The Benefits of Juicing
Extracting the freshest juice from fruit and vegetables at home not only tastes delicious, it also brings a whole host of health benefits, from boosting energy and immunity to improving nutrition, helping with weight maintenance and general wellbeing.
Of course, this isn’t a miracle cure, and you’ll still need to partake in regular exercise and stick to a healthy, balanced diet, but give juicing a go and we think you’ll quickly taste – and feel – the difference.
Compared to shop-bought, pre-squeezed juices, freshly squeezed has a delicious natural favour and original colour, is incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals, preserving many more of the beneficial nutrients, as well as being low in calories. And as if that wasn’t enough, it’s also a really easy and scrumptious way to help you towards your five-a-day. With a juicer on your kitchen worktop, there’ll be no looking back – it’s so simple to produce great tasting, brightly coloured juices and smoothies that don’t look like something scooped out of a pond! We recommend starting out with combinations of fresh berries and other sweet fruits such as limes, grapefruit and melons before gradually incorporating leafier greens, salads and even wheatgrass into your concoctions over time, as your taste buds acclimatise.
Fast Juicing Vs Slow Juicing
The name might be a little misleading, since slow juicers are not slow in the sense of a tortoise – they simply take fractionally longer to extract juice than fast juicers, the reason being they extract more juice through a method of crushing and squeezing, rather than shredding food with a blade.
This teeny bit more time spent, combined with the lower heat involved, increases both the amount of juice extracted and the amount of nutrients retained, and also produces a thicker juice with more fibre retained. The smaller footprint of a slow juicer means less space is swallowed up on your worktop; conversely whole fruits often need to be chopped into smaller pieces before they can be placed into the machine. No blades and no high-speed operation mean a quieter machine, and of course there are no sharp blades to clean up afterwards
Unlike their ‘slow’ counterparts, fast juicers use centrifugal force to shred the fruit and veg before spinning them at high speed to separate the juice from the pulp. They often feature large food chutes and can get through a greater amount of fruit in a short space of time, without it needed to be chopped up first.
There is a school of though that this faster, less gentle process increases the heat of the fruit, which can potentially destroy valuable nutrients, but this is not generally considered enough to make a significant difference to the final results. Producing a thinner juice with less pulp, a fast juicer is perfect for those who like smooth juice, however unlike most slow juicers, fast models cannot usually juice wheatgrass, Fast juicers are ideal for preparing several portions of juice in a very short space of time, but are a little nosier to use.
So with a raft of health benefits an added bonus of something that tastes so good, what are you waiting for? From berries to broccoli, Satsuma’s to spinach, a pinch of spice here and a handful of herbs here, you can create a range of delicious nutritious juices and smoothies tailored exactly to your taste.
Here we’ve put together a selection of our favourite yummy recipes to help get you on the road to good health.