10 Best Juicers | January 2017
- single-auger construction
- dependable starting torque
- filter screen is a pain to attach
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- foam-reducing filter basket
- exclusive unlock and lift system
- the lid is a bit finicky
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- available in several colors
- includes pasta extrusion attachment
- customer service isn't responsive
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
- built-in overload protection
- wide feed tube takes whole fruit
- hard to find replacement parts
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
- drip-free dispensing valve
- large and sturdy handle
- it's quite heavy
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- can also be used to make ice cream
- built-in led indicators
- it's a bit on the pricey side
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
- slow juicing minimizes nutrient loss
- citrus peeler and folding drain rack
- 240-watt heavy-duty motor
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- shiny chrome exterior
- automatic pulp ejection
- it is easy to assemble
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
- 1-liter juice collection cup
- very quiet operation
- manual and dvd also included
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
- also juices wheatgrass and herbs
- 10-year warranty on the motor
- sleek and elegant design
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
The Juice Is Loose
Fresh juices, whether derived from fruits or vegetables, have more bioavailability than the fruits or veggies do on their own. It's a pretty simple formula when you think about it. You take a bite of kale, chew it less than the recommended number of chews per bite of food, and swallow. Your body then goes to work at pushing the kale through your system, breaking it down first with saliva and its attendant enzyme activity on the way to the stomach. There, stomach acids break the kale down even further, passing what's left of the process into your intestines, which drink up all the available nutrients from the process.
From the moment the food enters your mouth, your body has the ability to absorb its nutrients. Usually, however, the mouth and the stomach are so busy breaking foods down to a digestible point that they don't have time to absorb any of those micro-nutrients that might otherwise pass the membranes in your mouth and esophagus and get right into your bloodstream.
Take a look at a smart hippie in the late 1960s, by way of example. When he takes a tab of acid, he doesn't just swallow it. If he waits for his stomach to break down the tab and let the LSD into his system, it could be the better part of an hour before he feels anything. Instead, he rolls the tab around in his mouth, letting the chemical pass through the membranes in his mouth and absorb into the capillary activity there, creating a much faster effect.
The same goes for your food. When you drop a carrot into a juicer, that juicer, by means of either extraction or mastication, separates its juices and all of those great nutrients from its fibrous material. When you drink that juice, the moment it hits your mouth you begin to absorb those nutrients, and you continue to do so all the way through the stomach, creating an experience of greater bioavailability, or, literally, the ability your body has to access all the good stuff.
To Chew Or To Shred
You've probably heard that juicing is bad because it oxidizes or overheats the material and that it removes all that wonderful fiber. Well, these are partial truths, that examination of which should help you decide which of the juicers on our list is right for you.
As for the claim about heat and oxidization, it's true that juicing oxidizes food. Anything in an oxygen-rich environment (like the Earth's atmosphere, for example), will oxidize. Moisture increases this exchange, which is why fruits and veggies shrivel up more quickly after you cut them; their insides tend to be wetter than their outsides. Juice is about as moist as it can get, so your mixture will likely lose a good portion of its enzyme activity to oxidization within the first 20 minutes after juicing. The good news there is that you can keep the majority of your enzymes just by drinking your juice as soon as you make it.
The heat claim is more pertinent among the extraction juicers on our list than the masticating juicers. Extraction juicers spin a thin, sharp webbing of blades beneath a tube through which you feed and push foods. Those blades shred the fiber and send it flying into a reservoir, while the liquid left over from the process heads into your glass. The friction that those fast-moving blades create against your food does create some heat, but not enough to meaningfully harm your juice.
Masticating juicers work in a similar fashion, but they have a rotating set of teeth that move very slowly in a confined area, simulating the process of very powerful jaws chewing your food for you. They tend to get more juice out of the material you feed through them, as the fiber that lands in their reservoirs is noticeably drier than that of the extraction juicers.
As for the fiber, I'll borrow a line usually reserved for gun control debates. Juicers don't get rid of fiber; people who use juicers get rid of fiber. It's all right there for you to use in a million different ways. There are books and websites devoted to what you can do with that fibrous material, so don't buy into the myth that it magically goes to waste.
One other important thing to mention is that none of these juicers are easy to clean. If one says they're easy to clean, that only means they're easy to clean compared to other juicers. Juicing is inherently a messy process, but every moment spent cleaning and reassembling your juicer is a moment spent in undeniably greater health.
Old Medicine, New Means
Even without advanced mechanical intervention, humans have long combined mashed versions of fruits and vegetables for their healing abilities, applied both internally and externally. As far back as the first century CE, in the Dead Sea Scrolls, we can find evidence of a pounded mash of pomegranate and fig that sounds pretty tasty.
Mechanical intervention finally arrived in the early 20th century. In 1936, Dr. Norman Walker published a book called Raw Vegetable Juices, which led to the development of the Norwalk juicer, which is still one of the revered brands in the industry.
Throughout the next several decades, new players entered the market, jockeying for superiority in their juice quality and, most importantly, in their ease of cleanup. In the past few decades, partially fueled by the rapid decline of the Western diet, as well as the success of chains like Jamba Juice and Smoothie King, the average person's appetite for juice has reached new heights, and there are more options available now than ever before.