Benefits of Juicing

Growing and Juicing Wheatgrass

December 28, 20160 Comments

Drinking the juice of fresh wheatgrass is known to boost your immune system, thereby improving your health.  Wheatgrass contains high levels of chlorophyll along with a host of minerals and vitamins which are known for their ability to boost your immune system as well as provide a quick detox.  To ensure you receive the benefits you are seeking, you will need a juicing machine known as a wheatgrass juicer because these are the juicers which extract the nutrients you require.  The best wheatgrass comes from growing it yourself because it will be fresh.Wheatgrass

Grow it at home

This is actually a really good idea because you will know exactly how fresh it is as well as the exact time to harvest it so as to take advantage of the highest nutritional value possible.  You need to first soak your wheatgrass seeds in water for about 8 hours, so overnight works well.  If you didn’t want to plant them after an overnight soaking, you can put them out to soak in the morning and then plant them in the evening.  It is best to plant them in a 20 x 10 x 2 inch seed tray and for the best results, try using a moist organic potting mix.  Plant the soaked seeds in the potting mix, making sure the seeds are covered with soil, then cover the tray to keep moisture from escaping.  Place the tray in a dark place and water them every day.

Growing the Sprouts and Cutting the Grass

The tray should remain covered and in a dark place until the sprouts have reach 2″ in height, which should take 2 -3 days.  Then move them into indirect sunlight until they have grown to 7 – 8″ in height.  This should take 4 – 5 days.  You will want to keep an eye out for mold.  65 F – 68 F is the optimum temperature for growth.  Using scissors, cut the wheat grass just above the soil level.  Once you are familiar with the growing cycle you will be able to time the planting and harvesting so as to have a regular supply available to enjoy the wheatgrass benefits.

Juicing Wheatgrass

Rinse the wheatgrass straight after harvesting and start to juice immediately.  You can though, place any unused wheatgrass in your refrigerator in an airtight container.  A masticating juicer is the best juicing machine for juicing wheat grass because it has the ability to extract the most nutrients from it. Some appliances are not suitable and these include centrifugal juicers, blenders and food processors as they will destroy the chlorophyll.  A wheatgrass juicer is really just a different name for a masticating juicer.  Half an hour is the most you should leave your juice sitting before consuming it.

Common Issues

Avoid yellow sprouts because they will taste different than the green ones and are not fresh.  After making the juice, don’t delay drinking it,  you will want to drink it right away.  You can keep your juice for a maximum of half an hour in the refrigerator, but any longer than that is not advisable as the nutrients break down.

Masticating Juicers

Juicing for Seniors: Unique Nutritional Aspects for the Elderly

November 15, 20160 Comments

Juicing benefits for those in this particular age group take on a whole new meaning as nutrition and digestive issues appear with the onset of advancing years. It is normal for seniors to experience changes in their eating patterns and appetite and it can be a disturbing experience for seniors, family and caregivers alike. Seniors Juicing

A changed sense of taste can result in seniors losing their appetite and this is but a short step to inadequate nutrition, unhealthy weight loss as well as the onset of chronic conditions. The same changing sense of taste can also work in the opposite direction due to cravings for sweet or salty foods which of course can result in inappropriate weight gain.

The traditional method of dealing with these issues is to supplement an inadequate diet with nutritional shakes and supplements as well as providing relief from conditions such as colds and flu which are well known for causing changes in olfactory and taste experiences. It is a symptomatic approach at best however there is another way.

How Juicing Can Help

Juicing for life can mean exactly that for elderly people because it provides an excellent means of providing high quality nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals without the need for consuming huge quantities of food. It is the perfect solution to the problem of decreased appetite so that senior citizens can enjoy improved health. Raw, fresh juices provide natural enzymes that in themselves can lead to improved digestion as well as increased immunity.

In addition to these juicing benefits, the general health of senior citizens can also be improved if conditions such as dementia, depression, ulcers are also treated. Even an issue such as correctly fitted dentures can make a difference to the types of foods the elderly are able to consume.

Seniors Who Enjoy Independent Living

Juicing for life is a real option for these seniors because they are able to take an active role in seeking solutions to their appetite issues and work together with their doctor to investigate any hidden problems. They are also able to commence a juicing regimen consisting of a couple of fresh juices each day. By consuming raw, fresh juice on an empty stomach, an hour or so before meals, seniors are assured of ingesting the vital nutrients their bodies need.

Seniors Who Live With Family or a Caregiver

In this situation, it is the family or caregiver who will make the fresh juices and offer it to the senior citizen. If the family is already juicing, introducing fresh juice into the diet of an elderly parent will likely be a family affair and not considered unusual. In fact, family members can prepare juices and refrigerate them so the elderly parent is able to drink them before meals as required.

Elderly parents who are not able to eat family meals can still receive required nutrients by ingesting vegetables and fruits by way of juicing, while avoiding the need to struggle with unsuitable foods and appetite issues. So long as the fresh juice is consumed within a 24 hour time frame, the nutrient value will remain high. The juice should be refrigerated if not consumed immediately.

Things to be Careful Of

Before a senior citizen starts on a juicing regimen, a doctor should be consulted, particularly if medications such as blood thinners or cholesterol medications are being taken. Fruit juice has a high sugar content so it is better if fruits are added in for taste rather than volume.

The benefits of juicing for life can result in improved nutrient intake for the elderly which in turn can result in improved health. There is planning involved of course but ultimately, juicing can be viewed as a viable method of ingesting high quality nutrients that are easily digestible.

Juice Fasting

October 21, 20160 Comments

When people talk about juicing, there are some who see it purely as a way of fasting in order to detox and lose weight. Obviously there are many reasons to consider fresh juicing but it remains as one of the most popular ways to rid the body of toxins and lose weight. It is effective in assisting with weight loss however as with most things, the experience can be a lot better if you make the effort to find out as much as you can before starting out with juice fasts.Juice Fasting

What is a Juice Fast?

The short answer is consuming only raw fruit and vegetable juices together with water and herbal tea, non-caffeinated. The idea is that you consume these things only for a predetermined amount of time.

Some people opt for a shorter time period if they want to cleanse and detox, while others will want to extend out the time period as a way of easing into a particular diet program. Still others will want to commit to a lengthy sixty to ninety day program of juice fasting.

Benefits of Juice Fasts

Some of the benefits of juice fasting include measurable improvements in things such as sleep quality, higher levels of energy, improved skin tone as well as mental clarity. Feeling lighter is also experienced by those who finish a juice fast.

Juice Fasting Explained

A juice fast works because of the way the digestive system is allowed to rest itself from the activity of defending against toxins. Digesting raw juices requires little in the way of effort and as a result of this the digestive system can focus instead on releasing stored toxins that are essentially surrounded by fat. The shedding of fat cells which contain the toxins results in a more energetic and lighter body.

There are a few different types of cleanses and these include the cleansing of the intestines and the gall bladder. The cleansing is necessary because of dietary imbalances which rely heavily on sugar and fried foods, as well as more sedentary lifestyles and cancer causing pollutants in the air we breath and the water we drink. Not to mention the chemicals we ingest through eating processed foods and using household cleaners.

What to Expect

Part of understanding how to do a juice fast involves a high level of planning on the one hand and a high level of commitment on the other. Regardless of the reason behind your decision to undertake a juice fast, the actual doing of it will take serious planning. Unlike people who juice once per day to maintain good health, those who commit to a juice fast will be consuming nothing but juice. You will need to juice at least six times each day for the duration of your fast.

This requires planning, particularly if you go to work or are part of a family, or indeed just a highly social type of person who goes out a lot.

A Few Side Effects

You should expect possible minor digestive upsets such as diarrhea and/or constipation when you start a juice fast so it is handy to plan for this and stay close to home until things settle down and if necessary, restrict social and work obligations where necessary. If you are able to transition into your juice fast, these side effects can be minimized.

The possibility of losing sleep and changes in moods can also affect some people so keeping friends and family informed about your juice fast is always a good idea. Feeling hungry can also be an issue for some people. If you can keep a good supply of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand, including greens, you can use them while you are transitioning into your juice fast, by way of replacing solid foods in the event you find yourself feeling hungry.

The Reality

During a juice fast you will consume six 14 – 16 ounce glasses of fruit and vegetable juice for the duration of your juice fast. After transitioning, there will be no solid food at all for the duration of the fast you have committed to. It doesn’t take long to settle into it and many people report not missing solid food or feel tempted by regular food at home or elsewhere.

Embarking upon a juice fast demonstrates a significant commitment to your health. Planning and transitioning into it provides the best chances of success as well as minimization of side effects and if weight loss is the reason for your juice fasts, it won’t take long for you to see results.

How to Choose the Right Electric Juicer

October 5, 20160 Comments

Choosing the Best Juicer

If you are intent to embark upon a juicing adventure and are intending to do more than just hand-squeeze citrus fruits, you will need to invest in an electric juicer. This is so you will be able to extract the juice from vegetables and fruits and separate the juice from the resulting pulp. Sound easy? Well it is, however you need to purchase a juicer to do the job for you and aside from huge variations in price, you will need to figure out what type of juicer is going to best suit your needs.

Depending on the juicer you choose, the cost will vary from $100 to upwards of $2,000 so you will need to think carefully about your lifestyle and things like your meal planning routine, if you have one. It’s important that you use your juicer so developing some realistic juicing plans will make sure you don’t leave it sitting in a cabinet, unused and wasted. Essentially there are three different types of juicers, in addition to a citrus press these are the centrifugal juicer, the single gear masticating juicer and the double gear masticating juicer.

The Centrifugal Juicer

A centrifugal juicer is a basic style juicer and you’ll find plenty of advertising on TV as well as on the Internet for this style of juicer. The price is attractive, being between $100 and $300 and many people are happy to buy this type of juicer. It’s fast and generally does a good job of juicing fruits and vegetables however is not so good for leafy greens such as chard and kale. Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain

It works by shredding the produce by way of a spinning blade that sits in a mesh basket. Juice is extracted by centrifugal force as it spins with the juice being forced through the unit to be caught by a pitcher or other receptacle. The leftover pulp is pushed into a different direction to be collected in a different container. Tip: line the pulp container with a plastic bag for very easy clean up.

Some people find that the pulp is too ‘wet’ meaning there is still a lot of juice left in the pulp. If you want to get as much value as possible from your produce, you can run the pulp through the juicer for a second time so as to collect more juice.

Pros:

  • cheap price
  • works fast
  • easy and simple to clean up
  • excellent for busy people in a hurry

Cons:

  • is considered to be inefficient
  • the centrifugal action is thought to produce heat which kills micro-nutrients in the juice

The Single-gear Masticating Juicer

Kuvings NJE3580U Gear

A single gear masticating juicer is a mid-range juicer in terms of price and is a step up from the centrifugal juicer. You can expect to pay between $200 to $400 and is considered to be a good choice for anyone who is seriously interested in juicing. It performs well when juicing leafy greens and works by literally crushing produce with a single spiral gear. It has a better juice yield than a centrifugal juicer however it is considered to be slow and can frustrate people who are in a hurry.

Pros:

  • reasonable price
  • good juice yield
  • nutrient loss is minimized through less oxidation

Cons:

  • a lot slower than a centrifugal juicer
  • can have a larger counter-top footprint in terms of space

The Twin-gear Masticating Juicer

The twin gear masticating juicers are the best you can buy and you can expect to pay anywhere between $400 to $1500 and even more for top of the line models. You will receive the highest juice yield with the juice yielding the highest level of nutrients.

With its twin gears, it is able to handle juicing a broad range of produce, including leafy greens, herbs and wheat grass, with ease. Juice is extracted by way of the two gears pulverizing the produce before pushing it through sieve which presses the juice out the fruits for vegetables. The double process produces a high juice yield with minimal waste.Super Angel 5500

It is a slow process though and you need to plan your life to ensure you have time available to enjoy its benefits. Busy people often find the slow process frustrating.

Pros:

  • Excellent juice extraction
  • Very little foam
  • Micro-nutrients are preserved for top quality juice

Cons:

  • Slow operation
  • Can be expensive
  • Clean-up can be more involved

Conclusion

How to choose a juicer can be a little tricky but with due consideration to your lifestyle, budget and juicing requirements, it’s not difficult at all. Like most things, thorough planning is the key to choosing from the many electric juicers that are available in the marketplace. If you consider things like available space, available time, the cost of the juicer as well as the cost of the raw produce, you will be able to choose the electric juicer that best meets your needs.

How to Choose the Best Juicer for Leafy Greens

May 19, 20160 Comments

Leafy Green VegetablesJuicing is recognized as a suitable way to provide a super nutrient boost to your diet and the health benefits of juicing are becoming more widely recognized. However, juicing leafy greens for health is probably not quite as well known and this article seeks to address that. If you are going to start juicing greens, you will need to have the correct type of juicer so we can also point you in the right direction with this as well.

Benefits of Juicing Leafy Green Vegetables

The leafy greens most commonly used are spinach and kale, although both of these are best used in recipes that include other fruits and vegetables. Spinach and kale are packed with nutrients that can help to counter some of the primary health concerns that seem to plague the 21st century so let’s look at both of them in a little more detail.

Spinach

Spinach is a leafy green that is best known for its high concentration of iron, which is of course essential for red blood cells to do their job properly in ensuring oxygen is distributed throughout your body. It is excellent for treating anemia caused by a deficiency of iron, as well as aiding hypertension and circulatory weaknesses. Spinach is also very high in fiber so is useful as a constipation aid.

Kale

Kale is a superfood that has become known for its antioxidant properties, having a high concentration of carotenoids and flavonoids, which have become known as a way of preventing cancer. This in itself has been responsible for a rise in its popularity but it has other health benefits as well. It also assists in reducing cholesterol.

Kale is also high in vitamin K which assists to retain calcium in your bones so that it is useful in preventing osteoporosis and the calcium that can be found in kale is easier for the body to absorb as well. The other benefits of calcium include maintaining acid-alkaline balance as well as assisting the body to maintain its immune system.

By juicing leafy greens, you are essentially maximizing the ability of your body to benefit from chlorophyll, improving red blood cell production and cell respiration. They are potent with mineral nutrients and far too strong to consume as juice on their own. Because of this, leafy greens should be added to other vegetables and fruits, to produce a juice that is boosted by the special properties of spinach and kale.

Types of Juicers

There are a few different types of juicers available and in brief, they are the centrifugal juicer, the masticating juicer and the citrus-juicer. Centrifugal juicers slice and spin the fruits and vegetables to extract their juice. A masticating juicer literally chews and grinds the produce via an auger, to extract juice. A citrus juicer is designed for citrus fruits only and presses juice from citrus produce. Dedicated juicing aficionados will often have one each of these, so as to create an individually tailored juicing experience. The best juicer for greens is the masticating juicer because they do the best job in terms of juice extraction, especially for leafy greens.

The Best Masticating Juicers for Juicing Greens

There are several masticating juicers currently on the market and the best juicer for greens are the Omega 8006, the Super Angel Deluxe, the Green Star GS1000 and the Champion G5-PG710. While these masticating juicers all basically do the same thing, there are differences between them in terms of functionality, performance and price.

For example, the Champion G5-PG710 is less expensive than the Green Star GS1000 but doesn’t handle large chunky pieces of produce very well, nor does it juice wheatgrass very well. whereas the Green Star GS1000 does. The Super Angel 5500 is a top of the range model and has two augers for premium juice extraction while the Omega 8006 falls into the medium price range for masticating juicers. The Omega 8006 and Champion G5-PG710 have small feed chutes too, so you will need to put more time into preparing your produce.

All these masticating juicers can be used to produce nut butters as well, so there is an element of versatility across all the models. When it comes to juicing greens though, they are all good for juicing leafy greens, although if you like to juice a lot of wheatgrass, the Champion G5-PG710 is likely not the best choice you could make.

When it comes to juicing greens, opt for a centrifugal juicer at your peril. You are far better off choosing a masticating juicer and there are plenty of happy juicers out there who will readily vouch for a masticating juicer as being the best juicer for greens. While the actual juicing process takes a little longer, a masticating juicer will extract more juice and provide you with more value for your money over the short and long term life of the juicer.

Beneficial Nutrients from Juicing

Beneficial Nutrients from Juicing: The Facts

February 9, 20160 Comments

Juicing Nutrition Facts

Overview

The beneficial nutrients that can be obtained from juicing are many and varied. Additionally, they are touted as being one of the best ways to generally improve your health and aid with weight loss. Cooking is known to reduce the nutrient value of foods.  Additionally, our bodies have been known to wear out with the effort of digesting processed and unhealthy foods. How do we know which nutrients are released by juicing and what benefits they provide? We’ll take an in-depth look at the beneficial nutrients you can obtain by juicing your own fruits and vegetables. Additionally, we’ll learn how you can make sure you are receiving the best benefit from your produce.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients and they support the ongoing healthy functioning of the body. Vitamins are organic and particularly susceptible to destruction by heat, acid and air, therefore cooking can easily reduce their effectiveness. Minerals fare a little better because they originate in water and soil where they are absorbed by fish, fluids, animals and plants which we in turn Fruits and Vegetablesconsume.

This raises a question about the nutritional value of processed foods. Studies have shown the nutrient value is reduced as a result of the processing. One of the reasons juicing is so popular is because freshly extracted juice from organic produce retains the vitamins and minerals required for bone renewal, effective functioning of the nervous system as well as heal wounds, prop up the immune system and repair cellular damage.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Biotin, riboflavin, folic acid, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin B5 and vitamin C are some of the more important vitamins. Their function is to product energy, make collagen, release energy as well as create cellular tissue and proteins.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

These are better known as vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E and their purpose is to maintain the viability of the nervous system, lungs, eyes, gastrointestinal tract and skin. Again, fresh juicing of raw fruits and vegetables provides these vitamins while they are still in an active state.

Important Minerals

Some of these include calcium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorous and sodium. Their role is to ensure the appropriate balance of water in the body is maintained, ensure bone health as well as nurture healthy skin, nails and hair.

 

The Benefits of Juicing Fruits and Vegetables

 

Enzymes

The best way to describe these is as biological proteins which break down the food we ingest so that metabolism and other cellular activity can occur. There are metabolic enzymes, digestive enzymes and food enzymes. It is the food enzymes that occur naturally in raw food which are released during juicing. They assist digestion and help to absorb other foods

What Juicing Does to Vitamins, Minerals and Enzymes

In a nutshell, juicing separates out the nutrients from indigestible fiber so that the body is flooded with easily digestible nutrients. Colon tissue absorbs the nutrients into the bloodstream so that all areas of the body receive a share of them, leaving you nourished and energized. Digesting juice requires little energy, yet you immediately receive an intense nutritional hit. The absence of fiber in the juice also aids in the nutritional lift.

Raw and Fresh are Best

Enzymes are destroyed by air and heat above 114 F. Therefore, vegetables and fruits which have been juiced should be consumed immediately so that the nutritional benefits may be obtained. Enzymes can be thought of as living food because they are responsible for the rejuvenation of all living elements in the body. Enzymes are the driving force behind the hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions which naturally occur on a constant basis throughout the body. The importance of maintaining enzymes can’t be emphasized enough. They are essential for food digestion and absorption in addition to the important production of cellular energy. Enzymes and vitamins which have been heated have little or no nutritional value. You should use caution when selecting a juicer which might heat the juice, deleting the nutritional value.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are generally known as the fighters of free radicals or unstable molecules. Free radicals or unstable molecules may occur as a result of a mutation and result in cellular damage. The body naturally produces an antioxidant as it gives up some of its own electrons to prevent the free radicals from multiplying. Another way to think of it is like breaking a chain reaction.  The beneficial result is that the free radicals will stop multiplying. Antioxidants are not nutrients as such although they do occur naturally in foods.

Some common antioxidants are carotenoids, flavonoids, quercetin and catechins. These occur naturally in apples, tomatoes, kale, green tea blueberries and onions. These fruits and vegetables are commonly used for juicing so as to boost antioxidant activity within the body. Again, raw and fresh with immediate ingestion is the best way to capture the benefits.

Conclusion

You can see there are many facets to juicing and that the nutrient properties of fresh, organic juice which is not exposed to heat and air are many and varied. Many people use fresh vegetable and fruit juices to improve their health and for many, it is preferable to consuming chemically manufactured drugs to deal with health issues. It is also worth considering that in an age where cancer is prevalent, freshly pressed juiced is one of the few ways that cancer sufferers can obtain the nutrients they need.

References

http://www.health.harvard.edu/special_health_reports/vitamins-and-minerals-choosing-the-nutrients-you-need-to-stay-healthy

http://www.livestrong.com/article/271987-what-are-the-benefits-of-green-juice/

Recipes with Juicer Pulp

February 9, 20161 Comment

What to Do With Pulp From a Juicer

Juice extractor and carrot

Juice extractor and carrot juice

Juicing is a great way to improve your nutrient intake! However, the act of extracting juice from fruits and vegetables means that significant quantities of fibrous pulp are left over from the process. Some people prefer to put the pulp in the trash and others like to use it as compost, but a growing trend involves using the pulp in recipes for cakes and muffins. This ensures that every part of your fresh produce is used without resorting to wasting any. You don’t need special recipes with juicer pulp, but rather, think creatively about existing recipes you have and how you can adapt them.

Cakes

Recipes with juicer pulp are easier to make than you might think. If you like carrot cake, you can use the carrot pulp from your juicing to create a delicious carrot cake. You would usually need to grate up some carrot to add to the other cake ingredients, but you don’t need to do this if you have carrot pulp on hand from your juicing.

You don’t need to confine yourself just to carrot cake either. Plain tea cakes can be turned into fruit tea cakes with the addition of fruit pulp. All that is required is to place an initial layer of fruit pulp onto the bottom of your cake pan, evenly spread, prior to adding the tea cake batter. This is an ideal juice pulp recipe and apple or pineapple pulp works very well for tea cakes. The cake batter cooks into the fruit pulp layer and when the cake is done, you simply turn it out onto a wire rack to cool and invert it so that the bottom of the cake with the fruit pulp now becomes the top of the cake for serving.

Fruit Ices

In hot weather, you can make ice blocks or cubes out of the fruit pulp. These make a healthy snack for adults and children in the hot weather. The fruit pulp ice cubes are also a great way to keep your fruit punch cooled and can add a lot of flavor and texture to plain iced water.

Muffins

Another juice pulp recipe involves muffins and these small baked delights lend themselves perfectly to using fruit and vegetable pulp. A plain muffin mixture can be turned into a variety of inventive creations with the addition of pulp, nuts and spices. For example, a little carrot and ginger pulp makes a savory muffin, while apple and cinnamon make a sweet muffin. The pulp from berries is ideal for mixing into muffins and they are always a popular option. Finely chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans also add another textural element and blend well with carrot pulp and cinnamon.

Conclusion

There’s no need to throw out all your fruit pulp from juicing because you can use it for baking projects and you can freeze it.  If you really want to increase the value of your fresh produce and like the idea of recycling the pulp, start thinking about the recipes with juicer pulp.  They are only as far away as your creativity!

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