Everything a Nutritionist Wants You to Know About Juicing

First, juice is not a replacement for eating fruits and veggies.

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December 18, 2020
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Nothing is quite as refreshing as a fresh pressed juice. It’s literally a tall glass (or shot) of pure plant-based goodness. But it can be tricky to navigate the hype. Celery juice cures all? Nope! Furthermore, juicers, juice recipes and the nutrition within them can all be a little intimidating. That’s what inspired me to write the Healthy, Quick + Easy Juicing cookbook, 100, five-ingredient (or less) recipes proving how uncomplicated (and delicious) juicing can be.

What Makes a Healthy Juice

Juices are not a replacement for eating fruits and vegetables. There is no such replacement. Juices are pure hydration, plus ample doses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

While extracting juice removes some of the fiber content found in plant-based foods, there are plenty of other nutritional benefits of fresh juices including vitamins A, C, E, K, potassium, iron and magnesium and antioxidants like lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and anthocyanins. Juices can also be spiked with herbs, spices, flax and chia seeds to boost nutrients further. Juice can also be teamed up with brewed teas, seltzers and other low-calorie mixers to tweak the flavors and increase the shelf life.

What Can You Juice

When it comes to deciding what to juice, there are no rules. Juice the foods you love! Obviously high water content foods give you the best bang for your buck but just about any combo of fruits, vegetables or herbs can be run through the juicer. Make sure to remove tough peels from things like citrus, melon and mango but softer peels from apples, pears, peaches and even kiwi can stay on. (Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions on your machine.)

Some of the best fresh juices are the simplest. From fruit blends to green drinks, some of the best foods for juicing are apples, celery, pineapple, cucumber, melon, spinach, kale, ginger, melon and carrots. Some of my favorite combos are Kiwi-Apple-Romaine, Peach Turmeric Ginger Tea, Beet-Apple-Carrot and Blood Orange Honeydew.

What To Look For In A Juicer

You won’t get very far juicing without a juicer. Look for a compact machine (some are monstrous) with as few parts as possible for easy cleaning. Parts that are dishwasher safe are a must, but you may need to scrub a little by hand to remove any tiny bits from the parts.

It’s also helpful to have a machine with good storage capacity for pulp so you can make plenty of juice without having to stop to clean it out. I also like a machine with a wide feeding chute so as to not have to do a ton of chopping before juicing.

How to Juice

Juice small, harder to juice ingredients first, such as hunks of ginger, banana (yup, you can!) or berries. Then run higher water content foods through after to help push out every bit of flavor, plus it helps flush out the machine. When done juicing, you can run some water through the machine before you disassemble and clean.

My Favorite Juicers

My favorite juicer is the Breville BJE200XL Juice Fountain Compact Centrifugal Juicer which sells for about $100. I have also heard great things about this super affordable and highly rated Hamilton Beach model.

Blood Orange Honeydew Juice

Two of my all-time favorite fruits blended into a frothy, dreamy juice blend which has the perfect balance of sweet and tart. I highly recommend doubling the recipe and making ice pops to extend blood oranges short season.

Makes: 2 servings

Serving size: 6 fl oz

Ingredients:

3 cups chopped honeydew melon

1 large blood orange, peeled

Method:

Add the melon to the juicer, followed by blood orange.

Pour into 2 glasses and serve.

Nutritional information: 104 calories, 0g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 31mg sodium, 26g carbohydrates, 2g protein

Excerpt: A beginners look at juicing and the Healthy, Quick & Easy Juicing cookbook

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. She is the author of four cookbooks First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers, The Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, The Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook and Healthy Quick and Easy Smoothies.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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