Nutrition - Juicers and Juicing

Friday 04 May 2018

This blog is a follow on from last week when we looked at The Raw Food diet and I introduced you to a few recipes and new foods that you may find worth trying.

I do get asked about juicing and juicers, what are the benefits and which are the best juicers to buy. After all many health food books advocate juicing as a way to new found health!!!! And certainly many cancer diets promote their use.

Basically drinking juices as part of a healthy eating plan are designed to

  • Boost energy and vitality, which could be of benefit if you do have fatigue and low energy.
  • They have been shown to boost immunity because they are rich in vitamins, minerals (many of which are antioxidants) and phytonutrients, all needed by the immune system to function well.
  • Their high water content helps keep the body hydrated.
  • They are alkaline forming as opposed to acid forming and as we know from our previous blog on acid and alkaline all cancer diets promote
  • They have been shown to improve liver function, which is important as the liver is the major organ for getting rid of toxins and chemicals that can accumulate in the body lowering our vitality.
  • They are rich in plant enzymes which have been shown to promote good digestion and absorption of nutrients to create energy and support metabolism.
  • By just drinking the juice you will receive maximum nutrition which is easy to digest because it is fibre free. This will not use any energy for digestion so ideal for those who are run down or fatigued and want to get maximum benefit in a light easy way.

The process of juicing actually removes the fibre from the fruits or vegetables and simply gives us the juice that they contain. They are best drunk straight away so that the juice is at its peak nutritionally and does not have time to spoil. This of course is not always convenient and means that we would possibly have to juice several times a day which can be a lot of effort depending on how you are feeling. Also some people may find that discarding the fibre is a waste and they would actually prefer to have the whole fruit with the  fibre in tact. Christine Bailey actually uses the pulp left from juicing in cakes and soups which is an idea I suppose.

I do know that there are many fans of juicing and they spend quite a lot of money on their juicers.


There are 3 main types of juicers that can be bought so named because of the mechanism by which they work.

Centrifugal Juicer.
Most juicers sold on the market are this type. This grinds the fruits and vegetables then pushes the extracted juice through a strainer by spinning at a very high rpm (similar to your washing machine on a spin cycle). The pulp from the produce is disposed of out of the back of the juicer into a container. The centrifugal juicer is usually the fastest to juice if time is a consideration. Although more oxidation occurs with this type of juicer, the quality is still good if you drink the juice straight away. With this type of juicer less juice is usually extracted from the produce and the pulp tends to be fairly moist.
Pros; Fast, cheaper (50-100 pounds), can juice almost anything except wheat grass, bananas, avocados and leafy greens (poorly).
Cons; less juice and lower quality, generates more heat so the juice is oxidized and must be drunk soon after. Can create a lot of washing up.

The masticating juicer.
These use a single gear, It chews the fibres and breaks up the cells of the fruits and vegetables to produce a spiralling motion. It gives a high quality juice due to the slower juicing process. Like the twin gear juicers the masticating juicer will homogenize sauces, nut butters, bananas, ice cream and sorbets. Some will also make wheat grass juice.
Pros; Better quality and lasting juice, get more juice from produce.
Cons, Expensive (200.00p plus), slower. The upright types are easier to clean than the horizontal ones.

The triturating (twin gear) juicer.
This turns at a slower rpm than most juicers and has a 2 step process. It crushes the fruits and vegetables while the second step presses the juice. This process gives you more fibre. Juicing time is longer but gives a high quality juice. If time is a consideration this may not be the best juicer. They are also the most expensive.
Pros; better quality juice with some fibre.
Cons; takes a long time to juice and clean.

I think my advice on juicing would be to go to a juice bar or health food shop if you can and try some juices to see if you like the concept before investing. Obviously they have huge health promoting properties but you do not want it to be the piece of equipment that you bought used for a while and then put in a cupboard and forgot to use. I have some kitchen gadgets myself which I have done exactly that with like my slow cooker and sandwich toaster!!!!

Juices and blood sugar
One point worth considering about juices are that they can have a negative impact on blood sugar. Because they are so concentrated they will have a high content of fructose. This as we know will send blood sugar high and this is not ideal as spikes in blood sugar can create internal stress which in turn can negatively affect the immune system. However if they are drunk around the same time as a meal or a snack then this would not have such a negative impact as the other food eaten would help to buffer the effect of the sugar concentration in the juice. Of course making smoothies may be the answer which I will look at next week.

For now I will leave you with a juice recipe that I was given I have tried it and it is delicious.

Green magic (From Christine Bailey’s book on Juicing)
1 large handful of parsley
150g/5oz baby spinach leaves or romaine lettuce
2 apples.
1 lemon
½ cucumber
Juice all of the ingredients, Delicious poured over ice cubes

Blog originally written by Caroline February 2013

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