What exactly does juicing involve?
You probably know the end product of juicing (yes, it’s juice!), but you might not know the difference between juicing and blending. Blending combines everything (blitzing all the pulp and skin into a thick and creamy smoothie), while juicing extracts all the rich juices while leaving the baggage behind (perfect for a lighter snack).
In today’s world, the juice is on the loose because it’s delicious, healthy, and convenient. Juicing used to be associated with food zealotry (embraced by those pushing veganism and fad diets), but celebrities brought it into the mainstream, and as people have become more health-conscious, they’ve realised the power of juicing as a health tool.
Those who reckon that juicing is a fad clearly haven’t noticed the immense (and rising) value of the cold-pressed juice market. In fact, it’s predicted to reach a whopping $845 million
globally by 2024. And the financial industry doesn’t make predictions like that based on buzz alone — it makes them based on the facts and observable trends.
What are the benefits of juicing?
Let’s make one thing clear first: when we talk about juicing, we’re not talking about the generic cartons of additive-laden juice that you can find in grocery stores. We’re talking about natural, wholesome, cold-pressed juices with nothing added and all the original nutrients present. So forget those jugs of “apple drink”: we’re keeping things simple.
If you’ve never experienced the feeling of ingesting and digesting a healthy and unaltered juice drink — the radiant sense of well-being — then you’ve come to the right place. Juicing is all about rounding up the best and brightest fruits and vegetables in the world and extracting the goodness (minus the bulky pulp) for convenience and flavour.
On the fence about embracing the juice? Here are the key points:
- All of the nutrients, but way less padding. Hate chewy oranges? Get a heavy stomach after a banana? With all the pulp gone, you’ll have a much lighter time.
- Super convenient to carry around. It can be very awkward to drag whole fruits with you. Juice them first, and you’ll be able to stick to a simple plastic container.
- Sneak in extra nutrients. Spinach is great for you, but maybe you don’t like spinach. No problem! Add some to your juicing concoction and you won’t even notice it in the juice.
Since getting more fruits and vegetables is almost always a good thing, why wouldn’t you want to give juicing a try? It’s delicious, nutritious, and pretty cheap too.
Does juicing work for detoxing?
When people talk about juicing, they often bring up words like “cleanse”, “fast” and “detox” — but we advise against terms like that! The popular image of “detoxing” is inaccurate, because your liver already does that for you (no assistance needed). Going on a juice-only diet won’t kill you, but it might not help you that much either.
It’s always great to remember that no amount of superfoods or potent culinary combinations will have magical effects. Even the most spectacular juice concoction won’t cure diseases (except for scurvy, perhaps) or make you lose five pounds overnight, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either ill-informed or simply lying to you.
Accordingly, it’s best to maintain a balanced diet with a lot of variety, and sticking to fruits and vegetables might not support that (plus juicing removes the pulp, which definitely has its uses). So don’t try juicing as a fad diet or a method for ridding your body of toxins: try it for all the reasons we listed above!
How is juicing good for your health?
Fruits and vegetables are good for you because they contain irresistible combinations of healthy nutrients and vitamins, and juicing them up adds to the benefit in a few major ways:
- It greatly speeds up the rate at which your bloodstream absorbs the vitamins, minerals and enzymes, helping you take in a lot of goodness very quickly. If you find it hard to make enough time to eat well (or if you need to take on nutrients fast during sporting activity), this will prove extremely beneficial.
- It preserves all of the original nutrients. To make them optimally safe, bottled juices are pasteurised — heated to a point that kills any bacteria, but also kills nutrients. If you prepare your own juices as and when needed, you don’t need to pasteurise them, so they can retain all their natural antioxidants and antibiotics.
- It helps you diversify your diet. As noted before, you can sneak certain fruits and vegetables you don’t like by themselves into your juice and obscure them with things you do like. Hate lemons? Mix lemon juice with banana and strawberry.
Juicing is healthy because it takes the innate advantages of fruits and vegetables and makes them more convenient. You can mix up the flavours, save time, and get a much better experience than you would buying expensive and pasteurised juices from stores.
What are the dangers of juicing?
Juicing may be pretty great, but it isn’t perfect — it has its share of downsides, and because we want you to juice responsibly, we’re going to list the major ones for you:
- It gets rid of valuable fibre. The pulp that juicing removes is a great source of fibre. While fibre doesn’t have much nutritional value, it plays a vital role in your digestive system, and failing to get enough fibre is likely to cause problems down the line.
- It risks bacteria and pathogens. Pasteurising may kill nutrients, but it’s done for a reason: to stop bacteria and pathogens that can easily develop in fruits and vegetables. Your immune system may be fine with this, but it’s a risk that must be considered.
- It can lead to excessive consumption. A juice drink typically provides an incredible density of both nutrients and sugars, but you might not notice because it’s so quick and easy to drink. This can lead to people drinking too much juice and suffering as a result.
If you’re going to juice, then make sure you’re getting enough fibre from other sources (eating fruit and vegetables normally, or having plenty of cereals), exercise moderation (don’t chug a full jug unless you’re about to go sprinting), and clear your juicer regularly to kill lingering germs.
What are the different types of juicer?
Juicers come in many different forms, and tend to be more expensive than blenders (having more complicated mechanisms): prices range from £50 to £500. Here are the most common types available on the UK market today:
The best for juice quality.
Slow juicers (also known as masticating juicers
) are cold press juicers
that run at slower speeds. They liquefy in two distinct steps: they first pulverise the fruits and vegetables, and then press the juice out of the blended pulp. This type of juicer takes a relatively long time to work its magic, but it will squeeze the most juice and nutrients from your ingredients, which is the main reason why it’s also the most expensive kind of juicer. At the top end, slow juicers can be equipped with automated feeding mechanisms, making them effective as commercial juicers
The most cost-effective juicers.
Fast juicers (also known as centrifugal juicers
) crush fruits and vegetables and force them into strainers spinning at very high speeds. Once the juice has been extracted, the pulp is ejected into a connected compartment for disposal. As a result of their speed and their design, they extract fewer of the original nutrients — that’s why they’re somewhat cheaper and make great beginner household juicers
Whole fruit juicers
The easiest juicers to use. Whole fruit juicers
are configured for maximum convenience, allowing you to add whole fruits and vegetables (so there’s no need to cut things up before you juice). Instead of using pulp compartments, these juicers simply separate the pulp and the juice — you collect the pulp, then release the juice when you’re done.
The most fun juicers to use. Manual juicers
provide a good middle ground between manually squeezing fruits and vegetables and totally automating the process. Because they don’t need power, they’re very robust, and are perfect for those who prefer the hands-on approach (they tend to be citrus juicers
because of the popularity of orange juice).
Need some more advice about the specific type of juicer to use? Let us know! We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction and make sure you get the best type for your needs.