To Juice or Not To Juice

The first thing on my Irish cousin’s souvenir list was the Nutri-Bullet. He saw it on European satellite television and said “eh, that little thing does it all cousin,” in his fabulous accent.

Juicing has made it to mainstream America, even the meat and potatoes loving Emerald Isle.

There are two types of juicing, extraction and whole juicing. The former uses a centrifugal juicer where the fruits and vegetables are shredded, extracting most of the skin and pulp. The latter, the whole fruit or veg is pureed in a blender type jar leaving behind a pulpy juice, complete with fiber and more nutrients. Both types have health benefits but especially whole juicing because it yields more fiber.

Benefits of Juicing
Fresh juice has live enzymes, vitamins and is energizing. Bottled juices have added sugar and color and are sometimes from concentrates. Regular juicing puts you in a more alkaline state which is helpful with bodily inflammation. Studies report inflammation leads to diseases such as arthritis, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Cancer thrives in an acidic environment so many people fighting the disease turn to juicing when in chemo or just after to achieve a state of bodily alkalinity.

Juicing’s Downside
Buying juices from a “juice place” can be costly, usually running $5-10 per juice depending on size and organic content. The upside is that juicers can be purchased anywhere from $40-400 depending on brand and quality. Good ones run about $75-100 and then you can juice at home. The downside to owning is they are a pain to clean especially if you’re in a rush and using the centrifugal type.

Types of Juicers
Centrifugal Juicers brands run about $40-200. Brands include Omega, Jack Lalane, Breville or Cuisinart.
Whole Juicers range from $100-400 and include brands Nutri-Bullet, Magic Bullet or high tech blenders like Ninja, Blentec or Vitamix.

Starter Recipes I love
Centrifugal-Carrot | Apple | Ginger
– 3 unpeeled carrots cut into thirds, 1 apple and one small piece of ginger, more if you like it spicy. Run through centrifugal juicer.

Whole Juicer-Green Drink – one handful of kale, 1/3 c of frozen pineapple, 1 carrot cut in thirds, 1 c of coconut water or plain water. Blend in whole juice blender layered: water, pineapple, carrot, kale. Blend according to brand’s whole juice directions.

Thoroughly wash all your fruits and veggies prior to juicing and drink the juice right away. Juices don’t keep past a day in the fridge so it’s best to enjoy them sooner rather than later. Buy organic if possible.

If you want the benefits of juicing but want convenience, try using fruit and veggie powders such as freeze-dried raw wheatgrass or Green Super Foods by Amazing Grass that easily mix with your favorite juice, milk or water. They come in several flavors.

To juice or not to juice…I hope I’ve answered the question.