Flooding your body with the concentrated nutrient density of fresh, raw, unpasteurized juice is a great way to improve your overall health. Drinking fresh juices can increase energy levels, make your skin glow, help you lose weight and reduce cravings.
Plants truly do heal, and by juicing to remove the pulp before you consume them, you receive an instant infusion of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to your bloodstream.
The amount of produce it takes to make one 16-ounce juice is astonishing. On average, about two pounds of produce are in every 16-ounce serving. Imagine sitting down and eating two pounds of produce … not going to happen! But you can drink the nutrient equivalent of two pounds of greens, and this is where the power lies.
If you buy juice, go to your local juice bar, because juice bar juice will most likely be unpasteurized. One quick check you can make: If the shelf life is longer than three days, it’s been pasteurized. Period. The FDA requires all juice sold for resale is pasteurized, so unless a market is making its own (or breaking the law), all juice is pasteurized in grocery stores. Pasteurization kills all the desired phytonutrients in the juice and you’ll be left with little more than sugar-water.
The best juicer for you is the one that you’ll actually use. The three basic types of juicers are centrifugal, masticating, and press.
They each have pros and cons:
- Has large feed tubes for less prep time; a whole apple or cucumber may fit
- Very fast, but can be difficult to clean. The basket often needs scrubbing.
- Produces an airy, frothy juice that is best consumed immediately.
- Many kinds for all budgets, between $150 — $400
- Small feed tube, which requires more prep in cutting down produce to size
- Slow juicing process
- Easier to clean, but many parts
- Less oxidation, but juice often needs straining
- Juice best consumed within 15 minutes
- More expensive, between $300-$750
- Small feed tube, more prep time
- Time-consuming juice process for making large batches
- No oxidation so juice can be stored in jars for up to three days
- Most juice extraction, which means dryer pulp, better yield, and more nutrients
- Very expensive; from $350 up to as much as $2,500.
- The jury is still out on how long this juice can be stored, if at all.
If you have to make juice ahead of time or in big batches, go with a juice press. The juice will stay fresh for three days (if bottled correctly) because a press juicer doesn’t oxidize the phytonutrients in your juice.
Many of the juice bars selling bottled juice are using a juice press, which offers a great convenience for cleansing and enjoying the benefits of juice on the go.
Juice made on a centrifugal or masticating juicer should be enjoyed within 15 minutes.
Buying Produce and Vegetables to Make Juice
It’s important to buy organic produce, since juicing results in a very concentrated, vitamin-packed drink. If there are pesticides and chemical residue on the produce you use, those, too, will be concentrated in your juice.
If you’re just starting out, buy fruits and veggies that you enjoy and then start experimenting! A good recipe to start with is a cucumber and/or celery base, one or two leafy greens, and one or two low-glycemic fruits such as grapefruit, pear or apple.
Spices and herbs add pizazz and nutrients. Try cayenne pepper, ginger root, fresh turmeric (if you can find it), lavender, mint and rosemary.
Make Juicing a Habit
Whether you have your own juicer or are frequenting your local juice bar, try these tips to make drinking juice a daily habit:
Replace breakfast with a powerful green juice
Opt for juice over afternoon coffee
Have a juice 30 minutes before dinner to help fill you up with nutrients.
Once you’re drinking juice every day, you’ll be surprised how powerful it is and how quickly you’ll see positive health results. Before long, you will be craving juice every day. Not a bad habit to have.