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fresh, healthy juice from spinach, oranges and limes

Juicing Basics: What You Need to Know

  blog post author icon   blog post published date icon   07/04/22

Blog Post Series  Cooking  Nutrition  

Have you asked: is juicing healthy? For most people who eat a Westernized diet, the answer is a resounding yes!

In a nutshell, juicing is an excellent way to increase your daily servings of fruits and vegetables and prevent chronic illnesses. You'll feel (and look) better, all through one simple technique.

This article is part 1 of 2 in a series on Juicing. See part 2 Juicing Recipes: Targeting Health Benefits.

Editor

Did you know that only 10% of adults get enough fruits and vegetables in America? Studies found that men, young adults, and low-income families consumed the least amount.

Are you ready to dive into the juicing basics? This article will help you transform your healthy eating patterns through a few simple and helpful tips.

We will go over what juicing is, the best juicers on the market, and how to start juicing.

What Is Juicing?

Let's start with juicing basics. Juicing is a food processor that extracts nutrition from fruits and vegetables. Many individuals use it for added nutrition throughout their day or to detox.

One important distinction is that juicing and blending are two different things. Juicing does not include any solid matter from fruits or vegetables. Instead, it separates the liquid from solid matter, extracting nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

On the other hand, blenders use everything. They mix and blend fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients for a thicker mixture. If you like smoothies, these products are the route to go. 

In many cases, you can find products that combine juicing and blending benefits.

Why Juice?

What are the benefits of juicing, and why should you start? There are two primary reasons most individuals start juicing:

  1. Detoxing
  2. Supplementing nutrition

Juicing is an excellent way to add more nutrition to your diet and supplement healthy eating habits. If you think about it, juicing is a quick and easy way you can get a plethora of nutrients. Most Westernized diets don't include enough fruits and vegetables.

Many processed foods lack nutritional value, making it more challenging to ingest enough vitamins and minerals. Juicing simplifies the process, allowing you to reap the many benefits of fruits and vegetables in one drink, such as:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reducing heart disease risk
  • Reducing stroke risk
  • Helping to prevent certain cancers
  • Improving digestion
  • Stabilizing blood sugars
  • Promoting healthy weight loss
  • Increasing your feeling of fulness

There are multiple research studies that have looked at fruit and vegetable benefits, and you will be hard-pressed to find much evidence stating you should restrict your intake of fruits and vegetables. You may have heard of an ongoing debate regarding eating fruit and blood sugar spikes.

Drinking fruit juice can spike blood sugars, and you should be mindful of how much you drink throughout the day. Whole fruit has more fiber and slows digestion. Combining fruits with vegetables also adds more fiber and other nutritional value that outweigh temporary increases in blood sugar.

Ultimately, don't cut out healthy fruit juicing simply because of what you read on the internet. Compared to processed ingredients and refined sugars, fruits are a much healthier option. 

What Equipment Do You Need?

Now that you know a few benefits of juicing, it is time to get started with equipment. There are two types of juicers:

  • Centrifugal
  • Cold-press

Centrifugal juicers grind and extract nutrients from fruits and vegetables with high-speed blades, similar to a blender. The spinning movements help target the juices rather than pulp. 

Cold-press juicers work a bit differently. They press or crush fruits and vegetables, essentially squeezing out the juice. You may have seen this process in many types of orange juice pressers.

As you can imagine, cold-press products take much longer and are more tedious for a full glass. Lastly, you can find products that combine juicing and blending, allowing you to switch between the two as you would like.

Types of Juicers

What type of juicer do you need? Let's dive into centrifugal force juicers first. These countertop juicers look more like a food processor than anything else.

It usually has a central jar or holder where you place your ingredients and a small chute that the juice extracts from. You can put a glass or jar at the entrance and set the juicer to work. These machines use advanced blade technology to withdraw the nutrients.

In most cases, you shouldn't have to manually adjust the juicer, allowing you to work on other things around the kitchen. A juice press might require a bit more work on your end, but it could result in a more natural and nutritious juicing process.

A juice press typically falls under the classification of a masticating or cold-press juicer. They work at slow speeds and usually give you a less foamy drink than centrifugal juicers.

Since the process is slower, some claim it offers superior nutrition and extraction. The benefit of technology is that you can find juice pressors that do all the hard work for you and will be less noisy than their centrifugal counterparts.

On the downside, it will take longer. If you have a low-wattage unit, you may be limited on batch sizes. If you want the benefit of a masticating juicer and more nutritional extract, consider a twin gear, which includes two steps:

  1. Crushes fruits and vegetables
  2. Presses fruits and vegetables

The speed of a twin gear machine is much slower, but the results are worth it!

Are Blenders Worth It?

Luckily, when you ask the question "how to use a juicer?" there are many straightforward and simple machines that only require you to load and press a button. Blenders are one of these simple products that combine blending, mixing, and in some cases, juicing.

The downside of blenders is you might not reap the entire benefits of juicing, especially cold-press. They use high-speed blades to extract nutrients, but the faster speed could result in foamier drinks and fewer nutrients. Still, they are an excellent option if you enjoy smoothies and juicing.

Food Preparation

Before you start in on juicing recipes, here are a few things you will need, such as:

  • Peelers
  • Knives
  • Cutting board
  • Storage containers (refrigerator friendly)
  • Lids
  • Straws (if needed)

Glass beverages or mason jars can work well for storing your juice. Remember that whatever you don't drink, you'll still want to finish up within two to three days. Lastly, don't forget the fruits and vegetables.

Fruit and Vegetable Preparation

If you want to learn how to start juicing, you probably need a few ideas on some fruits and vegetables you can start with. If you need some inspiration, check out these delicious recipes for drinks and additional meals that you combine with your juicing blends.

Ultimately, you can use any fruits and vegetables, but here are a few favorite ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Citrus
  • Kale
  • Spinach

Add fruits sparingly since they have high amounts of sugar. Instead, mainly use vegetables and add fruit for the taste. Also, you can include other food ingredients for an extra boost. 

If you want to supercharge your juice, consider adding almond milk or Greek yogurt. Avocados are another excellent option for healthy fats.

What To Do With the Juicing Pulp Leftover

When you prep your juicing ingredients, you will want to remove any thick outer skin, such as an orange or mango peel. Next, you'll need to gut some of the seed for a smooth juicing blend. But what do you do with juicing pulp?

There are plenty of healthy ways to use juicing pulp leftover for healthy eating. Here are some ideas on how you can utilize all the healthy ingredients from your fruits and vegetables:

  • Make popsicles (simply add a bit of juice to the pulp and pour into an ice tray
  • Add to granola bars or homemade patties
  • Mix into baked goods

Pulp is very fibrous but still holds vital benefits such as flavonoids, fiber, and antioxidants. Using them in your baked goods or other products are some simple ways you can eat healthy all day long. 

Getting Started With Juicing Basics

Now that you feel more confident with your juicing basics, it is time to start transforming your diet and healthy eating. However, healthy living spans beyond juicing.

It includes lifestyle changes that help your physical, emotional, and mental health. Educational programs and articles give you advice on exercise, stress management, improving sleep quality, and much more.

If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in online education centered around developing a healthy lifestyle behaviors. Check out the rest of our blog for more information!


headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018
Author

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

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