If you've been relying on commercial fruit and vegetable juices and enjoy the way they taste, you are going to love sipping on juice that comes fresh from your kitchen. Yes, you will need to purchase a home juicer because a blender or food processor won't extract juice as efficiently, but in the long run you'll save money compared to buying juice bar juices or bottles of commercial juice, and you'll also get to sip on ultra-fresh juice.
A juicer is an appliance that extracts juice from fruits and vegetables. There are two types of juicers: centrifugal and masticating. Carole Jacobs, author of The Everything Juicing Book (Adams Media, 2010) and former nutrition editor of Shape Magazine, recommends the masticating juicers. "In masticating juicers, the produce is squeezed through gears that crush the produce and force it through a fine strainer...and because the machine doesn't generate heat or friction, nutrients are preserved," she explains.
With Americans consistently coming up short on their daily intake of fruits and vegetables, juicing is a fast and delicious way to ensure you consume a tasty array of fruits and vegetables and reap the health rewards of plant-based nutrients. As a bonus, with every glass of juice, you're nutritiously hydrating your body.
According to Jacobs, raw juice reigns supreme when it comes to getting vital nutrients into your diet. In her book, she extols juicing for its ability to deliver a concentrated source of nutrients in a glass as compared to the large volume of whole produce you'd have to eat to consume the same quantity of nutrients. "Because juicing removes the fiber from produce, the result is juice that is almost completely self-digesting and the nutrients are absorbed almost immediately by your body," she adds.
Jacobs says fresh juice contains tons of enzymes, the chemicals in fruits and vegetables that are catalysts for the biochemical reactions behind every function the body performs, and that juicing will improve your digestive health. "Juicing can eliminate acid reflux disease, stomach ulcers, and other digestive disorders," Says Jacobs.
Research supports the consumption of fruits and vegetables as a means to ward off chronic illnesses and control weight. Jacobs recommends juicing because it can boost your immune system, help you ward off infectious diseases, stabilize your blood sugar, detox your body, counter premature aging, enhance brain health, and help with weight loss.
Jacobs recommends eating fruits and vegetables as well as drinking them. She is passionate, however, about adding juicing to your daily diet. "According to the Department of Agriculture, 90 percent of the antioxidant action in fruit is in the juice, not in the fiber," she says. "It's hard for most people to eat enough raw fruits and vegetables to eat what they'd get in a quart of juice. Remember that quart of vegetable juice equals five pounds of tomatoes!"
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