulp from the juice. However, you can create healthy smoothies with your blender or Magic Bullet. Just take it easy on the servings of fruit.
Q. What about detoxing?
A. A healthy body normally removes wastes naturally without any real issues. After eating unhealthy foods for an extended period of time, some people begin to feel sluggish or bloated. A green juice fast is a natural way to promote a “flush” within the digestive system without sacrificing much-needed nutrients and calories, as you would with a complete fast that many individuals participate in on a regular basis.
Q. Is it true there aren’t any proven health benefits from juicing?
A. No. As mentioned above, the majority of adults do not eat enough vegetables and fruits on a daily basis, which obviously affects their health. The CDC and the National Cancer Institute urge people to consume more fruits and vegetables because a diet high in these will help prevent or cure many physical illnesses, such as various cancers, heart disease, or allergies.
Q. What about the missing nutrients, such as protein?
A. Here’s the thing; unless you’re doing a juice fast then you should not solely drink juice on a daily basis because obviously it lacks certain nutrients like protein. Think about it, what do bodybuilders do to get the extra protein needed to build muscle mass? They consume higher levels of protein or add protein powder to their shakes and meals. There is always a method for obtaining the nutrients you need.
Listen, the proof is in the results. You will feel energetic and boost your immune system while promoting healthy eating habits. Yes, there are a ton of overly exaggerated claims on the internet about what juicing can do for you. However, a healthy dose of veggies and fruits is going to provide plenty of vitamins and enzymes. Why discourage people who are trying to live a healthier life by getting more of the healthy foods your body requires?
The goal isn’t to replace your meals with several glasses of high-calorie, sugary juice, but to supplement your diet with a healthy vegetable juice. Remember to speak with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet and starting your juicing journey, particularly if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
Since 2009, she has been a freelance content marketing specialist, contributing to several online publications and crafting content for clients. She has covered a plethora of topics, such as traveling, animals, health-related issues, fitness—pretty much anything under the sun. She holds a Bachelor's in Psychology, but also has taken many business-related and early education courses.
She loves learning and sometimes has a hard time breaking away from research. It's almost akin to going down a rabbit hole that branches into a thousand tunnels that need to be searched lest there be a rare treasure left undiscovered.
Traveling, photography, yoga, running, reading, and eating are some of her guilty pleasures, as are people-watching, hiking in the mountains, and watching marathons of her favorite shows.