Why is everyone raving about juices and what types of benefits do they provide? Don’t worry, novice juicers—we’ve developed a beginner’s guide for you.

What exactly is juicing?
This isn’t just a cup of your grandmother’s fresh-squeezed OJ. Juicing, in the context of the current trend, consists of extracting all the juice out of a handful of vegetables and fruits to create a drink high in vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Consider it a sippable salad. Note that these beverages aren’t thick like blended smoothies and contain minimal skin, pulp and seeds.

The convenience factor
Juices provide an easy way to consume your recommended servings of fruits and veggies while you’re running around. Throwing a little kale or watercress into a refreshing elixir sounds a bit more appetizing than taking down a leafy green salad for breakfast.

Fruits vs. vegetables
A good rule of thumb: Drink your veggies, eat your fruits. Highly concentrated all-fruit juices can be very high in sugar and devoid of much of the beneficial fiber. Reach for varieties that are mostly vegetable-based, with a touch of fruits like green apple or pear for mild sweetness.

The cold-press craze
Cold-pressed juices typically have a higher nutrient content than other juices because less heat is used in the process of extracting the liquid, keeping in tact more of the raw nutrients and enzymes.

Be warned: It’s not cheap.
Enjoying a store-bought, fresh-pressed juice every day can be an expensive habit. Expect to pay $7 to $12 for each, depending on the size and quality of ingredients.

In sum
While there’s no solid scientific evidence that juicing is healthier than eating fruits and vegetables the old fashioned way (that would be whole), it’s an excellent and often more convenient way to get those nutrients you may otherwise be lacking.

 

Author: Allison Klibanoff