Many people are introduced to the wonderful benefits of incorporating juice into their diet with lower-end juicers often referred to as centrifugal juicers. While these juicers are an excellent way to start improving one’s health, lifestyle and well-being, the centrifugal design is not optimal for extracting juice from some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet: leafy greens like spinach and kale. Certainly, some juice can be extracted with even the most affordable juicer, but to truly get the maximum amount of nutrition from these wondrous superfoods, it’s important to use a juicer designed for these types of soft, leafy greens.
Both spinach and kale were popular vegetables in Europe throughout the Middle Ages having been imported from Asia via the trade routes known today as the Silk Road. Easy to green and hardy enough to withstand colder temperatures, both of these leafy greens are packed full of minerals, nutrients, and essential vitamins.
While many sometimes exaggerated health claims have been made concerning the consumption of kale and spinach, there is no controversy whatsoever that these are two of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet, ideal for incorporating into juice as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Nutritional Content in Kale and Spinach
Many nutritionists consider spinach a “superfood” due to its high concentration of vitamins, minerals and essential trace nutrients. Popularized in the series of Popeye cartoons for its dense concentration of nutrients, spinach is one of the oldest plants cultivated by human beings and is now consumed all over the world.
The biological name of spinach is spinacia oleracea and the plant is related to other nutritionally-dense plants like quinoa, chard, and beets.
Nutritional information for one cup (about 30g) of raw spinach:
Fat: 0.1 g
Sodium: 24 mg
Potassium: 167 mg
Carbohydrates: 1.1 g
Protein: 0.9 g
Calcium: 3% of RDA (recommended daily allowance)
Vitamin A: 56% RDA
Vitamin B6: 5% RDA
Vitamin C: 14%
Spinach is particularly rich in dietary iron, vitamin K, folates, copper, vitamin E, potassium and vitamin A (the all-important carotenoids). Spinach is also a good source of zinc, phosphorous and vitamin B1.
The last 10 years have seen the emergency of kale as the new hot superfood thanks to its dense nutritional value and unique taste. A popular vegetable in the Ancient Roman Empire as well as in Europe throughout the Middle Ages, kale was largely forgotten until recently. Kale is sometimes known as “leaf cabbage” and is related to broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens.
Kale contains large amounts of polyphenols, a known anti-oxidant, and is an outstanding source of many vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
Nutritional information for one cup (about 65g) of raw kale:
Fat: 0.6 g
Sodium: 25 mg
Potassium: 329 mg
Carbohydrates: 6 g
Protein: 2.9 g
Iron: 6% RDA (recommended daily allowance)
Phosphorus: 4% RDA
Calcium: 9% RDA
Vitamin A: 206% RDA
Vitamin B6: 9% RDA
Vitamin C: 134% RDA
Vitamin K: 684% RDA
Magnesium: 7% RDA
Zinc: 2% RDA
Many juicing enthusiasts have nicknamed kale as the “queen of greens” for its high concentration of phytonutrients, vitamins, and essential minerals.
5 Best Juicers for Kale and Spinach
Both kale and spinach are packed full of highly nutritious juice but many juicers can struggle to extract the essential liquid goodness locked inside of these soft leafy greens.
Below are five juicers ideal for juicing kale and spinach:
The Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush is a unique vertical masticating juicer that uses a whisper quiet 240-watt motor to efficiently extract juice in a compact machine. With a footprint of just 8.5 by 7.5 inches, this single-auger “cold press” juicer uses an advanced filter to maximize the amount of juice extracted from soft, leafy greens like kale and spinach. With a very attractive chrome and black design and weighing just 14 pounds, the Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush looks good on any kitchen countertop and is easy to clean and store when not in use. The extra large vertical feed chute design makes it easy to push through soft leafy greens like kale and spinach, resulting in very dry pulp and delicious juice. To prevent clogging and overheating that could oxidize or damage the enzymes in the juice, the Breville BJS600XL Fountain Crush comes with a convenient reverse function.
The VonShef Professional Slow Masticating Juicer uses a proprietary low-speed process to both save energy as well as protect valuable nutrients and enzymes in the juice from heat damage or oxidation. Using a very quiet but powerful 150-watt motor, the VonShef Professional Slow Masticating Juicer has a convenient vertical design to minimize countertop space while efficiently extracting juice from soft leafy greens like kale, parsley and spinach. The included attachments also let the VonShef Professional Slow Masticating Juicer to make nut butters, pates, baby food, as well as grind coffee beans. The innovative design of the VonShef Professional Slow Masticating Juicer makes it very easy to clean by simply pouring water into the machine after you’re finishing juicing, and all of its components are safe for use in the dishwasher.
The Fagor 670041910 Platino Plus comes in a stylish chrome and black design that is very compact. Able to efficiently extract juice from leafy greens like kale and spinach as well as wheatgrass, the single-auger design of the Fagor 670041910 Platino Plus does an excellent job of separating dry pulp from silky smooth juice. Using a powerful but quiet 150-watt motor turning at just 80-90 RPM, the Fagor 670041910 Platino Plus extracts juice safely using the “cold press” method so as to preserve the vital nutrients from heat damage and oxidation. The Fagor 670041910 Platino Plus comes with a drip-free spout, weighs just 9 pounds and has a footprint of just 12 by 12 inches. The Fagor 670041910 Platino Plus also comes with a special basket designed to convert frozen fruit into a delicious sorbet.
The Lexen GP27 gives juicing enthusiasts a unique opportunity to have better control over the juicing process. Available in two different stylish colors, the Lexen GP27 is a hand-cranked juicer that requires no electricity to easily and efficiently extract juice from soft leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens as well as wheatgrass. One of the most affordable juicers on the market designed for soft greens, the Lexen GP27 is extremely easy to operate and clean after use.
Designed by juicing enthusiasts with more than a decade of experience in creating fresh, tasty juice from nutrient-dense foods like kale and spinach, the Lexen GP27 is ruggedly built and yet amazingly lightweight at just 2.4 pounds. The Lexen GP27 is designed to be portable, attaching to any flat surface with both a clamp and a suction base, this juicer is ideal for RVs, camping, or juicing on the go.
With a stylish and futuristic all-white design, the Green Power Juicer – KPE 1304 is a horizontal masticating style juicer ideal for soft leafy greens like kale, parsley, and spinach as well as wheatgrass. Using a large feed chute, the Green Power Juicer – KPE 1304 pushes fruits and vegetables through a special bio-ceramic and magnetic plate to ionize juice, preventing it from oxidizing or being damaged by heat. With a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty, the Green Power Juicer – KPE 1304 is a rugged juicer designed for large volumes of continuous juicing. With a convenient carrying handle and weighing just 13.7 pounds, the Green Power Juicer – KPE 1304 is designed for portability and easy storage when not in use. The Green Power Juicer – KPE 1304 comes with two different screens to maximize the efficacy of separating juice from pulp for both hard and soft vegetables and fruits.
Juicing professionals know that adding nutrient-dense foods like kale and spinach to a juicing lifestyle is a great way to maximize the amount of essential vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals into your diet. Whether you select a sophisticated multi-stage masticating juicer or a well-designed manual juicer, it is essential to use a machine capable of efficiently extracting the invaluable nutrient-dense juice of leafy greens like spinach and kale in order to gain the benefits of these superfoods.