A beginner's guide to juicing

Have you been feeling unhealthy? Do you feel ready for a detox? Juicing could be the answer. With the help of enthusiastic YouTubers and award winning documentaries like 'Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead' people all over the world are turning to juicing and healthy green smoothies as a means of improving their health. Advocates attest to weight loss, improved mood, better skin, more energy and all manner of other health improvements. Here we look at some of the key reasons for juicing, how to get started and some excellent superfoods to try and include in your juicing plan.

What is juicing?

We are told all the time that we should try our best to include five fruit and vegetables into our daily diet. But as nice as that would be, in reality it can be time consuming and difficult to do so. Juicing however is one of the easiest ways to incorporate natures goodness back into your diet and requires very little preparation. But what exactly is juicing?

Juicing is the process of squeezing juice out of vegetables and fruits, extracting all of the nutrients from the plant and removing the pulp to leave you with a pure and healthy drink. Blending on the other hand pulverises all of your plant matter and retains the pulp in your drink.

Juicing vs. blending

Juicing is really good in chronic sickness states for example if you have a cold or a sore throat or even if you are generally feeling unwell and run down. This is because juicing is a quick burst of nutrients in liquid form. However, if you are following a long-term juicing diet then you need to be careful not to rely solely on fruits with high glucose content (apples, pears, carrots, etc) which can spike your insulin levels and lead to weight gain. Instead, try and create light, green juices which have just a small amount of high glucose fruit contained to add sweetness.

Blending retains the pulp of your fruit and vegetables and you can also include nuts, so you get plenty of fibre from smoothies which can also help you better digest high glucose fruit. This guide is aimed mainly at those looking to juice but both juicing and blending have their own pros and cons and either one is a great change to adopt as part of your lifestyle.

Choosing a juicer

The next step on your juicing journey is to find a juicer. It's true that some big cities have juicing bars where you can buy freshly pressed juice, but it won't take you long to spend the £40-150 that you will typically fork out for a juicer. So if you're serious about incorporating juicing into your diet then it's worth the initial outlay. Plus, you'll be able to make a tasty juice whenever you like.

When it comes to choosing a juicer, the first decision you need to make is whether you opt for a centrifugal juicer or a masticating juicer. Confused? Well, a centrifugal juicer tends to be the less expensive option. They are a good beginner juicer but they are less efficient and tend to make a lot of noise. Noise most people can tolerate, but the wastage may end up costing you more as you get less juice from your produce. Centrifugal juicers work at a high speed and operate with a spinning motion that grinds produce and forces juice away from the pulp.

A masticating juicer is a more efficient model but the price is higher. A masticating juicer has gears which knead and grind your fruit and vegetables squeezing out every last drop of juice. They work at a slow but constant pressure that makes them fantastically adept at processing leafy green vegetables that might be tough to break down in a centrifugal juicer. They are also quite versatile and can be used for making baby food, nut butters and sauces.

Finally it might sound like common sense but you should think about the practical elements of owning a juicer. You want to make the whole job as simple and convenient as possible for you, so that you have fewer excuses for quitting. Search for a juicer that fits nicely on your kitchen surface, is easy to clean and operates at a fairly low RPM so that it's nice and quiet when running. Don't forget to read the manual before you get started.

Choosing your ingredients

One of the best guidelines to follow when juicing is the 80/20 rule. 80% vegetables and just 20% fruit to get the optimum mix. As discussed this keeps the sugar content low and the nutrient count high.

Where possible, try and buy organic vegetables that are grown locally. Farmers markets or local markets are best, but some supermarkets also stock organic produce. Organic produce is far less likely to contain nasty chemicals and preservatives.

As you prepare your produce be sure to remove anything inedible. This means removing some skins, cores, pips and large seeds which not only taste nasty but can also harbour poisonous chemicals. You should give them a good wash under a cold tap too, in order to remove any residues.

Your next step is to create your first juice. Normally, you should try and pick a base ingredient, a second main ingredient, a sweetener and an optional seasoning. Good bases include cucumber, aubergines and carrots. Then for your main ingredient you should try and include some greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, fennel, chard, cabbage or Brussels sprouts. Alternatively if you want to create a darker juice then beetroot is a great option too. With these two ingredients you create a very healthy and nutritious base, however while healthy it might not taste too appetising, so you'll need a sweetener to make it a little more palatable. Good sweeteners include apples, pineapples, pears, grapes, avocado, orange, kiwi, mango, watermelon and blueberries. Finally, if you want to liven up your juice you can add an additional ingredient to finish it off. Ginger, wheatgrass, chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp powder are all good options.


Officially there is no accepted definition of superfoods, and the medical community is of course hesitant to label any foods as super as it is important to get a wide range of food into your diet. However, there are certain foods, spices and herbs that are widely considered as being excellent providers of vitamins and minerals and as such are worthy of inclusion in your daily juice. Here are some of our favourite juice boosters.


Spirulina is said to include as many as 100 different nutrients ranging from B vitamins, calcium and chlorophyll to magnesium, iron and many more. It is grown in fresh water ponds and has a taste similar to seaweed so is well suited to green juices.


There's much more to turmeric than adding flavour to curry. In fact it has some surprising health benefits. Curcumin which is the active ingredient in turmeric is said to ward off Alzheimers, fight colds and flu, combat inflammation, and reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and even cancer. It's also linked to healthy weight loss.


Everyone knows that ginger is effective at battling coughs and colds but it's also an excellent digestion aid, reducing flatulence and bloating in those of us with painful stomachs. It's also has anti-inflammatory properties and as such can be helpful for arthritis sufferers.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Regular followers of our blog will be very familiar with the many different uses of apple cider vinegar which can be helpful as a home cleaner. However, it's also got some medical benefits. Apple cider vinegar can fight fungal infections, boost cardiac health, reduce appetite and promote a healthy gut.

Some of the most fun you can have with juicing is to experiment and try different combinations of fruit, vegetables and boosters. So fill up your fridge with healthy plants and begin juicing your way to health and happiness!

Have you had success with juicing? Share your favourite recipes with us by tweeting us at @TimeForYouGroup or for more tips and advice visit us at https://timeforyou.cleaning/uk/ for more tips and advice.