Overview on Juicers from Nathan Zassman
The two most popular designs in juicers are centrifugal (Breville) and slow (40-80 RPM) masticating units (Panasonic) that use a horizontal or vertical auger. The slow speed masticating juicers ensure nutrients aren't damaged by high heat, and can juice all forms of produce, including leafy greens and wheat grass, extracting the most juice from produce. Centrifugal designs are noisier, and not capable of juicing grasses or leafy greens well.
In my search for a reliable, reasonably priced masticating slow juicer, I chose the Panasonic MJ-L500. Except for the Breville Compact, all models feature pulp ejection so you can juice large quantities of produce without stopping to remove the pulp.
After considerable research, I selected as our primary juicer the Panasonic MJ-L500 Slow juicer. With automatic pulp ejection, you can juice large quantities without stopping to clean the unit, extracting juice from grasses and leafy greens as well as other produce, including fruits and vegetables. At 45 RMP, this well designed slow juicer extracts the highest levels of nutrients, without damaging enzymes or creating heat that can lower nutrient levels or damage enzymes. The Panasonic has a 5-year motor warranty, impressive for a quality masticating vertical auger juicer.
Masticating juicers crush the produce and then squeeze the juice out, extracting more juice than from centrifugal juicers. The feed tube is smaller than Breville units, so produce has to be cut into smaller pieces, which is a minor inconvenience. The only weakness of most masticating juicers is for juicing fruit, however I never recommend juicing fruit (other than a slice of apple or two to add a bit of sweetness to vegetable juices), as fruit should always be consumed whole. Juiced fruit can be as high in sugar as a soft drink. A great feature is the included attachment that can make healthy frozen desserts. This is our ONLY recommendation for juicing leafy greens and wheat grass.
Breville Compact Centrifugal Juicer
Aviva sells the Breville Compact Juicer as a refurbished model only. Our only juicer that does not eject the pulp (you have to stop it to remove the pulp for every few glasses of juice), this unit is ideal for those who don't want to juice leafy vegetables (kale, wheat grass, spinach). Well designed, durable, and a tremendous value, with a six month warranty. A great feature of all Breville units is the large 3" feed tube, allowing you to juice whole apples, tomatoes, etc., without having to cut produce into small pieces.
Breville Juice Fountain Cold Centrifugal Juicer
With a large 3" Feed Tube and automatic pulp ejection, this is a new model that uses "Cold Spin Technology," which helps to maintain nutrient and enzyme levels, so that the juice can be stored longer without the loss of valuable enzymes. This is a centrifugal design, NOT recommended for leafy greens or wheat grass.
The Lexen Healthy Juicer
An inexpensive manual juicer for those who want to juice wheat grass or leafy greens manually. This juicer is only recommended for grasses or leafy greens, and is the ideal solution for other forms of produce. Sometimes a good recommendation is to purchase a centrifugal juicer for hard vegetables and fruit, and a Lexen for leafy greens and wheatgrass. The total cost can be less than a slow juicer, and for hard vegetables and fruit, centrifugal designs work great.
Health Benefits of Juicing
Increasing numbers of people are recognizing the health benefits and convenience of juicing. Freshly juiced fruits and vegetables can provide you with large amounts of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in a form that is easily absorbed and digested. Juicing also enables you to consume a greater variety of fruits and vegetables, and is something that can be done right in your own kitchen.
Juices prepared from fresh, raw fruits and vegetables are an effective means of preventing disease, reducing the risk of allergies and autoimmune disorders, normalizing bodily functions, and preventing premature aging. In addition to these and other health benefits, raw juices taste wonderful and are an easy way to add nutrition into a hectic lifestyle.
Few people currently consume enough water, and instead rely on soda, coffee, and other unhealthy beverages to satisfy their thirst. The high amounts of artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and preservatives in these drinks can strain the kidneys and cause long-term, negative health consequences. Juicing not only increases your daily vitamin and mineral intake, but also increases the amount of water you consume. Water is an essential part of a healthy diet, and constitutes more than 65 percent of most cells in the human body.
Fruit and vegetable juices are excellent sources of traditional nutrients, including vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E, iron, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and iodine. Because juicing removes the bulk of indigestible fiber from fruits and vegetables, these nutrients are able to be absorbed more quickly and in larger quantities than if you were to eat the piece of fruit or vegetable whole. The organic minerals you are able to absorb through juicing, such as calcium and potassium, are crucial in restoring and maintaining important biochemical and mineral balances in the body. Getting enough of these nutrients will help prevent premature aging and allow your cells to heal more quickly.
Green vegetable juices contain large amounts of chlorophyll, which has been shown to be effective in detoxifying the human body. Chlorophyll assists in the proper functioning of the liver, helps to rebuild blood cells, removes parasites and mold from the body, and might even help remove cancer cells. Plus, consumption of green juices, such as cucumber and wheatgrass, will enable you to receive generous amounts of vitamins and minerals that are likely lacking in your usual diet.
Processing and cooking food causes the destruction of a number of micronutrients by altering their chemical composition. Consuming juices prepared from raw, organic fruits and vegetables prevents this destruction from taking place. Additionally, fresh juices are a great source of enzymes. Enzymes are often destroyed by heat during the cooking process, and typically the only way to add them to your diet is through the consumption of raw, uncooked fruits and vegetables.
Juicers for use in home kitchens are becoming more affordable everyday, and are worth the expense if a healthier lifestyle is something you are interested in. Preparing your own fresh juices allows you to consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and will provide you with numerous short and long-term health benefits. If you currently have trouble eating a wide selection of fruits and vegetables, or do not often have time to sit down and eat healthy meals, juicing is an option you should consider. All of the daily nutrients you need are available in a delicious glass of vegetable juice.
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