Most of us know that one secret to a healthier life is a well-balanced diet. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can help us manage our weight and give our bodies the fuel they need to work efficiently. Most of us, though, also know that we don’t have the healthiest eating habits. Busy lifestyles often lead us to leave out the fresh fruits and vegetables that contain so many of the essential elements that we need if we want our bodies to be at their best. By now, you’ve probably heard friends and celebrities raving about the benefits of juicing or about their favorite smoothies. In addition to such raves, you also most likely feel bombarded by the number of commercials and ads for the myriad of machines out there that promise to make drinking your fruits and veggies an easy, effective, and delicious way to be healthier. If you’re thinking that juicing might be the one thing that will get you to actually include some fresh veggies and fruits in your diet, understanding a bit about how the machines work and what to look for when shopping for one can make the process a little less overwhelming.
The first thing to understand is that juicing and blending are two different things. Juicing involves separating the juice from the rest of the vegetable or fruit. Blending involves turning the entire vegetable or fruit (minus any inedible skins, stems, or seeds) into a liquid. In other words, the difference between juicing and blending is the same as the difference between drinking a glass of orange juice and eating the whole orange (minus the peel and pith). The important thing to note about the difference between the two is that juicing does leave behind some nutrition, so juicing shouldn’t be seen as a complete substitute for eating fresh produce. Getting fresh juice is certainly better than skipping the produce altogether and is a great and refreshing way to add a bit more veggie and fruit goodness to your day.
If you’ve decided you’d like to try juicing, there are models to fit almost any budget. With kitchen appliances, a lower price tag can mean a lower quality machine, but that isn’t always the case. Likewise, buying the highest-priced model doesn’t guarantee you the highest quality. After learning more about the basic function and available features, you’ll be better equipped to wade through the ocean of hype.
If you know you don’t have, or won’t spend, the time it takes to dice your fruits and veggies into smaller pieces, you should look for machines with the largest feed chutes and strongest motors. You also want to know how much produce a machine can handle before the pulp collector needs to be emptied. If you’re planning to make large batches, a machine that has to be emptied often can become a nuisance. Along that same line, you’ll want to know how much juice your machine’s pitcher/reservoir can hold. Lastly on functionality, do a bit of research on how easy various machines are to clean. They’ll need to be cleaned after each use, so finding one that’s a breeze to clean can definitely up the desirability level.
In addition to basic functions, a juicer’s size and weight might be worth a glance. If you’re limited on counter space, be sure to look for a model that will either fit on your countertop or be light enough and easy enough to handle that you can readily move it from cabinet to counter as needed.
Once you start shopping, you’ll find that there are any number of optional features that might appeal to you. There are models that offer locking lids to help prevent leaks. You can also find models that offer variable speed control, which can make dealing with different sizes or types of fruits and vegetables more efficient.
Most juicers will produce equally nutritious juice, some just produce more of it than others. Look for models with the highest yield–the most juice per piece– to get the most bang for your buck.
For the most nutrition benefits, be sure to include lots of veggies and don’t go too heavy on the sugar-filled fruit.
Check out these Jack Lalanne juicer reviews if you’re shopping for reliable juicing machines that work.