Juicing has become an increasingly popular way to consume more fruits and vegetables. Using a juice extractor allows you to remove the fiber from fruits and veggies to extract the nutrient-dense juice. But are juice extractors really worth the investment? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine the pros and cons of juice extractors to help you decide if purchasing one is right for your needs.
How Juice Extractors Work
Juice extractors work by using a combination of centrifugal force and blades to separate the juice from the pulp of fruits and vegetables. There are three main types of juice extractors:
- Centrifugal juicers: These are the most common and affordable models. They shred produce using fast-spinning metal blades and then spin the juice away from the pulp through a strainer.
- Masticating juicers: Also known as slow or cold-press juicers. They crush and press produce to “chew” out the juice.
- Triturating juicers: The most high-end and efficient. They have twin geared augers that effectively squeeze produce.
Centrifugal juicers are the fastest option, while masticating and triturating models extract juice more slowly but retain more nutrients. All types separate the fibrous pulp from the liquid juice.
The Pros of Juice Extractors
There are many potential benefits that make juice extractors an attractive kitchen appliance for many people:
Get Your Fruits and Veggies In
Juice extractors make it easy to consume more fruits and vegetables. The typical person struggles to eat the recommended daily amounts. Juicing lets you drink the nutrients from produce rather than eating whole produce. For example, you can get the nutrients from 5 carrots and 3 apples in a glass of juice rather than having to eat them whole.
Absorb Nutrients Better
Some people find they absorb more nutrients from drinking vegetable and fruit juices rather than eating whole produce. When you remove the fiber, your body can better absorb and utilize the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. People with digestive issues in particular may benefit.
Replacing higher calorie beverages and foods with fresh juices can help you cut calories and lose weight. Juice cleanses, where you drink only juice for set periods of time, are popular weight loss methods. Keep in mind there are health risks with extreme juice fasts.
The vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars in fresh juices provide an energy boost. You get pure nutrition without any fillers, preservatives, or additives weighing you down. Juices like wheatgrass shots are known for providing long-lasting energy.
Healthier Than Store-Bought Juice
Juices you make at home contain only natural ingredients and the full nutritional content. Store-bought juices often have added sugars, preservatives, and flavors. With homemade juice, you control what goes in. You can tailor juices to your own nutritional needs and diet.
Convenient and Fast
It only takes minutes to whip up a nutritious juice in the morning. Juice extractors are easy to use. All you have to do is chop up your ingredients, turn it on, and pour yourself a glass. Much faster than eating whole produce or making a smoothie.
More Variety in Your Diet
Juicing allows you to easily mix and match all kinds of produce. You can create juice combinations that you may not enjoy eating whole. It gives you variety so you don’t get bored drinking the same thing.
The Cons of Juice Extractors
Despite the many benefits, there are some downsides to consider before purchasing a juice extractor:
Juice extractors are a pricier small appliance, with most quality models costing over $100. Cheaper centrifugal machines may only last a year or two. Higher-end masticating and triturating extractors often exceed $300.
Produce Goes Bad Quickly
You have to buy large volumes of fresh produce to juice, which goes bad quickly. Either juice daily or be prepared to throw out spoiled, uneaten fruits and vegetables. This waste can minimize the cost-effectiveness.
Not as Filling
The juice from several pieces of produce ends up being a small serving. Without the fiber, juice is less filling than eating whole fruits and veggies. This means you may feel hungrier later.
Sugary Without Fiber
Juices contain the sugars naturally found in produce without the balancing fiber. This increases the glycemic load. Too much juice could spike your blood sugar levels. Moderation is key.
Some oxidation and nutrient loss occurs during the juicing process. Juice should be consumed right away before nutrients degrade. Masticating/triturating models preserve more nutrients than centrifugal.
It takes time to shop for produce, prep it, juice it, and clean the machine. Juicing isn’t always the quick, convenient option it’s made out to be, especially if making larger batches.
Possibility of Contamination
If not properly cleaned, juice extractors can cultivate mold and bacteria over time. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions carefully to avoid this risk.
Important Features to Consider
Keep the following features in mind when shopping for a juice extractor:
Type of Juicer
Choose centrifugal, masticating, or triturating based on your budget and needs. Centrifugal is affordable and fast. Masticating preserves nutrients but is slower. Triturating is top-of-the-line.
Feed Chute Size
A larger feed chute means less prep work chopping produce. However, small chutes are more efficient at juicing greens like wheatgrass and spinach.
Choose a model with external pulp ejection if you don’t want to stop to empty internal pulp containers when juicing large batches.
Some extractors allow you to adjust speeds for soft or hard produce. Slower speeds retain more nutrients.
Higher wattage equals faster juicing. But too high speeds can aerate the juice and degrade nutrients. 400-800 watts is ideal for most models.
Look for auto shut-off, non-slip feet, and built-in cord storage. Overheating protection prevents motor burnout.
Check if parts are dishwasher safe or need handwashing. Removable/detachable pieces are easiest to clean.
A longer warranty (5+ years) equals a more durable machine. It saves you money on repairs down the road.
Top 5 Recommended Juice Extractors
Based on expert reviews and buyer experiences, here are 5 of the best juice extractors in three different price tiers:
|Mueller Austria Juicer||Centrifugal||4.5 / 5 stars|
|Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine||Centrifugal||4.4 / 5 stars|
$100 – $200:
|Aicook Slow Masticating Juicer||Masticating||4.7 / 5 stars|
|Mueller Austria Ultra Juicer||Masticating||4.5 / 5 stars|
|Tribest Slowstar Juicer||Masticating||4.5 / 5 stars|
|Omega NC900HDC Juicer||Masticating||4.7 / 5 stars|
Are Juice Extractors Worth It: The Verdict
So, are juice extractors worth investing in? Here’s the final takeaway:
Juice extractors can be a valuable appliance for some, but not for everyone. They make consuming more produce convenient and increase nutrient absorption. But the loss of fiber, high cost, and time commitment may outweigh the benefits for many consumers.
Juice extractors are best suited for:
- People looking to lose weight or increase energy.
- Those with digestive issues who can benefit from extracted nutrients.
- Anyone wanting an easy way to work more servings of produce into their diet.
Juice extractors may not be worth it for:
- People looking for a time-saving option. Juicing requires lots of shopping, prepping, and cleaning.
- Those who prefer the convenience of store-bought juices.
- People turned off by the high cost of a quality model.
Do your research and consider your lifestyle needs. Get a juice extractor only if the benefits of making your own fresh, nutritious juice outweigh the cons.