The Center for Disease Control tells us that “Eating more fruits and vegetables adds nutrients to diets, reduces the risk for heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, and helps manage body weight when consumed in place of more energy-dense foods.” Adults should consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day. The CDC goes on to state that “during 2007–2010, half of the total U.S. population consumed <1 cup of fruit and <1.5 cups of vegetables daily.
- 76% did not meet fruit intake recommendations, and
- 87% did not meet vegetable intake recommendations.”
In order to control the diseases the CDC mentions, Americans must begin consuming more fruits and vegetables. The nutrients (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients) in fruits and vegetables can help the body function properly and help the immune system fight off disease.
In our fast-paced world we are rushing from one activity to another. Getting 2.5 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day is increasingly difficult. Many people see juicing as a way of quickly and easily getting their required nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
What is Juicing?
Juicing basically separates the liquid (juice) in the plant cells from the cell structures which we can call pulp. The juice goes in your drinking glass. The pulp can be discarded or used in other food preparation, like making soups.
The most common type of juicer is the centrifugal juicer. It works by grating the fruit or vegetable, breaking down the cell walls, and then spinning it in a rapidly rotating strainer to separate out the liquid.
Another type is the cold press or masticating juicer. This juicer grinds and presses the fruits and vegetables, breaking down the cell walls, to squeeze out the liquid.
Both types of juicers produce good quantities of juice from most fruits and vegetables. The cold press juicers typically produce more juice from leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach.
Here is a good video to demonstrate the differences between the centrifugal and masticating juicers. Will and Norm get juiced this week while testing two recommended juicers that use different juice extraction techniques. One is a centrifugal juicer that uses a fast-spinning grinding blade, and the other is a masticating juicer that crushes fruit and vegetables into submission. But which yields the most juice?
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Juicing vs Blending
While juicing separates the juice from the pulp or fiber, blenders include both juice and fiber in the drinkable product. You get everything you would get if you actually ate the fruits or vegetables. But, you get it faster by drinking a smoothie.
Blenders use rapidly rotating blades to pulverize the fruits and vegetables into a smoothie. Smoothies include the dietary fiber of the fruits and vegetables and so often have a thicker consistency similar to a milkshake.
People often add ingredients in addition to fruits and vegetables to their smoothies. Popular additions include ice, protein powder, honey, milk or yogurt. Some people add alcohol to smoothies to make cocktails.
Health Benefits of Juicing or Blending
Juicing or blending both allow you to get your daily requirement for vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables in a quick and easy drinkable form. The nutrient value of your juice or smoothie depends on the fruits, vegetables or other ingredients you use. For many people, the taste is just as important as nutrition.
The Mayo Clinic tells us that “Juicing is not any healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables.” The Mayo Clinic further cautions that “whole fruits and vegetables also have healthy fiber, which is lost during most juicing.” (Check out the medical consequences of a low fiber diet.) This is why blending of often superior to juicing.
Another important point is that the value of the nutrients can be reduced through oxidation. You can easily see oxidation when you cut an apple in half and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. You see it start to discolor. That’s the oxidation that is reducing the nutrient value of that part of the apple exposed to the oxygen in the air.
When the nutrients are exposed to air, the oxygen combines with various vitamins and phytonutriens to render them less potent. This is an important consideration in centrifugal juicers and blenders. The output of centrifugal juicers and blenders is more frothy because small air bubbles are mixed in.
To counter this tendency for nutrient loss, blenders are now available that blend with reduced air. This makes the resulting smoothie more nutritious.
These vacuum blenders come with a large blending jar or carafe in which you put all the fruits, vegetables and other ingredients you want to blend. The top of the blending jar makes and air-tight seal. You then attach an air pump to the top and suck out as much air as possible. Then you blend.
After blending, you let air back into the blending jar, remove the top and drink.
Here is a video that compares normal blending with vacuum blending. Blend up to 64oz in the strong BPA-free container, using the powerful 2.5hp motor, with speeds up to 25,000rpm. The Dynapro is commercially certified, and comes with a 15 year warranty for home use.
Recommended Juicer and Vacuum Blender
Here are recommendations for a cold press juicer and a vacuum blender. Both produce highly nutritional beverages that help you get your daily requirement of fruits and vegetables.
Cold Press Juicer
The best kind of juicer is going to be the masticating or cold press juicer. This type of juicer does not produce the frothy product with lots of air bubbles that reduce the nutrient content of the juice.
The most popular vacuum blender that does an excellent job of preserving the nutrient value of your fruits and vegetables is the Dynapro vacuum blender. Take a look at this and start getting the recommended nutrients from fruits and vegetables.