Friday, April 6, 2012

Beware of Pasteurized Juices and Green Drinks ( Superfood and Naked Juice).

I was shopping at Trader Joe's this afternoon and saw this HUGE display of bottled Green Plant Juice. Steer clear unknowing health savvy consumer-THIS is a health trap! I have supressed my inner Nutritional Therapist for quite sometime now and remained pretty quite on my opinions on the juicing debate-well apparently today's the day, I am giving you my two cents! (perhaps it's more like 4 cents).*ha*;)

For the record: I do not advocate pasteurized green drinks or juices as part of a healthy diet.

The benefit of juicing is to get a condensed dose of nutrients, minerals and enzymes. This practice can be extremely therapeutic, hydrating and nourishing to the body, but there are some definite ground rules that you MUST understand before you take stock in Odwalla, Naked Juice or run out and buy the next Power Juicer 5000.

NEWSFLASH: The juices that you can buy in the grocery store are PASTEURIZED.

What is Pasteurization?

Pasteurization is a process where they heat juices to 161 degrees for 15 seconds killing all of the potential BAD mold, bacteria and microorganisms and most of the GOOD nutrients, minerals and enzymes. This denatured/ pasteurized juice product that is left is essentially nothing more then colored SUGAR WATER.(!!!!) Did you ever wonder why they are suddenly fortifying juices with Calcium and Vitamin D?

*Note that there are 25 g of SUGAR per 8 oz serving in this Odwalla SuperFood. This juice is 16 oz (multiply the serving size by two). There are 4 grams of sugar PER TEASPOON meaning that this ONE Odwalla Superfood has 12 and a half teaspoons (or 4 Tablespoons) of SUGAR in it! YEOWSERS!

Here is My Guide To Juicing:

1. Never Buy Pasteurized Juice as a HEALTH DRINK.
Pasteurized juice is NOT a healthy drink. Pasteurized juice has way too much sugar and far too little nutrients. (Not to mention too many added STABILIZERS to keep it UNCLUMPED and tasting 'Fresh'.) No thanks!

Fresh Pressd Juices:

1. Only Juice ORGANICS. If you are juicing conventional produce you are getting a mega dose of all the nasty pesticides sprayed on and saturating your fruits and veggies.These fruits and vegetables known as the " DIRTY DOZEN" MUST be bought organic as they are they have the highest content of sprayed pesticides and fertilizers on them.

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines
7. Grapes
8. Potatoes
9. Blueberries
10. Kale/Collard Greens
11. Lettuces
12. Bell Peppers

2. Juicing should be an 80/20 ratio. 80% VEGETABLES TO 20% FRUITS. Too many fruits= too much sugar.

3. Juices should be thought of as a 'dose of nutrients', NOT as a long term meal replacement plan. Juicing can be very therapeutic for someone with compromised digestion or in conjunction with a temporary cleanse or fast. Your body is brilliant and it is designed to eat and digest a variety of nourishing foods. Personally, I will take the crisp refreshing crunch of celery anyday over celery juice--maybe it's just me? I LOVE THE TEXTURES of REAL FOOD!

4. A note on beneficial fiber. This has been the hardest thing for me to wrap my mind around. I love fiber, I think fiber is KEY to a healthy diet and good digestion. Juicing extracts the magnificent dietary fiber from the the fruit or vegetable and chucks it into a side trolly in your juicer. Don't blindly toss it out or compst it. SAVE THIS! Bake with it, cook with it, put it in soups! I remember one of our super smart Food For Thought Family members, mentioned that she was an avid juicer but made muffins out of the pulp! YES! Do that! You can also add fiber back into your juice by adding: flax, hemp and chia seeds are fantastic sources of fiber.

6. Protein and Fat: Juices are devoid of proteins and fats so it is benefical to add some back in. As mentioned above, chia, flax and hemp are great sources of protein and fiber. Adding some good fats like: almonds, avocados, eggs, coconut oil, Omega-3's can be great in juices or fresh fruit smoothies. Adding fats into your juice will actually help your body benefit and get the optimal vitamins out of your juice. Vitamins like vitamins: A, D, E and Vitamin K actually NEED FAT to be used by the body!

7. Fresh pressed juices should be kept in a air tight container and refrigerated. Do not consume juices that are older then 3 days old. Juices denature and anything that was beneficial about drinking your juice has expired after 3 days. This really makes you rethink your Minute Maid Orange Juice that is seemingly still fresh after 3 weeks doesn't it?

I think juicing CAN be a wonderful addition to a healthy diet when done correctly. Here's to knowing the facts and being a well informed consumer and advocate for your health!

Happy Juicing!

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