Juice: Not All Are Created Equal

August 2015 - Health & Wellness

We know it is important to eat unprocessed and unrefined whole foods, but are we giving the same consideration to what we are drinking?

Faux Juice

Water is good (so good we dedicated a whole article to it, check it out here), but what about juice? We asked Nature’s Fare’s NutritionistLisa Kilgour, R.H.N.who says the billion-dollar industry of marketing food products has made it very difficult to know what is healthy and what isn’t.

“Frozen, canned, or not-from-concentrate juice has lost all of the good stuff,” says Kilgour. “You are drinking the natural sugar, less the fiber, with a little bit of vitamin C. A tasty drink that’s only a little better than pop in nutritional value.”

Kilgour says we’ve been so conditioned to shop for flavor that we forget about the quality of a product and its impact on our good health.

“Fresh orange juice can taste very different from what major brands have conditioned our taste buds to recognize. The only way a product can maintain such flavor consistency is by stripping the oranges of their natural state and adding chemically derived flavor packs,” explains Kilgour.

Canadian author Alissa Hamilton’s 2009 book Squeezed flags similar concerns and sheds light on the fact the pasteurization process that prolong the shelf-life of not-from-concentrate orange juice makes it little more than sugar water.

Real Juice

Now that you are up to speed on some of the miscues of the market, we wanted to offer some good news, about real juice. Whether you are using a juicer in your home or are a regular at the local juice bar the consumption of fresh juice infuses your diet with nutrients and beneficial enzymes.

“If you are getting over an illness, have a chronic illness or haven’t been eating well juicing is a way to give your system a boost and increase your energy levels,” says Kilgour.

Kilgour says juice, like anything in life, should be taken in moderation and a variety of in-season produce used. In the summer cooling combinations of cucumbers and melons, in the winter try warming foods like carrots, beets, ginger, and apples. The Apple Bistro’s ‘Clarity’ blend of peaches, apples, lime, and fresh mint might hit your spot during these dog days of summer.

Kilgour also places more importance on the timely consumption of fresh juice for maximum nutritional benefit, over whether you’re using a masticating/cold-press or centrifugal machine.

“Any fresh pressed juice is just plain higher in nutrients. However, real juice is not shelf-stable for six months, so ideally you’ll consume it in two or three days to benefit from the available phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.”

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