Chances are you’ve peeped a gorgeous influencer swearing by green juice on social media. Closer to campus, a number of restaurants have popped up offering colorful blends packaged in pretty bottles—for a pretty penny,
we might add. If you’re goal is to chug your daily dose of fruits and veggies in a few gulps, the healthier option will always be to eat fruits and vegetables whole. But if you’re looking for a way to supplement the ones you do chew, juicing at home is a simple way to do so.
What is juicing?
Juicing is the process of grinding, squeezing or pressing fresh fruits and vegetables to extract, well, juice.
There is not enough evidence to know whether fads you may have heard of like juice cleansing or detoxification are effective. But overall, there are pros and cons to juicing your favorite fruits and vegetables.
The main con is that regardless of how you juice your produce, the process does take away beneficial fiber that would be there if eaten whole.
Fruits and vegetables, said UM graduate student and exercise physiologist Andres Preschel, are great for brain and mental health, cancer prevention and gut health— but your best bet is eating them whole. The fiber and water content of whole fruits and vegetables, explained Preschel, is what contributes to the thermic effect that helps you feel full after eating them despite the low calorie count.
Furthermore, drinking too much juice will oversaturate your system with sugar. Even though the sugar is “natural,” too much of it, especially without as much of the fiber, can be just as bad as the processed stuff.
But what juicing can do is provide a boost of nutrients in a convenient way. If you can’t stomach the idea of chowing down the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies a day, the Mayo Clinic site suggests, drinking homemade juice or blending together the ingredients may be better than nothing.
According to them, “the liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) in the fruit.”
What do I need and how much does it cost?
Start with familiarizing yourself with the two types of juicers out there.
A centrifugal juicer, also known as a fast juicer, is the more popular of the two. A feeding tube at the top funnels the ingredients into the core of the juicer through rows of blades that dice the produce into juice-able size. Ultimately, it’s the centrifugal force that separates the juice from the pulp and allows you to pour the cleanest juice into your glass. The machine ranges from $50 to $250, and there are few parts, making it easier to clean and reassemble. But, it’s noisy and produces a heat that might degrade the quality and take away from nutrients in the final product.
A masticating juicer, sometimes called a cold press juicer, relies on a rotating drill to crush and squeeze the juice out of the fruits and vegetables. It’s a much slower process, but since it doesn’t produce heat, the end result is a crisp and clean juice that doesn’t expire as quickly. Cold presses are also better for juicing leafy greens such as spinach and kale. However, the cold press juicer is more expensive, with mid-range brands costing over $200. Users also have to cut and clean their own fruit and vegetables beforehand.
After picking your juicer, pop some fresh fruits and vegetables in that thing. From Norman Brothers to Wayside Market, there’s tons of local produce vendors in and around Miami. These are frequently used as key ingredients in many pressed juices.
Kale— Kale is low in calories and has antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. It is also good for fighting arthritis and autoimmune diseases.
Spinach—If you don’t like greens but want the benefits, spinach is the perfect ingredient since it’s virtually tasteless. It’s packed with vitamin E and magnesium.
Carrots— Carrots are a great source of fiber, vitamin K and potassium. They have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improve eye health in large consumption.
Celery— Celery is almost entirely made of water and low in calories. It’s a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Turmeric— Turmeric is a strong antioxidant that has been linked to helping with depression and arthritis.
Ginger— Ginger is great for your immune system and helps with digestion.
What juices should I make?
Immune Booster Juice
- 3 medium oranges, rind removed
- 1⁄2 grapefruit, peeled
- 1 lime, rind removed
- 1⁄2 medium lemon, rind removed
- 3 inches ginger root
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 3⁄4 tablespoon turmeric
• 6 1⁄2 medium carrots • 1⁄2 medium apple• 1⁄2 medium apple • 1⁄2 medium lemon• 1 1⁄3 inch ginger
Very Veggie Juice
•6 1⁄2 medium carrots •1⁄2 medium apple• 1⁄2 medium apple •1⁄2 medium lemon• 1 1⁄3 inch ginger
Local Juice Spots
While juicing your own fruits and veggies is more economical, below are a few local juice spots where you can get a healthy fix on days where you want to buy a premade bottle or two (or a week’s worth).
112 Madruga Ave. Coral Gables, FL 33146
Popular Picks: Beary Peary China, Green Protein and Square Root
Price: $10 to $11.50
2992 McFarlane Rd. Miami, FL 33133
Popular Picks: Most popular choices are Defense Up, Clean Me Up 2 and Beet It Up
Ginger & Juice Bar
5829 SW 73rd St. #5A
South Miami, FL 33143 (Inside Kamps Fitness)
Popular Picks: The Real Slim Shady, Nuthin’ but a ‘G’reens Thang and I Got 5 On It