So what’s so special about juicing for health and why do I recommend it? My philosophy is based on maintaining health through natural foods and a healthy lifestyle. I consider juicing a natural, simple and delicious way of helping yourself to
a) Hydrate
b) Receive vitamins and minerals in an easy to absorb form
c) Feel revitalised and healthy
d) Increase your intake of living foods

So, which juicer is best and why? There are many juicers on the market and I am no expert in them; nor am I a “raw foodie” although I do believe that we should all eat at least 1 raw meal per day. From a personal perspective I consider a juicer needs to be able to:
a) Juice all forms of vegetables and fruits
b) Extract the most juice from the vegetables and juices
c) Be easy to clean (or at least manageable)
d) Ideally be able to juice wheatgrass etc
e) Suit my finances and lifestyle

I have offered some links to juicing web-sites below. I would advise you to trawl the web and social media sites for raw food and juicing sites so you can make your own mind up about which juicer is best for you. These sites will also offer better, more in-depth information than this short article. Here is a very simple run down on juicers to get you started:

Hand Operated Juicers – great for those with limited space, who juice less often or who wish to juice fresh grasses ( Brands include Lexon, Z Star, Eazy Health)

Citric Juicers – easy to use but only juice citric fruits so not suitable for any vegetable or “serious”juicing. Manual brands are very economical and easy to obtain as are electrical juicers – Brand names include Jupiter, CitriStar, Amco as well as the usual well known brands such as Philips, Kenwood etc which can be obtained from most supermarkets, departments stores and electrical shops

Masticating Juicers – capable of juicing vegetables effectively (basically they shred and “chew” the vegetable up inside a stainless steel chamber. The juice is squeezed through a strainer and released together with nutrients. How much juice, oxygen and nutrients released will depend on the strength and quickness of the juicer motor. ( this gives the juice a longer nutritional shelf life) – although personally I believe juice should be drunk immediately! Masticating juicers come with single or double cutters. Whilst some can only manage vegetables and fruit there are some brands that can chomp nuts to make nut butters etc and generally they are good for juicing grasses. Masticating Brands: Omega Vert , Samsung, Champion amongst others

Twin gear masticating juicers are considered faster and more efficient – crushing and pressing produce between the gears, then passing the juice through a screen. They are capable of juicing wheatgrasses etc and generally are recommended by those of us in the health industry but they are not cheap!

Single Auger masticating juicers use a slowly rotating screw that crushes produce against a stainless steel filter by a process similar to a mincing machine. These horizontal single auger juicers are generally a more economical alternative to a Twin Gear juicer for people who which to juice greens, hard produce and wheatgrass and a worthwhile if you are a serious raw foodie or juicer.

Centrifrugal Juicers – work by using a flat cutting blade on the bottom of a rapidly spinning basket. Food is shredded by the cutter and flung out to the sides of the basket. Due to the high centrifugal force, juice then passes through tiny holes in the basket and through a spout. By the nature of the cutting process, centrifugal juicers do not break down leafy green vegetables quite as well as masticating units. However, they are a quick, convenient and easier to clean than most other juicers. They are a good way of getting a healthy juice boost and make a great choice if you are just beginning to juice, have a busy lifestyle and time is at a premium. They are not really suitable for wheatgrass juicing.
Brands include Cookworks, Philips, Villiware, Waring, Breville, Kenwood, L’Equip, Omega, Magimix

So what can you juice?Most vegetables and fruit but please remember to wash them first! Like most things in life the better quality you buy the better the end result (i.e organic, seasonal and local). I suggest you experiment with a variety of produce – you will be amazed how delicious and refreshing vegetable juices are! Eventually you will be ready to enjoy vegetable juices without fruit.

Tips:
When you begin I suggest you juice 2 vegetables to each piece of fruit. Once you have got the hang of it increase the vegetable to fruit ratio and then start adding herbs as well.
Drink the juice as soon as possible after extracting – this way you will enjoy the freshness – juices separate quickly!
Keep juices separate from meals and other drinks. I suggest 30 minutes either side of anything else – this allows your body to absorb and utilise the nutrients. I always feel a great “lift” after my juice which is why I tend to enjoy them in the morning.
To keep your juicer free from permanent stains try juicing darker staining fruit / veg first then end with flushing it through with high water content fruit/veg eg. Cucumber, celery etc.
Wash the juicer as soon as possible after using – it is much easier!
Suggestions for the residue pulp – add to salads or add as an ingredient when cooking (such as cottage pie, curries, stir fries etc)
The pulp is also good for the dog! My dog eats a raw food diet and I add the pulp to his raw meat daily to support his digestion. (I would not advise citric residue).
You may be interested in purchasing my Create Health e-book which has some excellent health tips and recipes in – http://shop.creationfertility.com/create-health-2012
Here are a few recipes suggestions but please visit me on my facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/CreationHealing for more helpful tips and to share your juicing recipes with me!

1) 4 carrots, 1 orange (peeled), 4 sticks of celery (including leaves) and ginger ( the quantity of ginger is down to choice and it should be peeled)

2) Half a cucumber, 2 sticks celery, 1 x apple, handful parsley

3) Handful each of spinach, watercress and rocket, 2 carrots, 1 apple

4) 2 carrots, handful of watercress and half a red pepper

5) Half a broccoli including stem, half a fennel bulb, 1 x apple, half a cucumber

6) 4 carrots, 4 medium raw beetroot with leaves, 3 large sprigs basil

7) 1 kiwi fruit (peeled), 1 apple, handful green leaves such as watercress, 1 x courgette, half a broccoli, half a cucumber

Websites that may help you:

http://www.ukjuicers.com  offers some great information on juicers as does http://www.juiceland.co.uk
Books: The Raw Food Bible by Leslie Kenton
The Big Book of Juices and Smoothies – Natalie Savona (Duncan Baird Publishers ISBN:1-904292-23-2)

Disclaimer: This has been written for general guidance only and does not take into consideration individual health, allergies or specific illnesses nor is it biased towards any brand of juicing machine. It is important to discuss changing your diet with health professionals before embarking on new regimes.