Fads come and go, but the 2013 juicing craze is showing little sign of waning. Alongside diamond-encrusted phones, cups of green sludge are proving to be the celeb accessories du jour. Jessica Alba is a fan and is said to have used juicing to help shed her baby weight, while Nicole Richie has said she’s a “juice fanatic” – but where does their zest for colourful concoctions come from?
Juicing involves extracting the water and nutrients from fruit and vegetables while getting rid of any tough fibre. When fruit and veg are consumed in liquid form they’re easily digested and their nutrients are quickly absorbed. It’s different from blending or pulping, which typically leave a gloopy mess of fruit fibres, and the health benefits – a tasty, easy-to-drink shot of vitamins – would appear to make it a no-brainer.
Let’s face it, would you really eat two apples, a bunch of carrots, curly kale, several oranges, ginger and a handful of spinach in a typical day? Probably not! Peeling, chopping and cooking are done away with once you start juicing.
Nicole Richie says she's a "juice fanatic"! Pic: Getty Images
Be warned, however, that it’s not all good news! Drinking too much juice may cause you to put weight on! It’s harder to judge the calorie content of liquids, and fruit juice in particular is often high in sugar – it can take less than a minute to drink 150 calories’ worth – so it’s really important to check the label before downing cartons of the stuff. Bottled juices can easily contain 15.7g of sugar per 100ml, almost 50 per cent more than the 10.6g found in 100ml of Coke!
Do it yourself
Of course, few of us have the time, money or space for an industrial juicer on our kitchen counter, so buying the best one you can afford is your best bet. Most juice enthusiasts have a centrifugal juicer – the one with the feed tube that pushes your ingredients onto a serrated spinning blade. They’re super-fast and perfect for people who want to juice every day. The next most important aspect is ingredients – ideally organic – and then a good variety of recipes. Once you’ve made it a habit, you’ll feel the benefits in no time.