When it comes to juices, we know the market is saturated with options. A Yelp search of “juice bars” within a 4-block radius of our Flatiron studio yields over 10 legitimate results, and that’s not even considering grocery stores that have dozens (or if we’re talking Whole Foods – hundreds) of options inside. Green juice, red juice, attractive packaging, guarantees of feeling refreshed and nourished…we love our juice as much as the next FHIT fanatic! Sometimes there is so much to consider that we don’t know what our best choices are. “Cold-Pressed,” “pasteurized,” “superfood,” the lingo goes on and on. We did some research to clarify a few things; continue reading for the juicy low-down on what you should and should not be sipping.
Cold-pressed juice is touted as the healthiest kind of juice out there. The juicing process for cold-pressed juice involves crushing fruits and veggies with extremely high pressure and “pressing” the juice out of produce. The process tends to yield juice with slightly more pulp than other juicing processes. This amps up the fiber content of your juice, keeping you fuller longer - always a good thing!
You are much more likely to find bottled cold-pressed juices in a grocery store than at a juice bar. Cold-pressing takes much more time than other juicing processes, so a cold-pressed custom juice is not something one can just whip up.
Centrifugal juicers are the ones that allow for easy at-home juicing and quick custom drinks at juice bars. However convenient, these juicers extract juice via a super-speed rotating blade, causing friction and heat, and studies show that they can destroy a lot of enzymes and nutrients. Don’t let that stop you from drinking these juices, though; they are still a healthy and delicious choice for you to nourish yourself.
In regard to juices, the term “raw” means that the produce and juice were never heated over 115 degrees. This means the enzymes in your fruits and vegetables are still intact and ready to aid in digestion.
Pasteurization heats juice to near-boiling temperatures to kill pathogens and bad bacteria. The high heat kills the majority of nutrients in the juice, leaving behind mostly sugar and water. Pasteurized juices are not a good option for someone juicing for their health. Let’s be honest, that’s the majority of us.
You should absolutely be able to pronounce every ingredient in your juice. Step away from anything that sounds like chemicals! The healthiest juices are loaded with things that grow from the ground or on trees.
Here at The Fhitting Room, it’s no secret that we love green. That translates to our juices of choice, too! Juices that are packed with nutritionally dense, dark, leafy greens, including kale, spinach, celery, parsley and more, pack a huge health punch.
If your juice has more fruits than vegetables, it’s likely too-sugary of an option. For every 8 ounces of juice, try to keep the sugar count below 12 grams. If an all-greens juice just doesn’t appeal to your palate, don’t worry. There are more ways to enhance taste than just adding sugary fruits. Cucumbers, ginger and lemon are all great additions.
Just because something is called a “superfood” does not necessarily mean it’s super for you. If you smash a bunch of superfood fruits together, you would wind up with a wildly high-sugar drink, and you’ll crash harder than you might from a big cup of coffee. Did you know there’s not even a concrete list of superfoods out there? The term has become a bit of a marketing ploy to appeal to the mass of health-conscious consumers.