Juicing – the whys and wherefores

benefits of juicing

Image courtesy of Baitong333 / http://www.freedigitalphotos.net”

Juices are cleansing and restoring and generally they feature strongly in any detoxification program. The amount of juices you include in your daily diet is a matter of personal choice. Just one freshly made juice each day can make a huge difference to your health and well-being. At the other end of the scale a week of juice ‘feasting’ can help you lose weight, get rid of minor health issues, improve your skin, give you greater mental clarity – the benefits are many.

 

Juices are a great way to improve your health, restore your energy, restore vitality and generally give you a boost. They are a very convenient way of getting a lot of nutrition into your body very quickly, since they are high in bio-available vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phyto-nutrients and antioxidants. Juicing retains 95% of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables.

Because the fibre has been separated from the water and nutrient part of the fruits or vegetables the juices can be digested very quickly and easily by the body. As a result your digestive system gets something of a rest and your body can then put its energy into other vital activities, besides digestion, such as detoxification, elimination, recovery and healing.

Because of these benefits a high intake of fresh juices is a major component of therapeutic cancer treatments such as the Gerson Therapy or the Plaskett therapy.

 fresh fruits for juicing

Juices are created by extracting the liquid portion of a fruit or vegetable. This can happen in a number of ways depending upon the machine used:

The most basic and cheapest type of juicer is the centrifugal juicer. These have some form of grater or cutting disc to break up the plant fibres. The resulting pulp is then forced against a high-speed revolving basket and through centrifugal action the juice is flung out through the holes in the basket. Centrifugal juicers are generally very quick in operation and easy to clean.

However they do not perform as well with leafy greens, and they tend to produce a lot of ‘wet’ waste. The downside of centrifugal juicers is that because of the high-speed cutting action of the blade and resultant heat, produce tends to oxidize, which results in damage to the enzymes and nutrients in the juice. This is not such a problem if you drink the juice immediately or if you are not overly concerned with juice quality, but if you are juicing for therapeutic reasons then it is advisable to go for a masticating juicer.

Masticating Juicers have a single or twin gear which crushes and presses the produce and then strains the juice through a screen. These produce the best quality juice because they do not heat the juice (no oxidation), and they are far more efficient at extracting all the liquid, resulting a drier pulp and more juice. They can also handle all types of fruit and vegetables.

The disadvantages of a masticating juicer are that they are much slower in operation and tend to be more difficult and time consuming to clean. They are also much more expensive.

You can juice almost anything, it is really down to personal preference and the results you are trying to achieve. Fruits tend to produce the sweetest juice and to the uninitiated green juices may seem bitter to start with. Apples or pineapples are good for making green vegetables juices slightly sweeter and more palatable. The citrus fruits can ‘lift’ the flavour of a green juice. Ginger is good for giving a ‘bit of a kick’ to a juice.

Fruits for juicing:
Apples, pineapple, pears, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes, watermelon

Vegetables for juicing:
Carrots, beetroot, broccoli, celery, cucumber, fennel, root ginger, lettuce, spinach, cabbage

So experiment and see what works for you. Don’t be afraid to try unusual combinations – the wider your variety of fruits and vegetables the better.

If you are a regular juicer maybe you have a favourite recipe – if so do share.

Comments

  1. Dot, thanks for the tips on juicing. I’m really interested in doing a juice cleanse. You have inspired me to give it a try!

  2. What a great post!
    We LOVE juices in our home and are a big fan of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and the Diabetic Health Clinic ( that has a program curing type 2 diabetes with juicing)
    Rebecca Mugridge recently posted..Cashew, Brazil Nut, Lentil & Quinioa Nut RoastMy Profile

  3. Thanks for this article. I LOVE juicing. Here is one of my favorite recipes:
    2 apples
    1 lemon
    hunk of ginger
    half of a beet
    half a cucumber
    Michele Eisenberg recently posted..Mad Elephant in the RoomMy Profile

  4. I love experimenting with juices. In the Caribbean we have a regular abundance of fresh fruit and veggies so I get to try lots of varieties
    Carlana recently posted..10 Reasons Why Prospects Are Not Buying From YouMy Profile

    • You are so lucky to have an abundant supply of fruit and vegetables – we are more limited in northern climates – especially in the winter

  5. Thank you for this blog. That all I can say. You most certainly have created this blog into something that’s eye opening and essential.

  6. Great list of vegetables to use for juicing. One great super food to add in to juices is wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is potent antioxidant – it wards off disease, bulks up the immune system and detoxifies the liver. Wheatgrass packs a hefty punch of vitamins – with more nutrients than oranges and twice as many as those found in carrots. Wheatgrass is full of alkalizing minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.

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