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The healthy benefits of drinking your fruits and vegetables.

By Ellen Linnemann

Juicing continues to be a way of life for many health conscious individuals, and for many good reasons. Juicing, which is the process of extracting the juice from fresh fruit or vegetables resulting in a nutrient-rich liquid, is a more effective way to absorb high concentrations of these nutrients into the body. With the same nutrients as the original whole fruit and vegetables, the juicing process removes fiber to make the juice more concentrated, making nutrients easier to digest. Often referred to as “vitamin and mineral infusions,” your body does little digestive work in order to extract the nutrients, allowing high concentrations of nutrients to be absorbed directly into your blood stream and cells.    

Not only is juicing a great way to get both kids and adults to benefit from nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables they might not eat on their own, but juicing also has a number of specific health benefits. In addition to being easy to digest, juices are the easiest way to get phytonutrients in their most absorbable form and provides juices that are extremely alkaline (important in overall health because cells in the body need to maintain their natural alkaline balance in order to stay healthy.). 

Juicing offers health benefits that most people say they feel immediately, providing far more energy than coffee, aiding in proper and healthy bowel movements and sometimes assisting in weight loss. In addition to being low in calories, juices curb your appetite and consumed on a regular basis, can lead to diminished cravings for sugar and refined carbs. Equally as important for those who may tend to shy away from eating their vegetables, you can consume an enormous amount of vegetables at one time, making “eating healthy” easier than ever.

“The juice from fruits and vegetables are pure gifts from the earth,” said Leslie Rohland, owner of The Juice Hive, a juice bar in Bluffton Village that offers a wide variety of organic cold-pressed juices and smoothies. “It is the most natural way to feed, nourish and heal our body.”

While there are a number of proven health benefits of juicing, some experts also note that juicing also has some potential downfalls. Since you’ll need to use a far larger quantity of fruits and vegetables to make a glass of juice than you would typically eat in one sitting, you may sometimes get more sugar and calories with some juices. In addition, by getting rid of the fiber that’s in whole fruits and vegetables, you’ll have to make sure you are getting enough fiber from other foods.

Juicing is not only a great way to conveniently take in more nutrients, but a great way to add variety to your diet. Today there are many different choices when it comes to freshly juiced combinations of fruits and vegetables, making it easier (and tastier) than ever to eat your fruits and vegetables.

The three main types of juicers

Centrifugal juicers ($50-$300): The most commonly found electric juicers and usually the least expensive as well. They produce juice by chopping up the foods with a sharp cutting blade and spinning it at a high speed. The juice is then separated from the pulp by a strainer basket with tiny holes that lets only the juice pass through. Our pick: Breville BJE510XL Juice Fountain, $210

Masticating juicers ($250-$500): Also known as slow juicers or cold-press juicers. They have a single screw-shaped gear that rotates slowly at around 100 rpm and crushes the produce into pulp, releasing juice in the process. Our pick: Omega NC900 HDC Nutrition Center Juicer, $305

Triturating juicers ($400-$1,800): These massive and heavy appliances work with two intertwined gears that rotate inward and crush everything that comes between them into very dry pulp. Triturating juicers operate slowly but incredibly efficiently, giving you the highest quality juices. Our pick: Tribest Green Star Elite GSE-5000, $550