So I have been completely sucked into the juicing-craze. I’ve always known that juicing was good for me, but it was after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead that I got the kick in rear that I needed to take action. For those of you that haven’t watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, let me provide you with a brief synopsis The documentary follows the hero and narrator of the film, Joe Cross, across a 60-day adventure where he travels the U.S. He follows a strict juice fast for the entire 60-day period in an effort to rid himself of several adverse ailments. According to Joe, the body has a strong desire to heal itself and juicing is one way we can super infuse ourselves with liquid vitamins and natural enzymes.
The Wall Street Journal just put an article out last week discussing the recent juice craze. According to the WSJ, retailers cannot keep up with this trend fast enough! Juicer sales have been up over 70% versus last year. Juicers can be lumped into three categories: “fast” “slow” and “whole food.”
Centrifugal are the traditional juicer most of use are used to seeing. This would be considered a”fast” type of juicer. They are loud, fast and leave behind a solid pulp. Slow juicers are somewhat new in the market. I own a slow juicer myself (the Omega VRT 350). These types of juicers crush or press juice out of fruits and vegetables and tend to do a better job juicing leafy veggies versus a typical centrifugal juicer. Whole-food juicing is the third category of juicer. These types of juicers do not seperate out the pulp, but instead you insert the entire fruit or vegetable into the machine in which the produce becomes completely pulverized. The most well-known whole-food juicer is the one produced by Vita-Mix Corp. The best part of this type of juicer is, you are able to retain the pulp and therefore all of the fiber. The downside, however, is the fact that you can’t truly juice in a large quantity of fruits and vegetables.
I have had used all three of the above types of juicers and ALL have their benefits.
Pros: These machines fast and relatively easy to clean and are inexpensive.
Cons: They say the heat relased by these juicers will kill some of the enzymes in the juice.
Pros: Very dry resdual pulp. Since these juicers crush the juice out of produce, the result is a GREAT juice output. Juice produced by a slow-juicer is said to retain vitamins and enymes better versus a centrifugal juicer.
Cons: Slow juicers are, well, slow. My Omega is quite a pain to clean, but the higher juice output makes it worth it.
Pros: Since the entire fruit or vegetable is juiced, you get to keep all of the wonderful benefits (including the pulp). You can make delicious smoothies using frozen fruit (bananas are my favorite) too.
Cons: Like centrifugal juicers, whole-food juicers emit more heat versus a slow juicer, so there is risk of nutrition loss. Further, you only need a small quantity of fruits and veggies to make a serving juice. So if your objective is to drink extremely potent juice, then a whole-food juicer likely wouldn’t be what you’d use since the pulp adds a lot of mass.
So what should you think about before diving into the world of juicing? First, choose a juicer that fits in with your lifestyle. All of the above juicers are wonderful and the key is that you do it — truly at least everyday to see any benefits. You should prioritize what matters to you. Do you care more about easy cleaning? Or more juice output? Would you rather have more fiber or more liquid? Juicing certainly has its negatives. Produce can be expensive. Cleaning the machine everyday is exhausting. Preparing your machine and cleaning your produce throughly is also exhausting. I have been juicing for about a month now and while I can’t speak on the long term benefits, short term I must stay that juicing will continue to be apart of my daily routine. Yes, I have more energy. Yes, I feel better. But you already know about those benefits. The BEST benefit for me has been that the act of juicing, and visiting a farmers market every week has provided me with a consciousness about my health I never had before. The true benefit of juicing is that it will put you on a path to better nutrition.