Juicing fresh produce has been enjoying a revival of interest and popularity these days. More and more people have switched from consuming packed juices, which are laden with sugars and preservatives, to the healthier habit of consuming freshly squeezed juice of fruits and vegetables.
Since we say ‘revival’, this indicates that juicing is not really a new trend. In fact, it traces all the way back to the ancient era, as is evidenced by the Dead Sea Scrolls which mentioned the mashing of the pomegranate and figs in order to make a “profound strength and subtle form.” It also mentions the diet of the Jewish Essene tribe. This is believed to be the first recorded reference of juicing fresh produce for health benefits and healing.
Ancient Indian medical practitioners implemented Ayurvedic healing methods using plants, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They prepared remedies that included freshly squeezed citrus fruits and salt to cure fatigue, as well as grape and beet juice to improve blood count and fight infections.
Fast forward to the 20th century — in 1930, Dr. Norman Walker published a book called ‘Raw Vegetable Juices’ and developed what could be the world’s first working juicer called the Norwalk. This machine is still available today. Contrary to popular legend, Dr. Walker did not live to the ripe old age of 108 — he actually died at the age of 99 in 1985. Still, he lived long enough, and the secret to his longevity may lie in consuming raw foods, juicing fresh produce, and several other healthy habits.
The Slow Juicer
The masticating juicer (also known as a “slow juicer” or “cold-pressed juicer”) first came out during the 1950s. It was named as the “Champion Juicer” and, true to its name; the machine was a “champion” because it could juice every type of produce, even the tough and fibrous ones.
Fitness and exercise guru Jack Lalanne stressed the power of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables. This led him to launch a line of juicers called the “Jack Lalanne’s Power Juice”. Lalanne would promote it with his famous tagline, “That’s the power of the juice!”
In 1993, a Korean man named only as Mr. Kim developed the “Green Power,” the world’s first twin-gear juicer. The device’s juicing method was based on the mortar-and-pestle principle of extracting the maximum goodness of the produce without losing their nutrients or enzymes. This was because it did not use heat.
The centrifugal juicer is another type of juicer model that’s actually quite popular for extracting juice. Instead, they work through a flat blade situated in the lowest part of a spinning strainer. You cut the produce, and then put it through the strainer using centrifugal force. This combination will extract the juice and strain it through the spinning part.
While the resulting juice might be delicious and easy to make, such juicers do have some downsides. They make a lot of noise, for one. For another, the rapid spinning produces a certain amount of heat, which leads to the juice losing many vital nutrients. The final result is a ‘dying juice’, as a lot of oxygen gets into the machine while the process is ongoing.
Plus, the operation of these machines is prone to clogging, which can limit the amount of juice you get from any produce. The strainers are also a pain to clean, and can’t deal with leafy vegetables, wheatgrass, and certain fruits. This is why such juicers aren’t really preferred by those who want pure and regular juice for their everyday health.
Benefits of Juicers
There are many varieties of models and brands of juicers on the market today, each with different features, functions and price ranges. Many companies are now offering a lot more choices for consumers, as juicing is becoming so popular with the modern health trends that are in vogue.
Of course, juicing is not the only way to achieve health and fitness, although it can make a great supplement to your diet. Here are some of the benefits of having a juicer and juicing fresh fruits and vegetables at home:
- It promotes healthy eating habits, as we’re able to take in a lot more fruits and veggies that we may otherwise omit from our diet
- It is an easier, more digestible and more delicious way of consuming fruits and vegetables. Not everyone can eat vegetables in their raw form, so the option of consuming them in liquid form will help us attain those valuable nutrients
- It is also a good way of cutting back on calories without depriving yourself of the much-needed nutrients.
- Juicing allows you to introduce wider varieties of fruits and vegetables into your diet.
- Juicing helps in boosting your energy as well as your immune system.
- Juicing helps in increasing good bacteria in the intestines. This improves the digestive system and promotes good gut health.
- Juice helps in detoxifying our bodies.
Starting a Better Diet
Juicing is a good option for gradually introducing yourself to a healthier diet. If you want to switch to a more wholesome diet but dislike actually eating fruits and vegetables, juicing makes an ideal start. When you’ve acquired the taste of the juices from the raw produce, then you can move on to actually eating them.
Even if the juice you’re drinking has lost some of its nutrients in the juicing process, it can still work as an appetite suppressant. As long as you’re using whole fruits and not adding any sugar, that juice will fill you up in a somewhat healthy manner. If nothing else, drinking such liquids will stop you from snacking on unwholesome food.
If you are having a hard time coaxing your kids to eat vegetables and fruits, juicing can also be a neat way to disguise the taste of vegetables (like broccoli or spinach, which kids usually hate) with other flavors such as the sweetness of apples and oranges. The latter usually appeal more to the kids. Juicing is hence also a great way to introduce wider varieties of fresh foods into your kids’ diet.
There’s a lot to be said for going on a juice cleanse or just introducing more juices into your diet. If you’re looking to lose weight and struggling in that area, juicing might be an enjoyable way to help in attaining your goal. The same goes for when you simply want to be in a better state of health than before. If you do it right, consuming more juices will leave you with a beautiful glow inside and out.