Juice can be categorised into fruit juice, vegetable juice and a combination of both. It is 100% pure juice made from the flesh of fresh vegetables or fruits, depending on the type used without any sugars, sweeteners, preservatives or colourings.
Commercial Juice a No-No
Commercial juices emerged due to the high demand of juices. They are filtered to remove fibre or pulp. According to Alissa Hamilton, most commercial juices are highly processed into liquid that bears little nutritional resemblance to fresh juice. In her book Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice, she mentioned that the juice is pasteurized which decimates its vitality, then kept in giant tanks to ensure there is sufficient supply all year round. To preserve it, the oxygen is removed, which means the natural compounds that give oranges flavour are destroyed.
The “Best Before” on Juice Packs
If you see the “best before” date is 60 days or more, you would know that this is a heavily processed juice. In contrast, cold-pressed juice, organic juice are “best to consume within the number of days after opening”. This is because cold-pressed juice does not use heat. It preserves valuable enzymes and vitamins for up to 3 days. This explains its short-shelf life.
The Ideal Healthy Juice
The criteria includes:
- 100% natural
- 100% organic
- not from concentrate
- includes puree or pulp
- USDA organic
- made from 100% freshly squeezed juice, not re-diluted concentrate
- no added sugar (contains natural sugars)
- no added colourings, preservatives or flavourings
- no added vitamins (fruits and vegetables contain vitamins of their own)
In other words, there must not be sweeteners because healthy juices is entirely fruit and/or vegetable juices. Going for organic juices avoids concentrating pesticides into the juice, indicating a higher-quality healthy juice.
Remember to always read the ingredients list no matter what you buy. Observe if you notice any uncommon ingredients. In general, the ingredient that is listed first is the largest ingredient. By studying the list, you will know it a beverage is mostly juice or mostly sugar water.
What makes an excellent ingredients list? As simple as it is, look for “100% fruit juice” and “certified organic”, which means these do not contain additives and is not from concentrate. “100% fruit juice” means the content is entirely juice from fruits or vegetables. Organic fruits have shown to contain higher level of antioxidants than conventional fruits do, contributing to a healthier option for fruit juice.
Go for Organic
Needless to say, organic juice means juice produced from organically grown fruits and/or vegetables. This would be the better option for one’s health because it allows us to absorb the all-natural goodness for optimal health benefits. Even though the price of organic juices is higher than other types of juices, it is worth investing on because health is wealth. What’s the point of being wealthy when your body isn’t healthy?