Why You Should Be Juicing Vegetables

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More and more people are discovering the benefits of juicing vegetables and fruits. In fact, the ‘fad’, practised by the overzealous health conscious community, has gained popularity among the masses. Juicing has proven its longevity, and is an essential element of a balanced diet.

Things to consider

Those new to juicing fruits and vegetables should take a few things into consideration beforehand, to ensure optimal benefits are received. Firstly, juicing mostly fruits is not advisable, especially if you suffer from high blood pressure, or obesity. Fruits are naturally high in sugars, and although fructose is natural, it can make insulin levels spike. You are more likely to experience cravings, and weight gain as a consequence.

Your risk for type 2 diabetes will also increase, and your blood pressure can elevate to dangerous levels. To prevent such conditions from manifesting, you should adhere to the 90% vegetables, to 10% fruits rule. By juicing more vegetables, your body will receive pure micro-nutrients, vitamins and enzymes, without exacerbating any existing conditions, or causing new ones to develop.

Fruits contain fibre, which is found on the skin. When eating whole fruits, you ingest fibre, which supports digestion. This fibre essentially decelerates the sugar release, which prevents insulin spikes. However, fibre is removed from whole fruits, during the juicing process, which is why you should consume fruit juices in moderation.

Lemons and limes are the exception to the fruit rule, as they are significantly lower in sugar. Adding these to your juices can aid weight loss, cleansing and digestion. Lemons and limes are also great for your skin.

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Select fresh organic produce

When juicing, be sure to select fresh, organic produce. Non-organic fruits and vegetables are grown with the aid of pesticides and harmful chemicals. Consuming juices made from conventional vegetables will expose your body to concentrated levels of toxins, which takes away from the nutritional benefits.

It’s also a good idea to get your vegetables and fruits from the farmers market. This way you’ll be purchasing seasonal and local produce, which has a much higher nutritional content than fruits and vegetables sold in supermarkets. The length of time supermarket produce spends in transit, and on shelves, greatly affects the levels of nutrition. This actually begins to deplete as soon as fruits and vegetables are picked.

Fruits and vegetables sold in supermarkets are harvested before they ripen. The ripening process occurs while in transit, and the produce loses much potency as a consequence. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are of a higher quality, texture and taste, and you can enjoy sampling the varieties that each new season brings.

Get your 6 to 8 daily servings

If you’re not so keen on eating vegetables, you’ll benefit from juicing vegetables. Most nutritional experts agree that a healthy, balanced diet should consist of 6 to 8 servings per day. This can be a challenge, so juicing really helps. Cooking vegetables also deplete levels of nutrition. In fact, 95 percent of essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes are present in raw juices.

Kale, beetroot, carrots, cucumber and spinach are all excellent vegetables to juice. You can add extra flavour to your juices, while receiving even more nutritional and detoxifying benefits, by combining apples, ginger and lemons.

Juicer Guide – buy juicer with confidence

Juicers are ideal for enabling you to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Juice that is freshly made in your own juicer not only tastes better but also contains more vitamins than the industrially produced juice that you find in the shops. The latter has gone through heat treatments and other processes that kill most of those lovely vitamins.

Juicing your fruits and vegetables also makes the goodness in them, the vitamins and minerals and fibre, more readily digestible. So your body can absorb that detoxing hit much more quickly than if you sat munching on fruit and veg for an hour. There are many different types of juicers available, and each of them have unique qualities that make them more suited to different recipes and lifestyles. This guide to choosing the right juicers for you will help you to make a wise decision. Then you can get ready to start making soups, smoothies, and other wonderful fresh juice based products within a few moments in the comfort of your home, whenever you fancy them.

Centrifugal juicers: cutting and slicing

Centrifugal juicers are so called because they are based around a flat cutting blade which whizzes round very quickly. These juicers also contain a strainer which removes the pulp to give you lovely clear juice to drink at the end. All that you need to do is to throw your desired fruits and veg into the juicer and the blade and the strainer will do the rest! These juicers tend to have an automatic system whereby pulp is removed into a collection bucket for you to compost or otherwise dispose of. Though they are super convenient, centrifugal juicers can be a little difficult to clean, so they are best used if you are willing to clean out the residual pulp from the strainer each time. These juicers are arguably the best for juicing hard fruits and vegetables as they are extremely robust and powerful pieces of kit. They are also among the fastest juicers around, so are perfect for when you want to whip up some delectable fruit juice for friends on a hot day at a moment's notice.

The masticating juicer: for chomping up delicate produce

If you want to make something involving smaller berries, herbs, or similar items (think wheatgrass, mint, and lemon juices, for instance!), then a centrifugal style machine just doesn't have the fine chopping power that you need. Cue the masticating juicer, which very literally 'chews' (or masticates) even the finest leaves that you put into it. These juicers are fantastic for precision juicing, and for creating exquisite combinations of dainty flavours. This type of juicing device crushes and squeezes the produce you put into it, rather than cutting and spinning it. It also pumps a minimum of air into the juice as it works. This makes it superb for when you want to have a little foam in your juice glass without the oxidation that comes from juicers like the centrifugal model. The centrifugal model pumps much more air into the juice, meaning that it can often oxidise quite quickly, causing a potentially huge loss of nutrients. Another great advantage of masticating juicers is the fact that they preserve enzymes in your juice, as well as keeping the colour of the fruits, leaves, and veg that you are juicing. These juicers are also sometimes known as 'cold juicers' because they keep the juice much colder than other models do. In all, these are the ideal juicers for when you want to create beautiful, artisan drinks with wonderful colours, flavours, and high levels of beneficial enzymes.

Savour those flavours with a slow juicer

As mentioned above, the centrifugal design gives you a great volume of juice very quickly: perfect for when you need a healthy and thirst quenching drink right now, or for when you are cooking a large meal and need to whip up some soup quickly and without fuss. But for many people, a slow juicer is best, as they want to really squeeze every ounce of flavour from the fruits, veg, and herbs that they are juicing. There are two options when it comes to slow juicers. First, there are the single gear, or 'auger', juicers. These juicers use a worm style gear to crush and blend juices, and the resulting juice will usually have the best nutritional content out of all of the models discussed here. You can get a one stage auger machine, which is slightly quicker, or a two stage model which provides you with much more delicately blended juice and hence takes a little longer. It is most convenient to choose slow juicers that are equipped with juicing screens, as these will sieve out any pulp. If you want a slower machine that will provide you with the precision of an auger but with a slightly higher juice yield, then make sure to choose the second slow juicing option: i.e. a dual gear model. One thing you need to remember with these slower juicers, however, is the fact that they do produce a different yields of juice. Though the masticating models always produce a greater yield of juice than centrifugal models, there can be an appreciable difference between single gear and dual gear masticators. An auger model will tend to produce a lower yield of juice than a dual gear. Dual gear machines are less adept at processing softer fruits and vegetables though, so those strawberry and lychee based blended drinks might best be crafted in a masticating machine!

Ready to buy a juicer? You sure are!

This short guide has provided you with the handy insider knowledge that you need to choose the best model of juicing machine for you. Have a think about the types of fruit, veg, and other products that you are most likely to put in your juicing device and choose accordingly. Get a masticator for delicate herbs, one of the slower juicers for great nutritional content, and a centrifugal device for long, quick, and satisfying drinks. Think about your lifestyle and who will be using the juicers you are contemplating buying, and this can help you with your decision, too. All of these juicers will provide you with excellent quality juice drinks, smoothies, cordials, soups, and so on. But thinking a little more about the details, and having some additional knowledge about the pros and cons of each model, will really help you to make the most out of the juices you make.