For a great source of nutrition, and a simple way to maintain daily health, fresh juice has all the answers. With the health benefits of fresh, home made juice now widely accepted and promoted, we have seen the rise and rise of some successful juice franchises over the last few years. As more and more coffee shops add juicers to their arsenal of machinery, the cost of quality juicers has come down dramatically. As a result, we are now seeing a rush of juicer purchases for the home or office. If you are keen to join the crowd, then you are probably already well aware of the nutritional benefits of fresh juice. Perhaps less well known, are the key things you should look for when choosing a juicer, and the startling economic benefits of joining the juice revolution for yourself. To follow our quick guide to juicing terms and decision making, read on.
Motor Revolutions per Minute - (RPM) – In general, the higher the RPM, the faster a juicer will process raw materials, and the hotter the final juice will be. Suggestions that heated juices are less nutritious indicate that low RPM’s are better when looking at juicers.
Oxidisation – In juice terms, oxidization is always bad. While higher temperatures have a small effect, the main culprit is simply time – the longer a juice exists outside your belly, the more oxidisation occurs. This is one of the reasons why people crave fresh juice, rather than juice concentrate. The problem is that fresh juice is generally costlier. The solution is elegantly simple: Drink your juice fresh!
Living Juice – A term aimed at providing a distinction between low nutrient, oxidised, low enzyme juice, and the desirable alternative. It is useful to bear in mind that while cold press, low RPM juicers are more desirable, almost all juicers produce living juice. It would take heat exposure at over 42 degrees to produce fully “dead juice”.
Living Enzyme – Let’s get a bit technical. Enzymes are catalysts for reactions within the body. To be effective, enzymes need the right chemical properties, but also the right temperature and PH level in their surroundings. The molecules in juice have far better qualities as enzymes than, say, the molecules in a candy bar. The only thing left to do is to get those enzymes into the body at the right temperature and the right acidity, a feat known as ingesting a “Living Enzyme”.
Comparison between chewing and RPM of some juicers – It is possible to pay a lot of attention to the RPM of your juicer, since really all a juicer does is save you the bother of chewing a few thousand times. This comparison is what we call slightly but definitely desirable. Meaning that chewing, or even low RPM juicers are definitely desirable, however the difference is only slight compared with a high RPM juicer. The reason chewing will always be better is the great effect your saliva has in aiding digestion.
Comparison between a pure juicer, and a juicer/blender combination – The helpful role that fibre plays in digestion means that some people are better served blending their fruit rather than juicing it. Most people prefer their juice to be a little more fluid, and most juicers have the added benefit of removing most of the nutrients from a fruit or vegetable’s fibres, and placing it in a glass for you. This still leaves you with one more option, which is to re-mix the pulp in with your juice to imbibe both juice and fibre! Advocates of this technique remind us that the fibre helps to regulate sugar absorption, and prevents “sugar rush” and hence, diabetes.
Cleaning – Some say that this is the most important feature of a juicer, after all, the economic, lifestyle and health benefits of owning a juicer are only realised if you actually use it. Juicers which you are afraid to clean do not get used much!
Dishwasher safe? – See cleaning above
Minerals – The mineral content of your juice is dependent upon the raw materials used, and the effectiveness of a juicer. Minerals from raw materials generally vary with the soil quality they were grown in. Since most people don’t have a lot of control over the soil quality of their food, we have good news. A properly functioning body will absorb or excrete minerals based on how much it needs, so as long as some minerals are available, you can relax a bit more.
Vitamins – Vitamin intake is one of the major benefits enjoyed by regular juice drinkers. Since your body cannot manufacture many essential vitamins, like vitamin C, it is essential that we get this from our food or drink.
Juice output or yield – Juicing will always separate fluid from dry materials, however some juicers can get more from a piece of fruit than others. Higher juice yields mean less raw materials are needed to make your glass of juice. More juice is always better than less juice.
Masticating – Some juicers recreate the mastication (chewing) process more precisely than others. It is believed that these juicers aid digestion more by gently masticating raw materials, hence more closely replicating the natural digestion process.
PH levels (The degree of acidity or alkaline in a juice). Higher PH = higher acidity which means more oxygen is present. Higher PH is generally considered detrimental to the teeth, internal workings of the body, and to a foods shelf life. Higher PH generally means less absorption of nutrients like Calcium). Hence, less Oxygen is desirable.
Dry pulp – This is desirable, the dryer the pulp, the more juice is being extracted.
Juice storage time (shelf life) – Ideally, juice is to be drunk immediately. The longest most juices last in the fridge will be 24 hours, though some juice manufacturers are claiming they can make juice that lasts 48 hours.
Added extras – Some juicers include extra nozzles for making pasta, bread, nutbutter, sorbet, baby food, noodles, etc
For a family of 5, the top of the line juicer works out to be less than $100 each. If you spend $5 per juice, you would only need to drink 20 juices each year per person and you would have justified your purchase.
A $100 juicer in the same family with 5 members needs just 4 juices per person to “pay for itself.”
So it seems that any juicer you purchase is a worthwhile addition to your kitchen, but only as long as it gets used. For this reason, it is probably best to approach your juicer shopping with the mantra: Easy to use, easy to clean, juice easy!