May 18, 2013 by Dr. Sana Keller
Which do you prefer…Juicing or Blending (Smoothie-making)? No, they’re not the same…as I found to be a frequent misconception when I was gathering information for a Juicing presentation I gave recently. Here’s the scoop:
Juicing of vegetables and fruits provides great detoxifying effects. Blending (making of smoothies) provides a more sustained type of nutrition, as in a meal or snack replacement.
Juicers fall into two main categories: Cold Press/Masticating Juicers, such as Hurom & Champion—and Centrifugal Juicers, such as Jack LaLanne & Cuisinart. Breville, Omega, and Kuvings make both types, as do several other companies. Common blenders for smoothie making include Breville, Vitamix, Blendtec, and the Ninja.
Cold Press/Masticating Juicers squeeze and press the produce, which produces the highest yield possible, including higher contents of specific vitamins and other nutrients. Wheat grass can be juiced in this way. These juicers tend to be quieter, slower, and a bit more expensive. They can make nut milks (ie. almond milk) as well.
Centrifugal Juicers have a spinning basket that the produce is spun through. This can cause heat production, potentially decreasing some of the enzyme content since enzymes are health sensitive. Wheat grass can not be juiced with these units. They tend to be faster, noisier, and less expensive.
Some of the health benefits of juicing include optimal absorption of a multitude of nutrients since the juice is basically in a pre-digested form (cell walls have been broken down), rapid delivery of high amounts of these nutrients to our cells, greater quantities of veggies and fruit can be used to increase our overall intake of them, and powerful enzymes that promote better functioning of our body in general.
A common concern with juicing is the removal of fiber (pulp) from the produce since fiber is an important component of our diet. Juicing results in a container of pulp that has been separated out during the juicing process. It can be used in many ways, some of which are included in this link from Jamie Schneider: www.rebootwithjoe.com/9-ways-to-make-the-best-of-your-juice-pulp/
I have been juicing for my family every morning (when we’re home) for about 5 years, typically making our juice from a mixture of kale, collard greens, romaine, cucumber, celery, carrots, ginger, broccoli stems, cauliflower, spinach, a lemon, a small apple or pear, and a knuckle of ginger. Not all of these veggies are included each time—it truly depends on the time of year, the Farmer’s Markets, my wonderful CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and my garden. Adding herbs in small amounts (parsley, basil, cilantro…) contributes to the nutrient content as well.
If you’re a newbie to juicing, you may want to start with the more mild veggies, like cucumber, romaine, celery…and then add other veggies every few days. Kale, collard greens and other dark green leafies can be fairly bitter. That’s where adding the lemon and apple or pear comes in to help cut the bitterness. Carrots help in this respect as well. The ginger gives it a great zing as well (start with a very small amount of this initially)! Just remember, a glass of this amazing juice (mostly veggies) is not a meal replacement—you’ll probably feel hungry in an hour or so, at which time you can enjoy a healthy breakfast.
Some family favorites for periodic juicing: fresh oranges and fresh watermelon—amazing!!
Photo credits: savingdinnershop.com & nutsforapples.wordpress.com