In a head-to-head comparison between masticating and centrifugal juicers, you may end up at the losing corner if not careful. How can you be careful? Read the reviews and comparisons with this question in mind. Ask yourself, “Can I use this juicer every day for the rest of my life?”
I know that is a long time and it should be. After all, aren’t your vitality and longer life reasons for juicing? You are trying to develop habits that maintain your health, your energy, and your enthusiasm for the rest of your life. Juicers can actually help with that assuming and this is a big assumption, assuming that you use them regularly.
You know yourself better than anyone else, read the reviews not to find the best masticating or centrifugal juicer on the market but the best juicer for you – The one that you are most likely to use.
Questions about accessibility which ties into counter space, about cleaning and juice extraction speed which ties into your time, about juice yield, warranty length, and price that ties into your finances all fall under the same question asked another way. “Does the juicer you are looking at have the specifications that make it easier for you to use every day?”
Let’s go over some details, comparisons, and reviews that could help you figure that out.
One of the primary reasons for juicing is health benefits by increasing the nutrients you consume. One factor that destroys nutrients is oxidation. Anytime you see a slice of apple turn brown, nuts go rancid or iron rust you are seeing the impact of oxidation. Exposure to oxygen does that, it changes and often destroys the chemical makeup of nutrients.
When a juicer spins at high rpm, it generates foam. Within those tiny bubbles exposure to oxygen increases which speeds up the destruction of nutrients. Just like in fruits, one bad one left in the middle of a few good ones, makes them all go bad fast. Oxidation result is that you get fewer nutrients for a shorter time. This is one reason that drinking juice as close to the time of juicing is the most beneficial way. However, if you had to carry your juice with you, the froth created with a high-speed centrifugal juicer will destroy the nutrients much faster than the slow-turning masticating juicers.
Health Benefits – Heat
In a high rpm machine, if left alone, you can generate enough heat to boil water and make soup. My Vitamix machine is an extreme of this process. The soup tastes great. However, any heat generated during the process of spinning will destroy some of the nutrients. When a centrifugal juicing manufacturer boasts high thousands of revolutions per minute, they are actually telling you the heat-generating potential of the machine.
To know how fast damage can happen, think of the time that you have accidentally touched a hot iron or hot stove. Your skin burns in seconds at that heat. If you have ever skid down a gym rope or had someone pull the rope out of your hand in a tug of war, you would know how your hand burns as bad with a cold rope that instantly heats up hotter than the oven and remains as cold. That is the power of friction. That is the power that can destroy the nutrients in your juicing especially the live enzymes.
In contrast with centrifugal systems, masticating juicing machines turn at around 100 rpm. They are slow and cold and preserve most of your nutrients in the juicing process.
I don’t know of anyone who prefers a cell phone plan with less time and more cost, working more hours and getting paid less, or choosing a savings account that gives them less interest over the one that gives them more. These are all examples that we look for efficiency and productivity. We want to get the most out of our time and investment.
It helps you if you carried the same attitude toward food by choosing the foods that give you the most nutrients, most energy, most clarity of thinking over the nutrients that do the opposite.
But I digress.
When you extract juice, more than likely you will through the pulp away, even though, theoretically, you can use it in preparing other foods. There are a few of you amazing guys and gals who do that. But you are the exception. The rest of us have to play catch up with you.
The pulp is in this case a waste product. Masticating juicers yield much more juice from the same amount of fruits. This means three things. The first is that you are not throwing good produce that still has juice in it way. The second is that you are not throwing your money away and the third which is a big one is you are not throwing your time away. You have more to show for in every instance from your investment.
How can you tell which juicing machine is more efficient? Weigh the leftover pulp. The one with less pulp is the winner.
Longer Juice Shelf Life
We touched on oxidation and heat in the health benefits. The shelf life of your juice is a byproduct of those two. The juice you get from centrifugal juicers due to exposure to oxygen and heat has much less shelf life. Since you may need to drink at least part of your juice later, the longer shelf life helps you accomplish that.
Remember that you are trying to find a machine you can use every day. Masticating juicers with only around 100 RPM are far quieter than centrifugal juicers at thousands of RPM. I used to get up at 3:30 AM to get to work. Turing a noisy juicer on was not an option.
Safer & Easier Clean Up
With no sharp edges and no mesh, it is much easier to clean masticating juice machines. On the other hand, if you leave the cleaning for later, you’ll have a hard time with the dried-up material.
Health – Leafy Greens & Nuts
Centrifugal juicers have a hard time with leafy greens, and impossible times with grasses and herbs and you can entirely forget about nuts. Much of the health benefits of juicing come from leafy greens, grasses, and herbs. I don’t know of any way that you can have a comprehensive and complete juicing program without these. Masticating process can easily extract juice from these and nuts too.
Practicality – Murhpy’s Law
I know Murphy’s with his “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” attitude is just sitting around waiting to catch me off guard especially in matters of health. I want to do my best not to fall for it.
Masticating models have a much longer warranty, some of them up to 15 years by companies that have been around for much longer. That is a huge peace of mind for me.
Being practical also means working within your budget. Money management challenges could have more negative effects on your mental state than the faster oxidation process in some juicers. Masticating juicers are in general more expensive to start than centrifugal ones.
However, over the long run, because of their efficiency and higher yield, the amount of juice they produce will be more which means they save you money.
If you feel you are really crunched for time and an extra few minutes makes a difference for you, then centrifugal juicers would be the one to start with. Remember to choose what you would use daily. Who knows, maybe as you put some real food in your body, and your mind and body feel the impact, the clarity of thought and more energy and less stress could help you find the additional time needed to feel even better, and then you can upgrade.
Masticating juicing machines come in horizontal models and vertical models. The vertical models have less footprint. Centrifugal models are vertical. At least, in the beginning, plan to have the machine in sight and accessible to help you juice more often. If you have limited space go with the one that could sit on your countertop. I can guarantee that you would use it more often.
Time Management & Emotional Fulfillment
I have watched the intense drama of preparing children for school and getting them to eat their vegetables especially if the parents don’t themselves. This spills over to other habits and exposures to harmful energy drinks that leave children empty, foggy, without adequate nutrients and contribute to their weight gain.
Starting a juicing program could change a lot of that assuming you can do it fast at least in the beginning. Centrifugal juicing models are fast. You can mix vegetables that children normally may not eat with fruits they love to eat. The combination expands their pallets and you are right there with them so you don’t come across as a hypocrite. I am sure parents of teenagers can really relate to that word.
Heath – Fiber
Most start juicing as a fast and convenient way of naturally increasing the number of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting enzymes. The primary principle behind juicing is to break down the structure of the plants and squeeze all the nutrients out of every cell. The more efficiently you do this, the more you leave the structure behind.
Part of that structure is healthy and necessary fiber. We already talked about how in-efficient centrifugal systems are. That may not be necessarily a bad thing. If your diet lacks enough fiber, the inefficiency of these systems leaves more fiber behind to supplement your nutrition plan.
Health – Weight Loss and Hunger
One of the side benefits of fiber is slowing down the digestion process and keeping you fuller for longer. If weight loss is your goal, being hungry makes the process more unpleasant, and having continuous sugar spikes changes your mood. In these cases, you may want to consider less efficient centrifugal juicers over more efficient masticating ones.
What is your next step in buying a juicer?
Like in most things, write down what you want to get out of it first. Your goal could be better health, more energy, or weight loss. Then check your constraints including time, counter space, noise tolerance, budget, and other things that may interfere with your daily juicing routines. With these, you would end up with either a centrifugal juicing machine or a masticating juice extractor. From there, you can narrow down your search to models and checkout warranties and reviews.