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 1.5 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. They 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 might not be quite as enjoyable if you sub 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 everything 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.
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 it's BPA-free and very quiet compared to many other juicers and blenders. You definitely get good 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," Kiselstein says.
2. Best centrifugal juicer: Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus Juice Extractor
With most juicers, all the pulp gets collected in a detachable unit, and some people like to use the leftovers for compost 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 Plant Prosperous, 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."
This is somewhat unusual considering that this Breville model is a centrifugal juicer. So-called slow juicers (a.k.a. masticating juicers) are generally considered superior in terms of extracting nutrients from fruits, vegetables and greens.
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."
The Breville offers a choice of two juicing speeds: low for softer fruits and leafy vegetables, and high for harder veggies and denser fruits. It features a large 3"-wide chute for adding the ingredients for juicing, and comes with a 35.2-ounce jug for froth separating, as well as a brush to help at cleanup time.
3. Editor's pick: Cuisinart CSJ-300 Easy Clean Slow Juicer
As the name indicates, slow juicers, also known as masticating juicers, work more slowly than centrifugal juicers. Slow juicers usually feature a fairly narrow chute for adding ingredients, which are forced into a chamber and squeezed into juice by a rotating auger. The juice is pressed through a strainer into a pitcher for collection, while the remnant pulp is left behind (and sometimes is directed to another spout).
Centrifugal juicers work much faster, and the resulting juice tastes just as good to most people, but experts generally say that slow juicers are better at extracting the most nutrients possible from fruits, vegetables and greens.
And if a slow juicer is what you want, check out the Cuisinart CSJ-300, which is a good size and winds up producing very dry pulp (meaning all the good stuff is extracted). Not only is this machine great at extracting nutrients, this Cuisinart is exceptionally easy to clean (which is rare for juicers, especially for slow masticating models). With the exception of the motor, all of the components are dishwasher-safe, so you can simply take the machine apart and place everything on the top rack of your dishwasher for easy cleaning.
At around $160, this Cuisinart juicer may seem fairly expensive. Just bear in mind that it's less than half the price of some slow juicers on the market.
4. Best for low prices (manual): The Original Healthy Juicer
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."
To use the Original Healthy Juicer, you physically crank the arm of the device, which should be fastened with a vise to a countertop or table. (The vise is part of the machine; you do, however, need a good spot to set up the juicer.) The tradeoffs for providing your own muscle to the operation are good quality juices and a low price compared to other juicers: The Original Healthy Juicer is usually priced at around $75.
5. Best for low prices (electric): Hamilton Beach Premium Juicer Machine
For around $100, the Hamilton Beach is a great value considering that it's not a manual machine — it's electric, providing 850 watts and a choice of high or low power settings — and it comes with a big 40-ounce BPA-free pitcher with lid and froth separate for collecting your juice.
What's more, Hamilton Beach calls this juicer its "Big Mouth" model because it comes with an extra-wide 3" chute for adding ingredients. That's the same width chute as the XL Breville model, which costs a bit more.
Overall, the Hamilton Beach is easy to assemble and use, and is good for making a nice big batch of juice, quickly and hassle-free. Cleanup is easy too, as all the parts are dishwasher-safe. Alternately, Hamilton Beach as a similar Big Mouth Juicer Machine for around $55 to $60, but it has slightly lower power (800 watts) and doesn't come with a pitcher for catching the juice.
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.
[NOTE: It's very confusing, but the Aicok juicer recommended here is also sold under the brand name Aicook. Here's the product as it's listed on the company's website, if you're interested.]
"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."