Fresh juice contains nature’s bounty of vitamins and minerals in a concentrated and highly bioavailable form. Whilst fiber is an essential component of healthy eating, its presence impedes digestion and nutrient absorption. As fiber is extracted during the juicing process, nutrients are maximally available to the body and rapidly flood the bloodstream with their healthful properties. Additionally, juices are most commonly consumed raw, without heat-induced enzyme damage.
Whilst our dietary recommendations are to eat a minimum of five vegetable and two fruit servings per day, the sad reality is that many of us are failing to eat even half of that. Juicing is a wonderful addition to a high-fibre, healthy diet for added vitality and wellbeing. Fruit and vegetable juices can also be used to detoxify, lose weight and increase phytochemical consumption.
Norman Walker is credited with popularizing juicing and advocating its benefits during his long life of 99 years. He strongly promoted a raw food diet complemented with fresh fruit and vegetable juices for healing and optimal health. Believing that a healthy colon is fundamental to health, Walker recommended regular consumption of fresh juices for their colon-cleansing properties. His written work claims that old fecal matter putrefies in the unhealthy bowel, poisoning the bloodstream and contributing to numerous disease processes.
In spite of governmental objections to his unpasteurised juice products in the mid-1900’s, Walker designed a juicer which was later subsequently developed into the Norwalk Hydraulic Press Juicer. This continues to be a popular and respected product today.
There are many types of juicers available, with accordingly variable quality and price. A cheaper juicer may be an appropriate start for beginners and certainly preferable to not juicing if other models are unaffordable. However, a premium cold-press juicer will produce a superior-quality juice and allow you to extract more from your fruit and vegetables, saving expense in the long-term.
Centrifugal juicers are commonly available in retail outlets and are the cheapest to purchase. These machines initially extract juice by pulverizing fruit and vegetables against a round cutting blade that spins very quickly against a metal strainer. The centrifugal force generated by this cutting apparatus separates the juice from the pulp, which drains away separately from the fibrous remnants.
- Generates large quantities of juice before pulp accumulates for removal
- Easy to use
- May reduce food preparation time, as many will accept larger fruit and vegetable pieces
- Yields less juice
- Destroys enzymes more easily by introducing heat and oxygen
- Extracts nutrients less efficiently
- Not well-suited to juicing greens
Cold Press Juicers
These superior machines operate via a mastication (chewing) or cold-press method. In contrast to the rough extraction of centrifugal juicers, mastication or cold-press juicers compress fruit and vegetables to ‘squeeze’ out their juice. Whilst more costly, their slower and more thorough extraction rates produce a high-quality juice – and more of it.
- Lower heat and oxidation, thereby protecting nutrients and enzymes
- Well-suited to juicing greens and sprouts
- Yields more juice
- Juice preserved in better condition for longer
- Less foam
- Often able to serve other food processing functions, such as making nut butters, pasta and ice cream
- More expensive
- Longer food preparation, as smaller food pieces are required for their narrow chutes
Like cold press juicers, manual juicers provide a slow and gentle extraction that preserves the nutritional integrity of juices. However, there are several features to consider before purchasing a manual juicer:
- Operate without electricity
- Produce a high-quality, high-yield, nutritious juice
- Easy to clean
- Require some physical exertion
- May rust if iron-based
- Often limited to certain types of fruit and vegetables