7 Tips for Juicing and Smoothie Beginners

How to Juice Quickly, Easily and Inexpensively!

Strawberry breakfast smoothie

The Spruce

You’re about to discover why juicing is so popular! The benefits of freshly juiced fruits and vegetables are amazing, the taste just can’t be beaten, and with a new generation of juice machines, it’s quicker, easier, and more affordable than ever before!

comparison of juices versus smoothies
Illustration: Elise Degarmo. © The Spruce, 2019

The Basics

First, let’s address two common questions: what’s the difference between juice and a smoothie, and can juice be made with a blender?

Special juice appliances separate the juice from everything else which is known as the pulp and comprised mostly of fiber. Pulp adds calories so juice is a favorite for weight loss and cleansing. By contrast, a smoothie is everything – juice, skin, and all, and thus a favorite for detoxifying and as a digestive aid with its higher fiber content.

Smoothies are made with a high powered blender. Your home blender won’t do the job unless you don’t mind a grainy mess that tastes more like an uncooked soup than a delicious drink! However, if you have the time, you can use your blender and then pour the blended liquid through a coffee filter. Whether juice or smoothie both are fantastically healthy.

Why Juice?

More and more people are turning to fresh juice to improve their health. If you've traveled often you may have noticed a franchise known as “Joe & The Juice” that’s as popular as Starbucks in Europe and is making its way into the US, as well. And speaking of Starbucks, you've probably noticed they've started carrying fresh juice.

Over a thousand scientific studies show that diets rich in fruits and vegetables, such as the Mediterranean Diet, reduce the risk of developing many illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Certain combinations of fruits and vegetables are now known to effectively treat certain diseases such as Type II diabetes.

And that’s not all. Juicing can even save you money. You can stop buying multivitamins and other nutritional supplements because fresh homemade juice gives you all your daily nutritional needs and more!

Even the best brand of bottled juice doesn't come close to delivering all the nutrients found in homemade juice, because any juice sold commercially must by law be heated – a process known as pasteurization – which kills many nutrients. Store it and you lose even more nutrients. Plus many juices add sugar, colors, stabilizers and other additives which also kill nutrients.

Are There Any Dangers?

There are some issues if you're on medication so be sure to speak with your doctor before juicing especially if you're on thyroid medications – certain foods interfere with your medication. And too much of the more powerful foods, such as greens or beets, can upset your stomach.

Juice or Raw?

There are benefits to drinking your daily recommended servings of veggies and fruits instead of eating them as solid raw foods. Liquids are absorbed by the body more quickly and completely because the absorption of the many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients starts right away as soon as they enter your mouth. Solid food takes a slower path of absorption through the stomach and intestines, and unless you chew your food thoroughly, you don't get as much nutrition from raw as you do from its liquid form.

Juice or Cooked

Cooked food kills many nutrients. For instance, enzymes play a key role in metabolism and are chiefly found in raw foods, but most are lost when cooked, processed and preserved. Enzymes are particularly important for those trying to lose weight as they help the body burn more calories. Interestingly, some nutrients are enhanced by steaming such as lycopene in tomatoes.

Juice Benefits

Increased energy and weight loss are not the only benefits of fresh juice. Recent research suggests that drinking fresh juice can also delay the effects of aging. Specifically, fresh fruits and vegetables contain compounds known as antioxidants which neutralize free radicals in your body. Free radicals are chiefly responsible not only for aging but also for many degenerative diseases such as cataracts, high blood pressure, and even cancer.

Fight Disease

Let's explore how juicing fights one of our most common and chronic diseases: diabetes. Recent research indicates that certain raw fruits and vegetables nourish the body while stabilizing blood sugar levels in ways that cooked food cannot. In the past, doctors cautioned people with diabetes to stay away from sugar of any kind, even those found in fresh fruits and vegetables. That recommendation has been proven wrong.

Researchers have found that specific nutrients such as vitamins A, B, E, and the minerals iron and potassium which are abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables aid in naturally managing this disease. Vitamin B7 which is found in mangoes, nectarines, and peaches aids in digestion and activates enzymes, which are particularly helpful for diabetics. Additionally, manganese which is found in celery, garlic, carrots, cruciferous vegetables, parsley, spinach, and beet greens, helps reduce insulin resistance overall and improve the metabolism of sugar.

Juice Machines

What’s the best machine? You can easily begin with an inexpensive juicer sold online or at your local kitchen supply store. We highly recommend the newer generation of machines known as ‘slow’ juicers because they reduce the amount of heat and oxygen in your juice – factors that kill nutrients. They are also easier to clean and durable.