As more people move toward healthier lifestyles, more creative concoctions and combinations of foods have been created to support the consumption of a balanced diet. We’re swapping bleached white flour with coconut flour, minimizing ingredients in dishes and so on.
The latest trend surpassing vegetarianism or gluten-free eating is juicing. Juicing, to put it simply, is drinking the juices naturally extracted from fruits and vegetables (with the hopes of health improvement and ultimately weight-loss). Because of this hype, companies like Starbucks, BluePrintJuice and others are capitalizing on these cravings with the final products resulting in $11 16-ounce BPA free bottles of green slush.
In fact, Pasadena is home to a few juiceries such as Pressed Juicery, Revive Juice and Juicefarm, all of which boast above four-star ratings on Yelp. But before you empty your pockets for a $6.50 bottle of juice, there are some things you should know about juicing.
First, taste is a key component to why people may turn to the liquefied fruity goodness. If you eat an apple or banana in the morning, a huge kale and vegetable salad for lunch, and have a big side of grilled asparagus for dinner while enjoying every bit of it, juicing may not be for you. It is often when people can’t stand the texture of celery or the earthy taste of kale that juicing can help make vegetables more palatable.
That being said, there has been little scientific evidence that proves drinking your fruits and vegetables is no better than chewing them. The resulting liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals known as phytonutrients found in the whole fruit. However, whole fruits and vegetables also have nutritious fiber, which is lost during most juicing, according to experts at the MayoClinic. Some juicing proponents argue that the body can absorb the nutrients better and it gives your digestive system a rest from working on fiber.
Little has been proven to back that theory so far. Nonetheless, if you don’t consume vegetables or fruits at all, juicing is something that can supply these necessary nutrients and minerals, all while masking the taste of despised greens.
Second, juicing is not the answer to weight loss and is only part of what your body needs to thrive. Fruits (and plants) can contain natural sugar known as fructose. Excessive consumption of fruits can cause a spike in blood sugar and potentially pack on calories to your daily intake. However, if you’re expending more energy then taking in, the potential damage may be non-existent.
Third, the art of juicing may not leave you feeling full. Now for some that might not be a downfall. In my experience, the juices are light, energizing and refreshing. It can be drank minutes before a workout without the feeling of sitting too heavily yet leaving me somewhat fueled up. Consuming vegetables in the form of juice is simply convenient.
Last, this craze can be costly. I mentioned before that pre-pressed juices are priced anywhere from $6.50 to $12. So just buying six of these bad boys will cost you roughly $40, which is contrary to the idea of being budget-friendly. But there are reasons— valid or not— why the price of pressed juice is high.
For example, BluePrint juice requires six pounds of produce for every 16-ounce bottle. Starbucks’ fairly new Evolution juice line contains up to two pounds of fruits and vegetables for ever 15.2-ounce bottle, according to the Huffington Post. Hiked prices are also the result of decades-old processing known as pressing or cold-pressing.
Fruits and vegetables are ground into a slurry, placed in a permeable pouch, then squeezed with tremendous pressure so that nearly every viscous drop of juice bleeds out, leaving behind a pulp that is almost dry according to the New York Times, which is why this process is highly favorable yet expensive.
Knowing that this process takes a lot of time and mostly fresh, organic produce to make, it may be comforting to know that the product you’re spending your hard-earned cash on is considerably beneficial. If juicing is in your near future (and consistently a part of it) you might want to consider buying a juicer. Prices can range from as low as $30 to close to $1,000. In the long run, the latter may be the cheaper option.
The important idea to take away from juicing is that you just should consume your fruits and vegetables period, whether it’s liquid form, blended or neither. If you believe it’ll work for you, then it will. Remember, you can have all the vegetables you want and juice them too.