Benefits of 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!

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.

The Beginner Juicer: The Best Vegetables to Use and How to Prepare Them

December 13, 20140 Comments

Trying new vegetables and consuming them as a way of improving your health as well as helping improve a specific medical condition, is the main reason people start juicing vegetables. It is fun discovering and trying new vegetables, especially when you don’t have to cook them to enjoy their benefits.

There is much to be said about the benefits of raw vegetables, especially in terms of nutrition and the more variety you can find, the better. It is well-known that fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, are full of phytonutrients, however some vegetables are easier to prepare than others. The following vegetables are grouped so that beginner vegetable juicers can find the easiest ones to prepare.The Best Vegetables

Vegetables to Slice and Dice

You can slice and chop the following vegetables into chunks that will fit into the feed chute of your juicer.

Cabbage – take the outer leaves from green and red cabbages and chop them to fit your feed chute
Broccoli – you can juice the stalks and head. Start with the bottom of the stalks first because they are excellent to help move other produce through the juicer. When adding the heads to the chute, be sure to cover the shoot so that tiny florets don’t escape.
Radishes – take off any leaves before adding to the feed chute

Vegetables to Juice Without Peeling

Carrots – no need to peel them, just rub and scrub. The green tops should always be removed because they contain toxic substances. Simply run them straight into the feed chute.
Asparagus – a quick trim of the raw edges on the bottom of each stalk is all that is required
Parsnips – rub, scrub and rinse then slice in half lengthwise before running them through the juicer.
Celery – slice the stalks into two-inch lengths and the leaves are OK to go in as well. Celery is fibrous and stringy which can become caught in the juicer, unlike carrots and parsnips, so slicing into short lengths is necessary.
Summer squash and zucchini – just remove the stems and feed them into the juicer.
Turnips – rub, scrub and chop however rutabagas usually come with a waxy coating, so it is best to peel them.
Sweet potatoes – rub, scrub and rinse before chopping into chunks.

Vegetables with Seeds

Some vegetables with seeds are safe to use in your juicer.

Tomatoes – remove leaves and stem then slice into chunks to fit the feed chute of your juicer, leaving seeds.
Butternut squash – peeling isn’t necessary unless the skin is very tough but you only need to slice it into chute sized chunks, again keeping the seeds.
Red, green and yellow bell peppers – simply remove stems and slice to fit the feed chute. The seeds are fine to include.
Cucumbers – the seeds are fine to juice and unless the skin is waxed, there is no need to peel the skin. Slice into chunks.

Vegetables to Wash Scrub and Peel

Jicama – unless you are someone who likes to leave the peel on, jicama is generally peeled
Beets (aka beetroot) – simply wash, scrub and peel. Juicing the leaves is OK too.

Vegetables With Grit to Remove

You don’t want to eat grit …

Collard greens, Romaine lettuce, kale, spinach– rinse carefully to remove grit before patting dry. Then juice the leaves and stems
Leeks – juice the white root/bulb and most of the green leaves after carefully separating and rinsing all layers. You can slice them lengthwise before rinsing.
Chard (aka Swiss chard or silver beet) – treat the same as collard greens

Even if you are using organic vegetables, you should still follow the guidelines above as well, as always, wash all produce prior to juicing to remove grit, dirt and bacteria. If you follow these guidelines when starting out with juicing vegetables, you’ll have fun experimenting with a variety of taste sensations.

View a list of the top reviewed juicers on Amazon.

Organic is Important: Why the Dirty Dozen Matters

December 16, 20130 Comments

What is the Dirty Dozen?

The dirty dozen refers to the  dozen plus produce that have been tagged by the Environmental Working Group as being the most contaminated vegetables and fruits that are readily available for purchase in the marketplace. It is unfortunate that the twelve identified fruits and vegetables also happen to be ideal for juicing. Usually, the skin contains valuable micronutrients that are released during the juice extraction process however the skin from pesticide contaminated produce must be removed.Dirty Dozen

The dirty dozen includes fruits and vegetables that are ideal for juicing such as apples, celery cherry tomatoes cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, potatoes, spinach, sweet bell peppers, collard greens/kale+ and summer squash/zucchini+.

You will likely notice that there are more than twelve mentioned here and that is because the list has been expanded in recent times and no doubt will be again as America’s love affair with pesticides continues. The collard greens and summer squash have a ‘+’ after them because they are considered to be toxic, while falling outside the criteria for contamination..

Organic Fruits and Vegetables

With regular produce being contaminated with pesticides, many juicing aficionados have turned to organic produce in an effort to avoid judicious peeling off of skins that normally hold high quality nutrients. Of course these still need to be carefully washed however it is possible to leave the nutrition packed skins on so that you can fully benefit from the extracted, high quality juice. It is only in cases where the skin is exceptionally thick and could damage the juicer, that you would consider peeling away the skins.

Unfortunately the cost of organic produce is very high, often as much as twice the price of pesticide treated produce and until consumer demand rises significantly, the price will stay high for the luxury of consuming organic produce. More people are becoming aware of the benefits of using non-contaminated organic fruits and vegetables. The alternative is to peel the skins from regular produce.

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The Clean Fifteen

In addition to the ‘dirty dozen’, the Environmental Working Group has also released a list of what they consider to be ‘clean’ produce and these include avocados, asparagus, cantaloupe, cabbage, sweet corn, grapefruit, eggplant, kiwi fruit, mushrooms, mangos, onions, papayas, pineapple, frozen sweet peas and sweet potatoes. Note that field corn is modified/GMO and likewise for Hawaiian papaya.

So it is not all bad news and it is possible to juice the clean fifteen, even sweet potato, although you will want to mix it with some citrus juices to break down the slightly chalky taste. Grapefruit juice works well for this.

The Bottom Line

In addition to compiling these lists of good and bad fruits and vegetables, the EWG still believe that a fruit and vegetable rich diet is a must and that is always good news for juicing. Even with the risk of pesticide contamination, it is still better to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits than continuing on with a diet that does not include them at all.

Options

If organically grown produce is within your reach and a comfortable fit with your budget, then you have the best option for your dietary requirements as well as a rich array of juicing options available. However, if using organic produce is not an option, then it is important that you carefully wash and peel regular produce before consuming and juicing it.

True, the skin you peel away will take away a high amount of nutrients however this is a far better option than not using fruits and vegetables in your diet at all. It is safe to use the dirty dozen produce if you wash and peel rigorously.

It is important that fresh produce be included in your diet and you will benefit from juicing the dirty dozen foods as well as the clean fifteen. Of course, if organic produce is an option, then you won’t need to distinguish between clean and dirty produce. If not, be aware of the options available in terms of peeling away contaminated skin and combining produce with the clean fifteen. Regardless of how you proceed, using fresh produce is always going to provide health benefits and juicing fresh produce builds significantly on these benefits.

 

View a list of the best reviewed juicers on Amazon.

Your Daily Juicing Regimen: Things You Should Know Before Starting

December 7, 20130 Comments

Start Your Juice Regimen Out Right

Juicing is definitely one of the most popular health trends to have evolved in recent years and people all over the world have been enjoying the benefits of juicing. The main reason people add juicing to their daily regimen is to make juicing for health a priority in their lives and it is certainly a worthy goal. However, as with any new activity, particularly one that is regarded as trendy, a reality check should be taken before starting out. To ensure you are on track, you should consider things like time, space, people, motivation and money.

Money

Initially you will need to be prepared to make a financial investment in your juicing regimen. In addition to the cost of a juicer, which can range from around $100 to upwards of $1,500, you will need to be prepared for a larger than usual grocery bill. You will of course need to purchase fresh produce, much more than you might be accustomed to.Still-life of fresh fruit

As you become immersed in the culture of juicing, processed and packaged foods will become less of a priority and you will save money by not buying them. In this way, the cost of juicing will become less over time and even out. You will also likely spend less on health remedies as your overall general health improves.

Space

A juicer takes up space, albeit on a counter-top or stored in a cupboard. You need to think about this if you are cramped for kitchen space. It isn’t just the juicer either because you also need space to store your produce. Buying in bulk is the best way to keep produce costs down but you will somewhere suitable to store it until you are ready to juice it. Some produce will require refrigeration so fridge space is also a consideration.

On a practical level, you will also need somewhere to store miscellaneous juicing equipment such as strainers, knives, chopping boards and peelers. Also, you will need to be able to thoroughly wash produce.

Time

Juicing takes time no matter which way you look at it and it is also necessary to consider that juice should be consumed as soon as possible after it is extracted. It you don’t go to work, you can manage the necessary time however if you go to work, you need to do some planning. While the juicing itself might not take very long, you need to factor in the time necessary for prepping and chopping as well as cleaning up afterwards.

You will need to decide if you are going to get up earlier or prep the night before. If you are doing a juice fast, you will also need time to prepare bottles or containers for storing your lunchtime juice as well as cleaning and storing them.

Motivation

This is an important consideration as you juicing regimen progresses and your commitment is tested. You need to be clear as to why you are juicing because it will help you to remain focused. It will also help you decide which particular juicing regimen you embark upon. For example, if you want to lose weight, you might decide on a juice fast and this can be difficult sometimes in social situations or it might be that you are feeling food deprived at times. Being clear about why you are juicing will help you stay on track.

Negative feedback from friends or family who do not understand the health benefits of juicing can leave you feeling dispirited and it is this type of situation when your motivation for juicing for health will become meaningful and help you to explain why you are on a juicing regimen.

People

When it comes to juicing, the people you live or spend time with will have an opinion about your juicing regimen. It can affect those around you as you fit juicing into family mealtimes. For example, if you are responsible for cooking family meals, will you be able to maintain a cooking regimen as well as a juicing regimen?

Work can be a little tricky too as you juggle bottles of juice and work travel need to be carefully planned for your juicing endeavors to continue uninterrupted. Do you participate in business lunches? Plan how you will manage them so you do not become caught without a lunch juice..

Rather than creating a bleak picture for a juicing regimen, these considerations are useful in that they can provide a blueprint for success. By planning carefully and fully researching some of the issues that can bode for success or failure, you can actually ensure that your juicing regimen will be a rewarding one. It will also allow you to decide what type of juicing regimen will suit you best, that is, a juice fast, a single meal replacement or just breakfast juicing.

 

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