How Healthy is that Juice? Juice and Pasteurization.

When we walk into a quality grocery store, we are likely to find:

  • Fresh produce, in the chillier part of the store and,
  • Frozen fruit and veggies, in the frozen food section.

When we then purchase these fresh and wholesome fruits and veggies, we are also just as likely to store them in the refrigerator, or a cooldry place.

The goal is to keep the fresh produce– fresher… longer.

If this is the case, why then do we buy fruit and vegetable juice from an unrefrigerated aisle, that can then be stored, for months, in a room temperature pantry?

The answer, of course, is pasteurization.

When juice is pasteurized, it is heated to a high temperature for a short period of time. Pasteurization destroys bacteria, molds, and unwanted micro-organisms, that might be lurking in the juice. Pasteurization also prolongs shelf-life, making it a much more cost-efficient product.   But what happens to those lovely raw vitamins, minerals and enzymes?

Gone baby.  All gone.

If heating something can destroy the bad, you better believe that it is going to destroy the good too. What does that leave us with then?  Perhaps a minisculeamount of nutrients, but only because most juice manufactures acknowledge this travesty, and attempt to “fortify” their juice with “vitamins”.  Hey! On the bright side, 100% juice products are, at least, not chemical ridden, and full of additives, like regular and diet soda pops.

In all seriousness though, after the pasteurization process, the brightly packaged juices, the ones that can sit for an eternity on the shelves of every market, are about as rich in nutrients as a pack of “natural” gummy worms. And that ain’t saying much.

In other words– we are left with sugar.  Lots and lots of sugar.

Fructose, the kind of sugar that is found naturally in fruit and vegetables, is fine in moderation when consumed R-A-W. This is because the live enzymes and nutrients that chaperon the sugar, offer the body much needed nourishment, and help the body to break down and assimilate itself, all the while, nourishing the body.

Fruit and vegetables juices, that are freshly pressed, are quite possibly one of the most hydrating, nourishing and healing drinks you can consume.

An avid juicer, I have found my Breville Juicer to be, perhaps, one of the best investments I have ever made.

Fresh juice should ideally be consumed on an empty stomach, without solid food.  This infuses the body and tissues with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and live enzymes.  Because it is lacking fiber, it does not require digestion– thus it gives up a burst of energy. To learn more about the power of juice, read the article entitled, Enzymes.

Knowing the ingredients in any food is crucial to understanding if it is healthy, or not.

But…

HOW the food, or in this case, juice, is prepared is just as important.

Next time you go to purchase a juice from the market, you may want to consider what about it is healthy, and nutritious, after it has been heated, and treated.  You may think you are giving your kids 100% grape juice, when in actuality, you are giving them an indulgent glass of grape sugar liquid. Yum!

I suggest investing in a juicer… you will not regret it.

A Better Juice for Kids  

2 organic pears

1/2 organic golden delicious apple

1/2 inch fresh ginger (optional)

3 stalks of celery

1/2 cucumber

(put through juicer, and serve over ice)

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