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

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.

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!

Juicing As Part of a Weight Loss Program

January 21, 20160 Comments

Juicing and weight loss can go together beautifully if you go about it the right way. This means that instead of focusing on juicing and weight loss, you should focus on juicing as an integral part of an overall health regimen. Part of that regimen involves some physical activity, to give your metabolism a boost, as

Juicing as part of a weight loss programwell as developing and following a sustainable nutrition focused eating plan. Incorporating juicing into that plan can have some very helpful effects on your weight loss. Juicing on its own is not a good way to approach weight loss, but it has some valuable benefits which cannot be ignored when you are trying to lose weight.

Losing Weight is a Lifestyle Change

Juicing then, is part of a bigger change in your life. In terms of weight loss, it can add many nutrients to your system but without the calories associated with fats. The most important benefit is that the health of your immune system will receive a boost, which in turn will help your other systems to function at their best. Vitamins, minerals and enzymes will increase your vitality as the juices you create deliver their goodness to your immune system. Your body will burn fat a lot more efficiently if you provide it with the correct fuels.

Natural Appetite Suppressants

Juicing for weight loss will involve juicing lots of vegetables and these have the added advantage of naturally suppressing your appetite. A glass of vegetable juice, prior to eating your main meal of the day, will make you feel full naturally and therefore eat a much smaller meal portion. A glass of vegetable juice will remove any feelings of hunger.  Not only that, but you are fueling your body with a potent nutrient mix as well.

Blood Sugar Levels

You will probably have noticed that we have talked mostly about vegetable juices, rather than fruit juices. The reason for this is because of the high concentration of sugar levels that are present in fruit juice. Vegetable juices will keep your blood sugar levels stable and this is always a good thing, not to mention that they have approximately 50% less calories than fruit juices. Juice made from carrots and parsley will send sugar cravings away. It’s also a good idea to find out which fruits have the most and the least sugar, then look at possible combinations which will result in a blend which will do you the most good.

Conclusion

A masticating or centrifugal juicer are both great  juice machines to use if you are thinking of using juicing as a way of aiding weight loss. A masticating juicer will be a better choice if you will be juicing leafy vegetables and it will provide you with a full range of juicing options. Ensuring you juice a full range of fruits and vegetables (different colors) on a regular basis, will ensure your body is fuelled with the nutrients and energy necessary to make your body systems run optimally and assist with weight loss. It’s a fun way to approach weight loss and you will soon find which combinations of fruits and vegetables work best for you.

Why a Centrifugal Juicer Could be Best for You

October 10, 20150 Comments

Is a Centrifugal Juicer a Good Choice?

When it comes to juicing, there are a few different types of juicers to choose from and depending on your personal preferences, the overall performance and functionality of the best juicers, as well as a range of lifestyle and juicing specific factors, finding a juicer can be a little difficult. With so many juicers on the market, you need to develop some purchasing criteria to find the best juice extractor to meet your requirements. Juicing is currently one of the most popular health improving activities on the planet, so it’s worth looking at why a centrifugal juicer could be best for you.Why a Centrifugal Juicer Could be Best for You

For many people, centrifugal juicers will always be their juicer of choice and they will make this choice for a variety of reasons. We will take a look at why a centrifugal juicer could be a better option for you as opposed to a masticating juicer. People will often opt for a citrus press as an additional juicer, just for citrus fruits, to use in conjunction with their main juicer of choice, albeit a centrifugal juicer or a masticating juicer. Sometimes, a good quality food processor will have an attachment for juicing citrus fruits and this will also complement your main juicer.

Why Choose a Centrifugal Juicer?

Price

Centrifugal juicers have a lot going for them, not the least of which is the cost. They tend to be a little cheaper than masticating juicers and for many people this is an important purchasing criteria. It is important to realize that not everyone can afford a masticating juicer and if this is the case, then the best juice extractor is always going to be a centrifugal juicer. Those on a budget can still enjoy the health benefits of home juicing without a big price-tag and it is certainly true that regardless of the type of juicer you use, home juicing provides a better quality juice than the majority of store bought juices.

Oxidation

Many masticating juicer aficionados claim that centrifugal juicers cause the juice to become heated during the juicing process, largely because of the fast spinning juice extracting process. When juice is heated, the process of oxidation can occur which simply means that major nutrients, such as enzymes and vitamins, are in fact destroyed. Masticating juicers do not suffer from this, however the oxidation debate as it relates to centrifugal juicers is an ongoing one. It is also one of the key marketing elements for those who prefer to use a masticating juicer.

Breville has tested the juice temperature of juice from their popular line of centrifugal juicers, the Breville Juice Fountain and found there is no significant temperature variance between juice extracted from masticating juicers and their centrifugal juicers. This being so, anyone who prefers centrifugal juice extraction does not need to worry about oxidation and nutrient stripping. That said, the debate still goes on, although many people would simply prefer to move on with the business of juicing and enjoying the many benefits of doing so.

Speed

This is probably one of the main reasons why centrifugal juicers are popular and often considered to be the best juicers. These days, busy lifestyles are the norm and people simply do not have the time to use a masticating juicer which takes much longer to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. Centrifugal juicers are lightning fast and you can be enjoying a glass of fresh juice in literally seconds. The speed of the juice extraction meets the lifestyle requirements of busy people. Busy people simply do not have the time to wait for the extraction process of a masticating juicer.

For anyone with a family, the whole family can be enjoying their juice of choice very quickly before heading out for another busy day. The centrifugal extraction process involves cutting, shredding and spinning your prepared produce until you have your glass of juice ready and waiting for you. Powerful high speed motors achieve this and while there is a little noise involved, people are happy to trade off the minor inconvenience for the speed at which their juice is extracted. It is also true that most people don’t actually notice the noise because it is over so quickly.

Conclusion

So you can see that there is a lot going for centrifugal juicers and the many reasons why people believe they are the best juicers on the market.  The best juice extractor is always going to be the one that meets the needs of those who are using it. This will be different for everyone depending on individual lifestyles, performance and functionality of the juicer, as well as price of course. You only need to read the reviews of the many satisfied customers who have purchased centrifugal juicers to realize that they are the perfect option for busy people with families. Speed really does matter when it comes to juicing and is possibly the main reason why a centrifugal juicer could be your best option.

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