If you have walked around the produce section of almost any grocery story and noticed a rainbow colored array of juices and wondered about how good they actually are for you, then you aren’t alone! While they have been around for a while, cold pressed juices have been gaining popularity over the last couple of years and there are some good reasons why. Today, we are going to look at the difference between cold pressed juice and regular juice, some of their health benefits and things to watch out for when choosing a juice.
So, what exactly is a cold pressed juice and how is it different than some juices you may have had in the past? Traditional juicers, known as centrifugal juice extractors, use a fast spinning blade against a mesh filter to separate the juice from the flesh. One of the problems with these juicers is that they generate heat during the juicing process. The heat breaks down the enzymes in the fruits and vegetables, thereby decreasing their nutritional value. On the other hand, cold press juicers, also known as masticating juicers, first crush and then press fruits and vegetables. They do not generate heat, which enables the fruit and vegetables to keep more of their nutrients. In its raw form, cold pressed juice is good for only about 3-4 days, but manufacturers are able to apply an extremely high amount of pressure before sealing the juice in a bottle which extends the shelf life to 30-45 days. This is where the term “cold pressed” comes from.
If you decide to shop around for a cold pressed juice rather than making one yourself, there are a couple of things to watch out for when choosing one. Many cold pressed juices actually have more than one serving in a bottle so if you go through an entire bottle in a sitting, you will quickly pack on a lot of calories. It’s also important to check the bottle for the list of ingredients. You should be able to easily pronounce all of the listed ingredients so if you begin to see names that you can’t say, then it’s a big sign that the juice isn’t as healthy as it seems to be.
One of the major benefits of cold pressed juices is that it’s a quick way to pack in a ton of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables into your diet. It would be really difficult to actually sit and eat 3 lbs of fruits and vegetables in one sitting, but that is about how much you can find in one 16 ounce bottle of juice. Since one bottle can cost anywhere between $5-$10, cold pressed juices can run up your grocery bill pretty quickly. However, if you find yourself needing to get in a ton of nutrients quickly and easily, a cold pressed juice can be the way to go and because of the way the juice is processed, you will be consuming 100 percent of the vitamins, minerals and enzymes contained in the fruits and vegetables. They are also a great source of fiber and antioxidants, helping to boost the immune system, fight many different diseases and even help prevent cancer.
If you choose to do a juice cleanse, it is also a great way to reset your body. Doing a juice cleanse can help encourage a healthy balance of flora in the body, which can help with autoimmune diseases, IBS and even anxiety. A juice cleanse can also help reduce cellular damage and stress on the heart. A study done by researchers at UCLA showed that a 3 day juice cleanse will increase plasma nitric oxide in the blood. This helps to relax the lining of blood vessels thereby increasing blood flow and as a result, improving cardiovascular health.
The next time you are looking to cleanse your system or pack a lot of nutrients into your body, check out some different cold pressed juices. They are great after a weekend of indulgent eating or anytime you feel like you need a reset. Just make sure to check the label or try making them at home!
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Dostal, Allison. “Cold Pressed Juice: Hipster Hype or Health Hero?” 13 October 2015. International Food Information Council Foundation.Accessed 14 September 2017.
“What You Need to Know about Cold Pressed Juices (And Why You Should Go Green)”. MindBodyGreen. 7 May 2014. Accessed 14 September 2017.