According to a survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in ten adults are getting their recommended daily dose of fruit and vegetables. The CDC, and top health and nutrition experts, recommend 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each and every day, and there are real consequences to skipping out on the leafy stuff.
People whose unbalanced diets don’t have enough fruit and vegetables are often lacking in proper vitamins and minerals, tend to develop digestive problems from the lack of fiber, and are at greater risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks.
If the idea of just chowing down on a plate of broccoli and carrots sounds unappealing, juicing is an easy way to get your fix. It should be noted that by juicing, you sacrifice the nutrients contained in the leftover pulp (which most people tend to discard or compost). But the upside is that the juice from fruits and vegetables tends to be a bit sweeter and smoother than cooked greens. That is appealing to people who just don’t like the taste of veggies but are aware that they should be getting more of them in their diet.
Blenders are good if you want smoothies made with fruit, but the experience isn’t quite as enjoyable if you subbed in vegetables. (Though surely someone, somewhere enjoys a broccoli smoothie.) If you are interested in juicing it up with a juicer, Healthline recommends putting the following in your shopping cart: kale, carrots, beets, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, parsley, cucumbers, Swiss chard, wheatgrass, celery and tomatoes. (Just remember to wash them first.)
What juicer should you buy? Let some professionals inform your purchasing decisions. Here are the best juicers for your money, as recommended by health experts and food bloggers.
Best Juicers: Updated September 2020
The Original Healthy Juicer: $74.95
You lose some nutrients when you juice, as all the pulp and associated run-off is filled with things that are good for you. But with the right juicer, you can make sure you’re getting as much good stuff in your juice as possible. Elliott Reimers, a M.S. candidate at Michigan State University and Certified Nutrition Coach at Rave Reviews, recommends the Original Healthy Juicer for the task.
“The Original Healthy Juicer is a manual juicer featuring an activating, live-enzyme cold-press process. Sometimes the larger electric juicers have a tougher time extracting juice from leafy greens unless you add a large amount, which is not always feasible,” he says. “Nutrients are preserved using a manual cold-press machine due to lack of heat generation from a motor, and you’ll be able to squeeze all the juice out of the pulp as a result. Unless you buy a pricier juicer that seamlessly juices leafy greens, The Original Healthy Juicer will be your go-to or supplement juicer.”
When you want juice, you only want juice, as too many leftover seeds or fibers hanging around in your drink can really gunk up the experience. That’s why Glen Wilde, the New Zealand-based CEO & founder of the online wellness resource Diet to Success, recommends the Aicok brand of juicers.
“It’s a bit quieter than comparable juicers and doesn’t send food or juice flying all over the kitchen,” he says. “The included brush simplifies cleaning the mesh filter basket, and the removable pieces are dishwasher safe. It’s a quick manual wash, though, as there aren’t many pieces to clean.”
Wilde adds that “what’s notable about the Aicok juicer is that it operates at a slower speed (i.e. heat reduction) to preserve vitamins and allows for maximum juice extraction,” he says. “You’ll notice that the pulp is pretty dry after running through the masticator, which is exactly what you want.
“During extraction, you’ll notice less foam and sediment than other juicers, which is great because no one likes to drink a foamy, clumpy glass of juice.”
Staying healthy can sometimes be a bit messy. But keeping your juicer clean and getting rid of all the detritus can be a bit of a hassle. Which is why Brian Kiselstein, the Chicago-based creator of the health website Think Healthy Fitness, recommends the Hurom H101 Juicer, which “provides the easiest cleanup I’ve ever seen in a juicer.”
Kiselstein adds, “You can easily rinse out the plastic strainer right after using it and let it dry before the next use, rather than having to soak and scrub some of the metal strainers I’ve used in the past. If you do need to do any scrubbing, this juicer actually comes with a double-sided cleaning brush that will get into all the places that can be a headache.”
The Hurom isn’t cheap, admittedly, but it features a stylish design, and you get value for your money as it also “comes with a smoothie and ice cream strainer so you can really get creative with your new juicer.”
With most juicers, all the pulp gets collected in a detachable unit, and some people like to use the leftovers for compost or in their garden. Some models make it a pain to remove the pulp catcher and clean the unit, but that is not the case with this Breville juicer, according to Stephanie Mantilla, the Virginia-based founder of Mommysaurus, a vegan-focused blog for families.
“I use and recommend the Breville E98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor. What I like most about this juice fountain is that it isn’t as expensive as many other brands but it works great,” she says. “The pulp that is produced is mostly dry so you’re getting most of the juice out of your produce.”
Mantilla adds that “unlike a cold-pressed juicer, this juicer is fast. The pulp collection container can hold quite a lot before needing to be emptied. I haven’t had to empty it mid-juice yet,” she says. “As with all juicers, once you’re done, I recommend soaking and cleaning the fine mesh part of the juicer before the pulp residue dries or else it is a huge inconvenience to clean.”