Tempted to give juicing a go after hearing all the good stuff about it? It is an exciting venture – be it you’re looking to boost your nutrient intake or wanting to embrace a healthier lifestyle, or simply curious to explore new culinary adventures, juicing is a healthy habit to add to anyone’s lifestyle.
Naturally, this means you’ll need a juicer at home and this is where it can get a tad overwhelming. You see, a quick search on the internet will lead you to hundreds if not thousands of juicers. What are their differences? Why can there be such a huge price difference when they pretty much look the same and (supposedly) do just that one thing – juicing?
For the clueless beginner, it is natural to have all these questions swimming around. Fret not as we will guide you through the different types of juicers available in the market and what they entail. By the end of this article, you should have a clear understanding of which type suits you best and thereby make an informed decision when buying a juicer.
Benefits of Juicing
Before that though, it is worthwhile to understand why juicing has become such a popular practice in healthy lifestyles. Why it is not just a niche wellness trend but a staple mainstream dietary practice that is here to stay.
It all boils down to two of its most apparent benefits – enhanced nutrient absorption, and increased fruit and vegetable intake.
Juicing extracts liquids that are full of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds from fruits and vegetables and leave behind the insoluble fiber. While fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet, removing it during the juicing process allows your body to absorb all the goodness directly and more efficiently when consumed.
This is because your digestive system does not need to work as hard to break down the food to extract the nutrients and for those with sensitive digestive systems, this is particularly beneficial. It presents an alternative to consuming more fruits and vegetables that may otherwise be avoided due to upsetting of the stomach.
Which brings us to our next point.
Increased Fruit and Vegetable Intake
Many people actually struggle to consume the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Juicing presents a practical solution to this challenge by increasing one’s fruit and vegetable intake conveniently.
In just a single glass of juice, you can consume the nutrients from multiple servings of fruits and vegetables. All in a delicious and easily digestible format, this is particularly appealing to those with busy lifestyles who find it difficult to cook and consume whole fruits and vegetables regularly.
Furthermore, juicing expands the type of fruits and vegetables consumed, thereby further diversifying one’s nutrient intake. You see, most people would use a variety of produce when they juice as opposed to using just one kind. Without realizing it, one would have consumed so much wider a range of fruits and vegetables including those that they may not normally eat.
For example, leafy greens such as kale and spinach – packed with nutrients, they may not necessarily be to everyone’s taste if eaten as a whole but when juiced with sweeter fruits, their taste can be masked and one would still be able to reap their nutritional benefits.
Now that you’ve gotten a better understanding of how juicing helps maintain a healthy lifestyle, let’s dive into the vast world of juicers.
The Different Types of Juicers and Some Tips and Tricks
Despite the many models you see in the market, there are actually just 4 types of juicers if we are to categorize them – centrifugal, masticating, twin-gear and manual.
Below, we are going to provide a brief explanation of what and how each type works. We will also look at some useful tips and tricks when using them because understanding how to optimally use each type of juicers can enhance one’s juicing experience, as well as ensure you get the most out of your chosen appliance.
The centrifugal juicer is the most common type you will find in many households. One of the most affordable options, the science behind its juice extraction is – high speed. A rapidly spinning strainer basket works to shred the produce and squeezes the juices out through said strainer, leaving behind a pulp.
Speed is the key with this type of juicers and they pose a significant advantage when one is short on time, however, it can also lead to more heat being produced which in turn may degrade some of the nutrients.
- Works best with hard fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples.
- Alternate between hard and soft fruits to help keep the juicer running smoothly.
- Bundle leafy greens up before feeding them into the juicer.
If you are one who values quick juicing times and mainly use sturdy and hard fruits and vegetables most of the time, a centrifugal juicer could be your ideal match.
Masticating juicers, also known as slow or cold press juicers, become a prominent household item in the past decade or two. How it works is that it uses an auger to grind, crush and chew fruits and vegetables to squeeze out the juice at a steady but lower speed.
If we are to compare centrifugal juicers as speedy sprinters, masticating ones would be marathon runners – slower, but at a steady pace. Incidentally, they are quieter too and are better at preserving nutrients due to less heat produced and oxygen exposure.
- Cut fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces to prevent overloading the machine.
- Alternate between different types of produce to prevent clogging.
Found to be more efficient at juicing leafy greens, it’s all about taking your time when it comes to masticating juicers. Perfect for health enthusiasts aiming to extract maximum nutrients from a wider variety of produce.
Twin-Gear (Triturating) Juicers
The third type of juicers you will find is the triturating or twin-gear ones – the most efficient, but also the most expensive out of all. These ones use two interlocking gears that rotate inwards to grind and press fruits and vegetable very thoroughly, thereby extracting every possible drop of juice and nutrient from each produce. If we are to continue with our sports analogy, twin-gear juicers would be like the elite athletes.
- Essential to chop fruits and vegetables properly as these machines work best with small pieces.
- Works great with wheatgrass in particular, a nutrient-dense ingredient.
Triturating juicers would be perfect for serious juicers who’d been on the juicing journey for quite a while. They’d also be the one to go for if you value efficiency and nutritional integrity above all else, and are willing to invest more time and money into your juicing practice.
- Perfect for citrus fruits.
- Roll your citrus fruits on a countertop before juicing (helps to soften it and makes squeezing out every drop of juice easier).
Portable and easy to clean, manual juicers are ideal for the casual juicer or those who value the simplicity of a manual process.
How to Choose the Right Juicer for Your Needs
So, we’ve covered the theories of juicing. Let’s now delve into the practical side of things – how do you choose the right juicer?
Much like finding the right pair of shoes, the best juicer for you has to be one that fits comfortably with your lifestyle and meets your individual needs. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive or most popular model – it’s about what works best for you.
Here are some key considerations to look at when selecting the right juicer:
Lifestyle and Usage
How’s your lifestyle be and how often do you plan to use your juicer? If you’re a busy individual who rush to work or school every morning (but still yearn to have a glass of fresh juice before you leave the house), a centrifugal juicer may be ideal due to its speed and ease of use.
On the other hand, if you are a stay-at-home mom or mostly work from home and plan to juice multiple times a day, then a masticating or even twin-gear juicer may be a more suitable match. They will be perfect for those who are committed to a raw food diet too as both masticating and triturating juicers are efficient and have high nutrient-preserving qualities.
Consider the type of produce you will be juicing mostly. Fans of hearty fruits and vegetables (e.g. apples, carrots, beets etc.) will want to consider getting a centrifugal juicer while those who prefer leafy greens (spinach, kale, wheatgrass etc.) would be better off with a masticating or twin-gear juicer.
As with anything, consider your budget. How much are you willing to shell out for a juicer?
There can be a rather drastic price range when it comes to juicers – from a couple of hundreds to those in the thousand price mark, you can find them all. Generally speaking, centrifugal juicers are less pricey compared to the masticating and twin-gear ones so they make for a good choice for beginners or those on a tighter budget. The latter are more of an investment due to their higher price point but think of it as saving you money on produce in the long run as they deliver a higher yield comparatively.
Of course, nothing beats manual juicers in terms of affordability so if you’re just starting out and unsure if juicing will be a habit you’ll stick to, start from this.
Now, this could be quite subjective as some people couldn’t care less about how much noise a juicer produces, and then there are those who simply cannot stand a noisy machine. For the latter, this could pretty much be a dealbreaker in some circumstances.
If you are an early riser and are staying with other people, do consider the quieter masticating option so that you do not disturb others in your household. Otherwise, it doesn’t really matter if you live alone (and if noise doesn’t bother you) – go for the louder centrifugal juicer (due to its high-speed operation) if that is what you prefer.
Maintenance and Clean-ups
Last but not least, these are two very important criteria to factor in when choosing a juicer. After all, the cleaning up part is found to be a major deterrence that either cuts people off their juicing endeavour midway, or simply stops them from embarking the journey at all.
Overall speaking, centrifugal juicers are easier to clean due to them having fewer parts. However, their fast-spinning action leaves behind a wetter pulp so the clean-up could be messier.
Contrastingly, masticating juicers yield a drier pulp so the clean-up is more simplified and less messy, however, it does have more parts so will require more effort to clean. There are models which have a built-in reverse function to ease cleaning and unclogging – choose these ones if cleaning is an issue for you.
On the same note, twin-gear juicers share the same fate if not more effort required as they are the most complex and have the most components that need careful cleaning. Thankfully, they produce the driest pulp so they are also the least messy to clean.
Manual juicers will be the easiest to clean and maintain out of all due to their simpler design and fewer parts.
So, think about your own personality when it comes to this question. Remember that at the end of the day, a juicer that is easy to clean and maintain is likely to be used more often.
And there you have it, our top 5 criteria to consider when it comes to picking the right juicer. Find a balance between these factors and decide what’s most important to you and you shall get the best juicer that suits all your needs.
As we draw our comprehensive guide to a close, let’s take a moment to reflect on the journey we’ve undertaken.
We’ve explored the world of juicing by understanding its benefits and the key role a juicer plays in this healthy practice. We’ve dissected the different types of juicers and looked into their unique features, strengths and weaknesses including how each works. We’ve also examined the necessary criteria to consider when it comes to choosing the perfect juicer that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle and meeting your individual needs. Along the way, we share valuable tips and tricks to maximize your juicing experience.
The path to choosing the right juicer is one that requires careful thought and consideration. It’s about finding a balance between your lifestyle, the types of produce you prefer, your budget, the noise level you can tolerate, and the time and effort you’re willing to put in in maintenance and clean up. Understanding these factors individually and how they align with the different types of juicers is crucial to making an informed decision.
The journey doesn’t end here though. In fact, it is just the beginning! Now that you’re armed with all the knowledge you need to know about juicing, you’re ready to embark on your juicing journey. Ripe with the potential for exploration and experimentation but most importantly, the opportunity to enjoy the health benefits that fresh, homemade juice can offer.
So here’s to taking the plunge, making informed choices, and embracing a healthier lifestyle. Happy juicing!