Juicing 101

Tuesday December 15, 2015

Carrot apple smoothie web

Many believe that juicing is the best way to restore and rejuvenate our world-weary bodies.  It’s easy to understand why – imagine how great you’d feel if every day you managed to eat a king’s table worth of carrots, beets, celery, parsley, kale, and a whole range of other invigorating fruits and vegetables.  Imagine ending your struggle to get your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, even being able to exceed it with ease!

Why Juice?

Juicing makes it easy to get all of the vitamins and minerals that you need to live an active life because it separates life-giving water and nutrients from the hard-to-digest fibres of food.  This means that your body doesn’t have to do as much work to get their full nutritional benefit, and as an added bonus, the nutrients are absorbed right through the walls of your stomach, and quickly – within five to ten minutes.  So with juicing, it’s possible to virtually “flood” your body with all of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes needed to maintain good health.  And, it’s hard to imagine a better water source than one that’s already been filtered through plants’ cell walls, and full of a healthful source of organic minerals.  But isn’t fibre an important part of good health?  Absolutely, and this is why a diet high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, is an important part of any juicing regimen.

Juicing as a Therapy

Juicing gives us all of the nutrients that we need to nourish our cells, revitalize our nerves, glands, and organs, and cleanse our blood and tissues.  For this reason, juicing is often the centerpiece of intensive cleansing and therapeutic programs, like the Gerson therapy or Rudolf Breuss’ therapy for cancer outlined in The Breuss Cancer Cure.  Juicing therapy takes advantage of the healing properties of specific fruits and vegetables.  For example, carrots and parsley are known to be excellent for purifying the blood, celery is valued as a sedative, and raw cabbage and spinach help to cleanse the stomach and intestinal tracts.  For detailed information about therapeutic juicing, check out Steve Meyerowitz’s book, Juice Fasting and Detoxification and Bernard Jensen’s Juicing Therapy.  Don’t forget about juicing your herbs!  In our love affair with pills and tinctures, we often forget the great benefits of taking herbs with the natural synergy of their healing properties intact, as in herbal juices.  Siegfried Gursche’s book, Healing With Herbal Juices provides a good introduction to the art of juicing with herbs.  If you’re short of fresh herbs, try the carefully grown and packaged herbal juices available from Schoenenberger.  Herbal juices, taken one to two tablespoons at a time, can be used to help remedy specific ailments.  For example, Echinacea tea is known to enhance the immune system, and fennel juice can help to relieve stomach upset.

For those of you that already enjoy vibrant health, juicing can help to keep it that way!  Nourishing, chlorophyll-rich vegetable and wheatgrass juices can keep your system in tip-top shape while protecting your body from the “bad guys” like pollution and free radicals. Health benefits aside, fruit and vegetable juices taste great! 

What About Bottled Juices?

You might wonder whether the benefits of juicing can be had from commercially available, packaged juices.  It’s hard to find a substitute for the goodness of freshly made, raw juices that are second only to whole fruits and vegetables for abundant vitamin, mineral and live enzyme content. If you can’t make your own juice, opt for bottled juices that have been packaged with care, like the Rabenhorst or Biotta juices.  Some packaged juices are processed using chemicals and high temperatures, which leaches away many of the vitamins and minerals of the juice, and could leave some chemical residue behind.  While you’ll get some nutrition from these juices, you’re missing out on the great wealth of nutrients available from your food.

Choosing a Juicer

When choosing a juicer, it’s important to consider your lifestyle, the type of juice that you want to make, and the amount that you plan to use your juicer.  If you’re looking for fresh lemon, orange or grapefruit juice every morning, a simple hand-squeezed juicer will do the trick.  If wheatgrass juice is your drink, hand-cranked, expeller-press juicers designed specifically for wheatgrass are available from Porkert.  To juice almost everything else, you’ll probably need to buy an electric juicer.

 

The two most popular types of juicers are centrifugal juicers and masticating juicers.  Centrifugal juicers work by grating the food with a steel cutting blade, and then spinning it at a high speed, to extract the juice.  These types of juicers are great for juicing hard fruits (apples, pears) and many vegetables, but can’t take on wheatgrass or herbs.  Centrifugal juicers are available in pulp-ejection and non-pulp-ejection models.  The pulp-ejection feature allows more juice to be made at one time without cleaning the juicer, but is less efficient at extracting juice than non-pulp-ejection.

 

Masticating juicers work by grinding the produce, mechanically squeezing out its juice, and extracting the pulp automatically.  The Champion Juicer uses a rotating cutter with blades to grate the food, and can handle practically every type of fruit and vegetable.  It comes with a homogenizing plate to make applesauce, nut butters, and baby food.  The Green Power juicer operates somewhat differently:  it does not chop the food, and extracts the juice by running it between two low-speed, side-by-side rollers.  The Green Power’s rollers are magnetized, which they claim pulls more minerals from the juice, and helps to keep it stable longer.  The Green Power juicer can extract juice from almost anything, including highly fibrous plants, herbs, and wheat grass.  It also comes with attachments to make pasta, rice cakes, nut butters and baby food.