Congratulations on your decision to take a step in the direction of a healthier lifestyle by opting to implement juicing into your diet. If you are curious as to what juicing is and what it’s all about, you’re in the right place! Think of this Juicing 101 page as your one-stop resource to get started with juicing.
Juicing 101: What is Juicing? How Does It Work?
Juicing consists of taking raw vegetables and fruits and running them through a juicer that either pulverizes them or crushes and squeezes the juice out of it. Most of the solid material and fiber is removed during the juicing process, leaving a drinkable liquid. This liquid juice is highly digestible and extremely nutritious with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
There are some that make fanciful claims about juicing. This website doesn’t promote lies and misinformation for the sake of generating clicks.
Juicing won’t cure cancer, for example. But some studies have shown that consuming healthy fruits and vegetables may help prevent it (1).
Juicing is not a cure-all. But it does provide many life-changing health benefits, such as supporting a strong immune system to help ward off certain cancers and heart disease (2). In fact, there is no doubt that a healthy diet can help prevent many of today’s common health problems.
What is The Benefit of Juicing?
Juicing is a great way to boost the quality of your diet, especially if you don’t enjoy eating your fruits and vegetables or are simply looking for a way to get additional nutrients. Freshly squeezed juice:
- is hydrating
- boosts the levels of antioxidants you consume, which reduce inflammation and cellular damage
- contains the vitamins and minerals your body needs
- is easily digested by your body
Consider the Modern Process of Manufacturing Orange Juice
Fresh juice provides more nutrients and tastes better than the bottled versions you see in the store. Consider the modern process of manufacturing orange juice. And yes, I say “manufacturing orange juice,” because that’s exactly what it is.
Once the juice has been extracted from oranges, manufacturers must preserve the juice with sulfur dioxide or sodium benzoate. In fact, by the time you buy orange juice in a grocery store, it will be degassed, mixed with preserves, reduced to a concentrate to reduce transportation costs, reconstituted with water, perfumes, and dyes, and finally bottled.
Juice from concentrate may contain fewer vitamins and minerals than fresh juice. For example, orange juice from concentrate contains lower amounts of vitamins A and C than fresh orange juice. (3)
But there is a better way. And that way is drinking fresh juice, squeezed by you in your own home.
Types of Juicers
The types of juicers are:
- Masticating (Vertical & Horizontal)
- Press Juicers
- Twin-Gear Juicers
Each type of juicer excels in certain categories and with certain types of produce. As you begin your juicing journey, think about what types of produce you will be juicing. Then pick a juicer that will satisfy most of your juicing needs.
We will help you start by introducing the types of juicers, where they excel, and where they come in a bit short:
|Type of Juicer||Why To Buy||Why To Avoid|
|Horizontal Masticating||– Less expensive than vertical masticating juicers
– Great at juicing leafy greens
– Low oxidation of juice which preserves flavor and nutrients
|– Doesn’t juice soft fruits and vegetables very well|
|Vertical Masticating||– Better than Horizontal juicers at juicing soft fruits and vegetables
– Faster than Horizontal juicers
– Larger chutes means less prep work
– Low oxidation of juice which preserves flavor and nutrients
|– Not as good as juicing leafy greens as horizontal varieties
– More expensive than horizontal juicers
|Juice Press||– Produce the greatest yields of juice
– Least oxidation of any juicer
– Superior taste relative to any juicer
|– By far the most expensive option|
– Least expensive option
– Fastest juicers on the market
|– Greatest amount of oxidation and nutrient loss
Juice doesn’t store for very long
|Twin Gear||– Better nutritional extraction than masticating juicers
– Superior flavor of juice relative to masticating juicers
|– More expensive than masticating juicers|
Masticating Juicers (AKA Slow Juicers and Cold-Press Juicers)
Masticating juicers are slow yet efficient juicers that are highly efficient at extracting juice from produce. When you see the terms “slow juicers” or “cold-press juicers,” those terms are referring to masticating juicers.
By their nature, the juice they extract is subjected to less heat and oxidation, preserving the nutrition and flavor of the juice.
Vertical and Horizontal Masticating Juicers
To make matters even more confusing, there are two types of masticating juicers: vertical and horizontal.
Vertical Masticating Juicers
Vertical Juicers are the faster of the two types of juicers. Because of their design, you usually don’t need to chop your produce as small as you will with horizontal masticating juicers.
Vertical juicers are more expensive but are better at juicing softer items like pineapple. If you are primarily interested in juicing beets and carrots, save money by getting a horizontal masticating juicer.
Horizontal Masticating Juicers
Horizontal masticating juicers are more affordable than vertical juicers. They are better at extracting juice from leafy greens as well.
They aren’t as good at juicing soft items like oranges and ripe apples. If those items are high on your list, go with a vertical masticating juicer.
Juice Presses utilize a pneumatic or hydraulic press to squeeze the juice out of produce. Higher-end presses will chop and grind your produce to a pulp to enhance juice extraction.
Juice presses extract the greatest yields of juice relative to all other juicers. But they are too lavish for most users.
They also produce the most flavorful and nutritious juice. This is because they cause the least amount of oxidation. Juice presses are the most expensive types of juicers on the market.
Centrifugal Juicers – Fast Juicers
Centrifugal juicers are sometimes referred to as fast juicers. They work by slicing the produce and separating the juice using centrifugal force and a mesh screen.
They produce more heat than masticating juicers which can diminish the nutrient value of your juice.
The increased oxidation caused by fast juicers also negatively impacts the shelf life of the extracted juice.
Centrifugal juicers are easy to clean and are more affordable than other types of juicers.
Twin Gear Juicers
Twin gear juicers are similar to masticating juicers. But they use a double-auger design to increase efficiency. Juice is extracted by pulling and chewing and crushing the produce.
A twin-gear juicer is also considered a slow, cold-press juicer.
These juicers are also relatively expensive.
Why juice, why not just consume raw fruits and vegetables?
When you juice, you are able to get more variety into your diet. Think about it, if you were to consume three to four cups of kale, three large carrots, one green apple, a few celery stalks, and a cup or two of spinach leaves—you would probably feel a little sick after eating it.
However, you can juice those same items and easily drink them in one to two servings. You’ll lose a good amount of fiber, but juicing can be a great way to supplement additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you wouldn’t get if you didn’t add juice to your diet.
Are smoothies healthier than juices?
The difference between juicing and blending all boils down to the pulp content. If you want to take advantage of insoluble fibers then smoothies are the way to go, but if you simply want to complement your normal meals with a healthy beverage, then freshly pressed juice can be a great option.
Juice does retain some of the soluble fiber found in whole fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber aids our system by absorbing water and turning it into more of a gel-like substance.
It moderates blood glucose levels by slowing how quickly carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream and lowers cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids in the intestines and preventing them from being used by the body to produce more cholesterol.
That said, many nutrients are bound to the fiber in fresh produce. By removing most of the fiber when juicing, you may lose some of these nutrients. Some people keep the pulp and add it to muffins, pancakes, veggie “meatballs”, and vegetable soups or make it into crackers in order to reap its nutritional benefits.
Both practices have a place in a healthy diet. If you want to make fresh juice a regular part of your diet, make sure to also include plenty of whole fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks so that you also get the important health benefits of fiber.. If you want to learn more about the difference between the two, read my article on juicing vs blending.
How to juice?
Everyone can benefit from juicing in two ways—juice feast or juice fasting.
Juice feast simply means you’ll include a healthy glass of fresh juice with your usual meal. This increases your nutritional intake of vitamins and antioxidants. Some claim that this can boost your energy levels. There is some evidence juicing may strengthen your immune system and help you maintain your weight when included as part of a healthy diet. (4,5)
Antioxidants slow and repair oxidative damage from the free radicals affecting our bodies. The health issues that arise from these free radicals include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, macular degeneration, and a long list of other diseases.
Juice fast (a.k.a. juice cleanse or juice detox) is not recommended. Being completely honest, juicing doesn’t detox your body; your body naturally detoxes itself when it expels waste through your digestive tract and through the actions of your liver and kidneys.
There are 3-day, 5-day, 7-day, and 10-day juice cleanse plans out there that you can follow. But take our recommendation and don’t follow any of them. Just incorporate juicing as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
How to Start Juicing
Before you start juicing, you’ll need just 4 things:
1. A Good Juicer
The best type of juicer should be able to process a wide variety of products such as soft fruits, hard vegetables, and leafy greens including wheatgrass and it’s a plus if it can help you prepare soy and almond milk.
2. Juicing Recipes
You can’t throw a bunch of stuff together and expect it to taste delicious. That’s where recipes come into play.
You also have to remember that some items juice better than others.
To help you, we’ve begun curating juice recipes based on healing properties and ingredients.
To maintain the freshness and taste of your juice you’ll also be needing a decent container unless you’ll drink it right away.
Airtight glass containers are the best option because it doesn’t contain Bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic substance found in plastic.
For more information on your storage options read my article on how to store freshly pressed juices.
You must be motivated and willing to make the necessary changes to your life to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It takes time, patience, and discipline.
One tip: don’t think of juicing as something you are going to do. Doing something requires effort and thinking in this way eventually exhausts your energy and leads you astray. Think of it as part of who you are. You juice because you are a healthy person. You juice because you want to supplement your already healthy diet with even more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Say this to yourself: I am a healthy person, and as such, juicing is part of who I am and helps me feel my best.
Discipline is the most important. There will be days when you don’t feel like pulling everything out, washing and juicing the produce, then cleaning everything up.
You may want to resort to an old habit because you want to be lazy that day, but as someone who has fallen off of the wagon before—it’s not worth it.
One day turns into an entire week or longer. You will definitely feel more sluggish and less motivated when you are not taking in the nutrients you receive when you consume fresh juice.
Of course, there may be obstacles such as illness or unforeseen travel delays which prevent you from getting your daily juice in, and in instances like these it’s best not to be too hard on yourself. Look at these as minor setbacks and move forward with your normal routine as soon as you can.
I like feeling energized and simply good overall, which I notice happens the most when I am consistent with my juicing routine.
Tips for Juicing
- You’re better off peeling your carrots. Unpeeled carrots sometimes create a bitter taste in your juice.
- Try to use organic produce as much as possible.
- Always alternate harder produce with softer pieces.
- Remove the peeling from citrus.
- Remove large pits from items such as cherries. Also, it is best to remove apple seeds.
- Cut your produce into manageable sizes. Your juicer will thank you. For example, cut celery, carrots, and kale into smaller pieces so as not to overstrain the motor.
- You can add many spices, such as ginger, cardamom, pepper, parsley, and turmeric, to your fresh juices to give them a kick. Not only do they spice up your juice, they have additional health benefits.
- You cannot juice bananas or avocadoes, but you can blend it with your juice once you’re finished juicing.
- Drink your juice on an empty stomach and don’t forget to chew!
- If you choose to fast (which I don’t recommend), don’t go overboard in the exercising department. You won’t have enough energy to support much physical activity.
- The taste of fresh juice versus bottled or canned juice will always be different.
Should I speak with my physician before I began juicing?
Any time you begin a new diet regimen, especially if you are planning on fasting, you should speak with your doctor. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffering from other serious health issues, always consult with your doctor before making any changes.
How much juice do I need to consume throughout the day?
It really depends on your goal. When fasting, you should drink about 24 ounces every couple of hours.
However, as long as you’re sticking with mainly green juice, then you can drink more if you want. Listen to your body and make sure to consume lots of water during your fast.
If you’re supplementing by feasting, then feel free to drink between 10 to 24 ounces before each meal. This reduces the amount of food you eat during mealtime.
If you are new and feel a little apprehensive, drink two or three servings of 10 to 16 ounces each day.
When should I drink my juice?
The best time to drink your juice is before a meal and on an empty stomach.
I’ve read that juicing is just a weight loss fad, is this true?
Juicing can help you with your weight loss goals, but it is not a miracle worker. You will have to throw an exercise routine in there and be in a caloric deficit.
Many people begin to adopt a healthier lifestyle when theyjuice every day. You’ll become more conscious about your food choices, the quantity of food you eat, and you’ll likely lose those cravings for unhealthy foods that cause many individuals to gain and retain weight.
It’s not a fad because juicing leads you to a healthier way of living, but if you want to lose weight, you must work for it.
Juice fasting, on the other hand, can be considered a fad diet because it isn’t sustainable long-term and is often claimed to help detox the body, which, as we discussed earlier, isn’t supported by science. It can also cause you to lose muscle and may be dangerous for certain health conditions, such as type 1 diabetes.
Which items should I avoid juicing?
Apple seeds, carrot tops, papaya peels, citrus (orange/grapefruit) rinds, and wild parsnips cannot be juiced.
I do not like pulp in my juice. How do I remove it?
Use a sieve to separate the remaining pulp from your juice. If your juicer did not come with one, run down to the local market and pick up one. Any type will work just fine.
What is the foam that forms at the top of my juice?
It is simply juice that has become fluffed up by mixing with the air. The faster the produce is juiced; the more foam tends to be produced.
It’s harmless and you can simply strain it or scoop it off the top if you do not want to drink it.
Is it OK to mix vegetables and fruit?
Absolutely. In fact, it is recommended that you mix your recipes with both every day. Aim for all the colors of the rainbow.
Someone said that juicing could make you sick because of live parasites on raw food. Is this true?
While it is true that even organic raw foods can contain bacteria that might make you sick, you have to properly clean your produce prior to juicing it. Following proper food safety guidelines is always important.
Some use vegetable washes after soaking their produce. Others use bleach diluted in water, which isn’t recommended. (6) It’s best to thoroughly wash your produce in cold running water and to scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.
Interestingly, researchers found in a 2021 study that simply washing berries in cold water for one minute removed an average of 80% of three different parasites that were added to the fruit. (7)
There are other options such as an ozone generator or an automatic produce washer. Honestly, a healthy person with a good immune system will be able to handle some bacteria.
How long will my juice keep in the refrigerator?
This depends on the type of juicer you used and storage methods. Generally, slow juicers produce juice that can be kept for up to 72 hours.
Fast juicers produce juice that will break down within 24 hours. I normally drink my juices by the end of the day or the next morning, but definitely within 24 hours.
Can I freeze my juice?
Yes, but it may not taste as good after it has been frozen. It is always best to drink your juice as soon as possible.
Freezing prevents the growth of bacteria but doesn’t kill them. If you freeze your juice, make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature to slow bacterial growth as much as possible. Bacteria grow well at room temperature, so you want to keep your juice as cold as possible.
What is the best storage method for my juice?
Use an airtight glass container. Fill it to the brim to push out as much air from the container as possible. As soon as you pull it out and reopen it, drink it as soon as possible.
$200 for a juicer is currently out of my budget, any recommendations?
A cheap juicer is better than not having a juicer at all. Another tip, you can find many used juicers on places like Craigslist or eBay for really low prices.
Sometimes, people are willing to part with them for a lower than the listed price. Send them an offer. The worst that they can do is decline.
Can I replace eating with juicing permanently?
Of course, you cannot replace eating with juicing permanently. Juicing is intended to supplement your diet and does not contain all of the nutrients you need to maintain optimal health levels.
You need to eat a balanced diet with fiber, carbohydrates, fat, and protein to achieve that. Maintaining a delicate balance is what living a healthy life is about, and if you replace it entirely with juicing, you are upsetting that balance.
This is because while cold-pressed juice contains healthful nutrients, it isn’t nutritionally balanced enough on its own to replace meals. Fresh juice is low in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. If only juicing vegetables, it will also be fairly low in carbohydrates. This means that juice alone won’t give the body the energy it needs to function at its best.
Similarly, fiber is essential for regular bowel movements and provides fuel for the healthy strains of bacteria in your gut microbiome. Conversely, too little dietary fiber may lead to gut dysbiosis and increase the risk for chronic diseases.
- Ubago-Guisado E, Rodríguez-Barranco M, Ching-López A, Petrova D, Molina-Montes E, Amiano P, Barricarte-Gurrea A, Chirlaque MD, Agudo A, Sánchez MJ. Evidence Update on the Relationship between Diet and the Most Common Cancers from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2021 Oct 13;13(10):3582. doi: 10.3390/nu13103582. PMID: 34684583; PMCID: PMC8540388.
- Aune D, Giovannucci E, Boffetta P, Fadnes LT, Keum N, Norat T, Greenwood DC, Riboli E, Vatten LJ, Tonstad S. Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality-a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Int J Epidemiol. 2017 Jun 1;46(3):1029-1056. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyw319. PMID: 28338764; PMCID: PMC5837313.
- My Food Data Nutrition Comparison Tool. Orange Juice Raw, Frozen Concentrate, Chilled. https://tools.myfooddata.com/nutrition-comparison/09206-09215-09210. Accessed May 9, 2023.
- Miles EA, Calder PC. Effects of Citrus Fruit Juices and Their Bioactive Components on Inflammation and Immunity: A Narrative Review. Front Immunol. 2021 Jun 24;12:712608. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.712608. PMID: 34249019; PMCID: PMC8264544.
- Shenoy SF, Poston WS, Reeves RS, Kazaks AG, Holt RR, Keen CL, Chen HJ, Haddock CK, Winters BL, Khoo CS, Foreyt JP. Weight loss in individuals with metabolic syndrome given DASH diet counseling when provided a low sodium vegetable juice: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2010 Feb 23;9:8. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-8. PMID: 20178625; PMCID: PMC2841082.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Eating a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables benefits your health. But it’s important to prepare them safely. Foodsafety.gov website. https://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/safe-ways-handle-and-clean-produce#:~:text=Using%20bleach%20or%20detergents%20to,vegetables%20even%20with%20thorough%20rinsing. Accessed May 9, 2023.
- Temesgen TT, Robertson LJ, Stigum VM, Tysnes KR. Removal of Parasite Transmission Stages from Berries Using Washing Procedures Suitable for Consumers. Foods. 2021 Feb 23;10(2):481. doi: 10.3390/foods10020481. PMID: 33672362; PMCID: PMC7926854.
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