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Commercial Juices-What To Look Out For

Commercial Juices – The Low Down

I recently wrote a blog about Juicing and the ins and outs of its impact on your health.

Often, juicing claims include promises of detoxification, cleansing, weight loss and more. While some juices do have some health benefits, science shows us that they are not healthier than eating whole fruits and vegetables as they can result in your sugar intake sneaking up on you and your missing out on important nutrients and fibres found in the skin.

When you walk into a store looking for something to drink, you often think you are making the healthier choice by choosing a commercially produced or fresh juice rather than the alternative cold drinks or sports drinks. In fact, some of you may specifically go to a shop to buy that green or black detox juice, the red blend or even a cheeky cold-pressed shot.

Here are a few questions you should perhaps ask yourself before reaching for these trending juices:

Is the juice cold-pressed?

Using cold-press juicing methods help to retain more nutrients than other juicing methods such as centrifugal juicing as it uses hydraulic power to chew and crush the fruit and vegetables and does not emit any heat which can denature bioactive ingredients found in the juice.

Does the shelf-life affect nutritional content and is the juice fresh?

When buying a commercially produced juice, as opposed to one that is made on a per order basis, the nutritional content has decreased. There are some processes that commercial juices go through that change their nutritional content more than others.

Juices either need to be pasteurized or go through High-Pressure Processing (HPP) in order to make them safe for us to drink and to increase their shelf. HPP removes about 99.9% of micro bacteria from the product, while having minimal effects on the nutritional content of the juice. Pasteurization processes increase the contents to a very high temperature, destroying and denaturing enzymes and nutrients found in the juice.

How many fruit portions are found in the juice?

Why is it that most of these relatively new cold-press juice companies don’t have nutritional breakdowns on the back of their juices?

Are you reaching for a juice, thinking that you are well on your way to being leaner, healthier and energized? Well, maybe you should think again. Many of these juices contain way more than one fruit portion, and with a double-whammy of all the fibre being stripped away, your blood sugar levels are in for a rollercoaster ride. Not to mention the amount of calories you land up drinking as a result of the high fruit load – these juices can be fattening.

Is what they market the ingredients in the juice to do true?

Let’s talk about claims of detoxification, inflammation reduction, cleansing and all that jazz.

Black Juices

Drinking juices with activated charcoal as your magic detoxification or cleansing fix?

Activated charcoal, otherwise known as activated carbon, is a form of carbon that is very porous and acts like a sponge-like magnet that binds to chemicals that come in its way. It is classically used in the emergency rooms to bind to drugs and chemicals in overdoses.

Your body has its own complex detoxification system which includes organs such as the liver, gut and kidneys. You can activate detoxification processes by changing, for example, your dietary intake to eat less toxins and more bioactive ingredients which improves liver detoxing. Charcoal, on the other hand, binds to possible toxins found in the gut only, and it doesn’t activate your innate detoxification system. So, what else is it depriving you of at the same time? If you are drinking black juices close to taking any medication, with a nutritious meal or with other supplements, none of these will get absorbed for use in the body ‘cause they’ll just be excreted in your black stool. So, what about the nutrients found in the juice itself?!

How bioavailable are your nutrients in the juices you are drinking?

Juices made from fresh vegetables as well as fruits contain large amounts of nutrients and bioactive ingredients. The question is, how bioavailable are those nutrients for our bodies to use?

Juices with apple cider vinegar or lemon

Apple cider vinegar and lemons are fantastic inclusions for gut health and can help to optimize the guts acidity levels. Unfortunately, though, bioactives and other nutrients denature or de-activate in an acidic environment. Freshly made on-the-spot juices with these acidic agents are a better option as there is not much time for the acid to denature the nutrients and bioactive substances. How beneficial are the nutrients in the juices that sit in the fridge or on the shelf in an acidic environment for a longer period?

Turmeric containing shots

The bioactive ingredient in turmeric is known as curcumin.

Curcumin is known for its strong anti-inflammatory properties as it ‘switches off’ the master inflammatory conductor in the body, Nfkb. This means turmeric is good for controlling inflammatory bowel diseases, autoimmune diseases, collagen and joint health, weight control and cancer risk reduction.

Unfortunately, the curcumin in the turmeric is poorly absorbed which means, if not taken correctly, does not work. There are two things that are important when you look at optimizing the absorption of turmeric:

  • is having it with black pepper, cayenne pepper or chili powder as the ingredient piperine increases curcumins absorption.
  • is knowing that turmeric is fat soluble, which means it needs to dissolve in fat in order to make it through the liver and the stomach.

This is why it’s super popular to have a turmeric latté, which contains fat, with a sprinkle of pepper. Without both of these present, you are kind of wasting your time. How beneficial is a juice or shot containing turmeric without combining it with a meal that contains some healthy fats?

What does this all mean?

Don’t fall into the marketing trap of commercial juice brands. The importance lies in understanding the ingredients that make up your juice, how they have been prepared, their shelf-life and how they work in your body.

So the next time you about to glug that juice down your throat, just give your juice a second thought and make sure you have chosen the right one.

Nourish yourself to the sunrise.

Written with love ,
Sunrise by HM

Nourished yet? Comment on what I should write about next?

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