Easy, Efficient, Effective
Here’s an overview of a trend that’s actually good for you and easy to pull off. When juicing, choosing the right equipment for you is paramount. You want something easy to use, easy to clean, and efficient at extracting all of the best ingredients of the fruits and vegetables that you use.
Juicing provides ingredients that are fresh, and you can also concoct the tastiest combination that pleases you. Wanting to juice on most, if not all, mornings is critical. Hardly anyone makes a sustainable habit of something they dread. A great tasting juice can inspire you.
I’ve gone through many machines in my kitchen. The appliance section of a store can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you want ahead of time, so I recommend first doing some research online. Should you buy a blender? Juicer? Extractor? Food processor? Mixer?
Consider your budget, yours and your family’s needs, and exactly where you will place it in your kitchen. Remember, juicers can range from $100 to $800 or more. Consider it an investment.
BestReviews just released their picks for the best juicers on the market: “Best of the Best” is the Omega J8004 (which also minces, chops, and extrudes pasta). “Best Bang for Your Buck” is the Breville JE98XL (currently, it’s the most popular juicer on the market). I have used Breville (large enough to provide for the whole family), as well as NutriBullet (great for smaller amounts, or for single persons).
Also, look for juicers that have at least a 3” hole; this is large enough to take whole foods, even a small apple.
Brands and Models
Breville Juice Fountain Elite
Hurom (HU—Slow Juicer)
NutriBullet (vegetable extractor)
Omega J8003 (masticating juicer)
Let’s be honest. Juicing does require prep time. It can be noisy if mornings are already irritating you, but done the right way, juicing will help keep you healthy, prevent future illness, and it’s a fun way to make sure you’re getting (most) of those 3-4 recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Even more fun: You get the bonanza of benefits from cruciferous vegetables, a dietary mainstay in the fight against cancer. Who would have thought that an apple with chopped broccoli, kale, and chunks of pineapple could ignite a brand new day?
And if Americans spend more that $22 billion on bottled water each year, it’s not hard to imagine that juice in a bottle is becoming equally attractive. (However, when you go to a juice bar, a customized juice can cost $14 per pop.)
The joy of juicing is in what it produces: Juicing extracts those phytochemicals (vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals) in their purest form. Fresh and bounteous.
One of the best tips to shorten time to prepare the ingredients is to prepare them ahead of time and keep them in tight, storage containers (preferably glass), because plastic containers are made of chemicals and you don’t want to contaminate the fruits and vegetables you’ve carefully selected.
On that note, always choose organic fruits and vegetables. You’re cutting out pesticides, which have been proven to initiate or intensify many cancers, respiratory problems, and other chronic diseases.
- Do not use juicing to lose weight. As with most good things, excess equals problems.
- Do not use juicing to cleanse. In some cases, it may be recommended, but this must be done with the guidance of your doctor.
- Beware of sugar spikes (fruits have lots of sugar). This can cause weight gain, and mixing fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to keep sugar in balance.
- Do not keep your juices longer than 48 hours (they aren’t pasteurized, and unhealthy bacteria can grow). Using them within 24 hours is even better. Or: Juice a smaller amount.
One of the juicing recipes that I offer in my book and that is universally liked by my patients, is a Carrot Kale Wheatgrass Juice that throws in an apple, orange juice, and ginger in the mix to keep things tasty.
While some leading health experts like the Mayo Clinic say that “juicing is not healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables,” because of the loss of fiber, I disagree – mainly because juicing is a fun way to get the phytochemicals you need on a regular basis. I believe that at least 20 percent of your vegetables, fruits, and nuts should be consumed raw. This recommendation also means that you must get your daily fiber from other sources. Whole wheat breads, grains, and pasta are one way.
There is still research to be done to nail down juicing’s very positive effects. However, a few studies here and more in the References point to its health benefits and to those from eating fresh vegetables and fruits. Its benefits have been tied to most cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory problems, osteoarthritic conditions, heart disease, and high blood pressure. With juicing, your skin will look younger, and the whites of your eyes brighter.
In China, the benefits to both esophageal and stomach cancer were studied and documented through the consumption of allium vegetables (garlic, onion, raw vegetables, tomatoes and snap beans). Researchers conducted their study in China’s high-epidemic area for these cancers in Jiangsu Province.
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported a study that focused on prostate cancer in this country and how vegetable intake decreases risk. Researchers followed 628 men in the Seattle area who had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer. “These results suggest that high consumption of vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables, is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.”
Numerous studies have noted the same positive effect on breast cancer through the consumption of cruciferous vegetables. Tossing some well-chopped broccoli or cauliflower into a tasty juice is an easy, efficient way to receive this protection. Adding a dash of wheat germ or ground oats to the mix adds fiber. I recommend this method to all of my cancer patients and stress its importance to breast and prostate patients.
Even the effects of fruits on tooth enamel have been studied. The Journal of Dentistry reported that a low erosive black currant juice with calcium is less corrosive than orange juice, another consideration for your juicing mixes. Fortunately, black currant powder, like red raspberry powder and others, is available in powder form and can be easily (and less expensively) added to juices.
Finally, another food trend that is currently predicted to grow focuses on foods that are specifically anti-inflammatory. According to chefs in England, consumption of salmon, nuts, and turmeric are on the rise.
I offer my complete endorsement of this trend, as well as juicing, and provide recipes in my latest book. Remember, the best way to have long-lasting health is to eat those foods that positively impact your DNA. That’s the essence of my “Gene Therapy Plan.”
To your health.
Photo credit: CDC/ Debora Cartagena
Blumberg, Perri O., “A Sneak Peek of the Juice Trend About to Take Over,” Self, July 13, 2015.
Fisher, Roxanne, “Health Trends 2015,” BBCGoodFood, http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-trends-2015
Byron, Ellen, “Juicers Invade Kitchen Counters,” The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 23, 2013.
Blumenthal, Robin Goldwyn, “Drink Up!,” Barron’s, July 23, 2012.
“Best Juicers – Updated September 2015,” www.bestreviews.com
Nelson, Jennifer K., R.D., L.D. Is juicing healthier than eating whole fruits or vegetables?, The Mayo Clinic.
Gao, Chang-Ming, et al. Protective effect of allium vegetables against both esophageal and stomach cancer: A simultaneous case-referent study of a high-epidemic area in Jiangsu Province, China, Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, 90: 614-621. Doi: 10.11111/j.1349-1706.1999.tb00791.x.
Cohen, Jennifer H., et al, Fruit and vegetable intakes and prostrate cancer risk, JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2000) 92 (1): 61-68. Doi: 10.1093/jnci/92.161.
Hughes, J.A., et al, Development and evaluation of a low erosive blackcurrant juice drink in vitro and in situ1. Comparison to orange juice, Journal of Dentistry, Vol. 27, Issue 4, May, 1999.
Health-Promoting components of fruits and vegetables in the diet, Adv Nutr (2013), 4 (3), 3843-3928.
Dai, Q., et al. Fruit and vegetable juices and Alzheimer’s disease: The Kame Project, The American Journal of Medicine 119.9 (2006: 751-59.