The Juice Craze
- Created on Monday, 08 April 2013 15:04
- Written by Maria Tadd
- Hits: 181
Now that spring has arrived, many of us are looking at ways to lose those extra holiday pounds, or perhaps we want to detox, or we just want to find an easy way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our diet. Drinking freshly made juice can accomplish all of the above.
However, keep in mind there is a debate about what kind of juice is better – juice that has been extracted or juice that has been blended. After doing a fair amount of research, there seems to be an argument that can be made for both methods. Each has its pros and cons. First, let’s examine the differences in the vast array of juicers on the market.
Types of Juicers
There are many types of juicers and blenders that run the gamut in terms of quality and price. And if you are on a budget, there are ways to maximize the quality of your juice by using a simple inexpensive blender and a low-end juicer. You can find how to get the biggest bang for your buck at the end of this blog.
Blenders vs. Centrifugal and Masticating Juicers
Most of us are familiar with blenders and probably many of us have one in our cupboard. There are the common brands like Hamilton Beach, Waring, and Osterizer which normally cost around $30-$40 and may have as many as 16 speeds. More recently, Vitamix and Nutribullet have come on the scene. Note that when using a blender you are not extracting juice but are making a smoothie. Since the blades in these devices spin very fast and the motors are quite loud, they are likely to produce heat that can cause enzyme damage. However, most blenders will do the job in less than 60 seconds so hopefully they haven’t gotten very hot within such a short period of time.
Pros and cons of smoothies made in blenders
Get nutrients from skin as well as the meat
Fills you up more so you may consume fewer calories
Slow release of nutrients prevents sugar spikes
Fiber can be hard to digest for some individuals
Need to add liquid which can be water or juice that was already extracted or squeezed
Juicing is a process that extracts water and nutrients from fruits and veggies and removes the fiber from the juice. Because juice doesn’t contain fiber it is quickly and easily assimilated. According to Food Matters, “freshly squeezed vegetable juices form part of most healing and detoxification programs because they are so nutrient and restore the body at a cellular level.”
Pros and cons of just juice
Nutrients are quickly assimilated
Good for people who have difficulty digesting fiber
Detoxifies the colon
Restores the body at a cellular level
Could lead to a spike in blood sugar if too much fruit is used
Produces a lot of pulp
High speed juicers may cause heat and destroy some of the enzymes
May cause weight gain if too much fruit juice is consumed
There are two types of juicers – centrifugal and masticating. Centrifugal juicers are the least expensive juicers and are made by companies such as Waring, Jack LaLanne, Braun, etc. They extract the juice and the fiber (i.e., pulp) that is separated and collected in a metal strainer. These juicers tend to run at high speeds and therefore may run hotter than masticating juicers and could potentially cause heat-induced enzyme damage. The advantages of this type of juicer is that it generates large quantities of juice before pulp accumulates for removal, tends to be inexpensive, is easy to use, and may reduce food preparation time as many will accept larger pieces of fruits and vegetables.
On the down side, it is noisy, yields less juice than a masticating juicer, may destroy enzymes more easily by introducing heat and oxygen, and can’t juice leafy greens or wheatgrass.
Masticating or cold press juicers can be quite costly. However, they extract more juice and produce less pulp, they run more slowly and therefore don’t generate as much heat. They can also juice green leafy vegetable and wheatgrass. In addition, they can be used for other food processing functions such as making nut butters, pasta and ice cream.
By the way, pulp isn’t such a bad thing. There are many recipes on the internet that use pulp in cake recipes and other baked goods.
Juicing on a budget
I have a $30 Osterizer with 16 speeds and an $80 Waring juicer that is great – it juices all veggies including hard root veggies such as carrots and beets and all fruits, but can’t extract juice from leafy greens. So I juice what I can with my Waring and then use that juice to blend leafy greens in my blender – when blending at the highest speed the leaves are so well “chopped” that you end up with a very smooth liquid.
How to keep calories under control? My rule of thumb is when blending use only 4 oz. of fruit juice or when extracting use only one piece of fruit. If most of your juice is made from leafy greens or celery or cucumbers, you can keep calories at bay. Four ounces of orange juice is 55 calories and 1 cup of leafy greens (1/3 of a clamshell of greens) is 20 calories.
Green juice provides the greatest number of nutrients and the fewest calories and is loaded with antioxidants – greens to consider are kale, spinach, arugula and other leafy greens. There are numerous websites that offer a variety of juicing recipes and of course you can be creative and adventurous and make up your own concoctions.
Regardless of what type of juice or smoothie you make, it should be consumed within 15 minutes in order to get the greatest benefit. After 15 minutes, oxidation starts to occur and the nutrient content diminishes.
Have fun experimenting.
Salut! Here’s to a healthier you!Add a comment
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