Benefits of Juicing

Growing and Juicing Wheatgrass

December 28, 20160 Comments
Wheat grass

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 most benefit, you will need a juicing machine known as a wheatgrass juicer these types of juicers retain the most nutrients. The best wheatgrass comes from growing it yourself because it will be fresh.

Grow it at home

Growing wheatgrass at home is actually a really good idea because you will know exactly how fresh it is as well as the exact time to harvest 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 don't want to plant the seeds after an overnight soaking, you can put them out to soak in the morning and then plant in the evening. It is best to plant the seeds 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 reached 2" in height, which should take 2 -3 days. Then move the sprouts 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 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 juicer for juicing wheat grass because it has the ability to extract the most nutrients. 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 as you will find they taste different than the green sprouts and are not fresh.  After making your juice, don't delay, 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 start to 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.

Juicing for Kids

November 2, 20160 Comments

Children can often develop a taste for sweet drinks and many children consume packaged, sugary fruit drinks. These fruit drinks don’t have the nutritional benefits of fresh juices and you might wonder how children can be weaned away from packaged juices. It’s easier than it sounds, particularly if you are able to make juicing a family affair and develop healthy juicer Child Juicingrecipes.

Starting Out

The best way to start children with fresh juices, especially those who are accustomed to drinking packaged juice is to mix fresh juice with the package juice until they become used to it. Then you can decrease the processed juice until they are having a complete raw juice experience. Even with the high sugar levels in fresh fruit juices, it is still offers a far higher level of nutrition than processed juices. It’s even better if you can use organic fruits to make healthy drink recipes.

Adding Vegetables

You can try adding green vegetables to fruit juices after your children have become accustomed to drinking natural raw juices. As they become more familiar with the new tastes, you can start to show them how you are adding in a leaf or two of various greens to make new healthy drink recipes.

Let Children Participate

Once juicing has become an established practice, it is likely children will become curious about juicing of their own accord. If they are old enough, there is no reason why they cannot participate in the fun. It is natural for children to be fascinated by appliances with buttons and if properly supervised, they will enjoy juicing and learning about healthy juicer recipes.

Safety is Always a Priority

While there are generally built in safety features on modern juice extractors, safety will always be a priority and good supervision is key. You should always make a point of unplugging the juicer when you are not actually making juice.

Tips to Help Children Started with Juicing

The earlier you can involve your children with juicing, the better and youngsters as young as two years of age can perform simple tasks such as putting kale leaves into a bowl of water and swish them around. A four year old child is able to peel an orange (using fingers) while a six year old is able to pit cherries and even slice cucumber into chunks while being supervised.
Other tasks they can do include turning on the switch to operate the juicer as well as dropping produce in the chute or feed tube. They can also switch between high and low speed and see what happens to the produce. As always, appropriate supervision is of paramount importance.

Using Games to Stimulate Interest

This is a great way to keep children motivated about juicing after they have become accustomed to a variety of new tastes. A good one is to start out with a regular juice, for example using apples, blackberries and a lemon that your children are already familiar with. Ask them to cover their eyes, and then add in three pieces of a vegetable, such as spinach, parsnip or cucumber. Next, serve up a small glass of juice to each child and see if they can guess the vegetable you have added in.

You can always add in more vegetables to the same juice and see if they can recognize what you have added. If they are stuck, you could always try placing small pieces of some vegetables on the countertop to give them a clue.

Juicing for kids is definitely a great activity and while they won’t be doing a juice fast, fresh juice is always a good way for a sick child who isn’t eating, to still ingest necessary nutrients and liquids. Juicing as a family is also fun and is the perfect activity to encourage children to learn about making good nutrition choices and creating healthy drink recipes.

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.

Blending versus Juicing

June 13, 20161 Comment

Blending vs Juicing, which is right for you?

There is a world of difference between blending and juicing as any juicing aficionado will tell you and of course, there are an almost unlimited number of appliances out there which claim their machine is best. They are two entirely different processes though and generally, an appliance which focuses on either one or the other will provide you with the best Juicing vs Blendingresults. As with most things, it’s best to be clear about what you want to achieve before you start out. Whole food blending vs juicing is not really a debate because the process is so totally different.

Blenders

The purpose of a blender is to blend/mix soft foods and liquids. However, they come in a variety of sizes, brands, price points and speeds. In a nutshell, you cannot use a blender to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. They are however very useful for fruits like bananas or cooked apples for example, if you want to puree them and maybe mix with a liquid in order to make a drink. They are also perfect for blending cooked vegetables and stock from which you might want to make soup.

Say you could take your blended bananas and mix them with milk/fruit juice/ice cream/yogurt for example and create a smoothie. Or you could make apple sauce. The point is that you can do a lot of really useful things with a blender, but extracting juice from fruits and vegetables is not one of them. A blender can really come into its own though when you use the juice you have extracted with a juicer, to make all kinds of smoothies.

See a list of the best selling blenders

Juicers

Again, these come in a range of sizes, types, brands and price points but their function is to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. If you are thinking about blending vs juicing vegetables, stick with juicing them if you want juice. When it comes to juicers, there are basically three types which you can use to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. They are masticating, centrifugal and citrus juicers and they each use a different process to extract juice.

Anyone thinking of blending vs juicing health would benefit from a detailed look at all three types because while they all extract juice from produce, different people prefer it to be done in different ways. Some people who are totally serious about juicing will have all three types in their juicing arsenals for the best results. They will also likely have a blender too, but not for extracting juice.

Have the Best of Both

Both blending and juicing are really great for utilizing fresh produce and you can use some of your vegetable juice for as stock for making soups in your blender. You could also use your fruit juices for making a variety of smoothies and other delightful cocktail type drinks and you will soon see that both appliances are excellent in the way they can complement the purpose of the other. So long as you understand that blenders blend and juicers juice, you can’t go wrong.

Regardless of whether you are considering blending vs juicing vegetables, whole food blending vs juicing, or blending vs juicing for your health, the bottom line is you are either blending or juicing and you will need to use the appliance which does the required task. Having a blender and a juicer is the best way to go because it will enable you to have a lot more variety in what you do with your fresh produce as well as increase the range of recipes you can ultimately make. In fact, a blender and a juicer are two of the most useful appliances you could consider owning, if you don’t have them already.

Best Juicer for Leafy Greens

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

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