At cure.fit, we listen to our users at every step. As a part of our regular user connect exercise, we spoke to 120 eat.fit users. The objective of this exercise was to find out their perceptions and preference regarding fruit juices. Here are some interesting findings along with factual information on various types of juices.
Juices are seen as a healthy snack and therefore, an irreplaceable category for ~90% of our app users who workout regularly
These users consume juices at-least 2-3 times a week. Given that fresh juices are inconvenient to make at home and especially given the pandemic, ordering it from outside/ consuming it at a juice-bar has safety implications, the users have largely moved to consuming branded, sealed and packed juices. Depending on the way juices are processed, they are divided into:
- Branded Regular Juices
- Cold-pressed Juices
Branded regular juices are seen as artificial and full of sugar and therefore unhealthy by 45% users while cold-pressed juices are seen as more natural and healthier. The remaining majority of the users do not clearly see a prominent difference between these two and hence, we decided to spell out the differences to help you make a healthier choice.
Let us first understand how these two are different in the way they are processed.
Branded Regular juices:
Making juice might seem simple – you extract it from fruits/vegetables. However, the process is complex. First, the fruits and vegetables are put into an ultra-speed commercial centrifugal unit – that has a sharp cutting blade that rapidly spins. The next process is usually pasteurization which gives these juices their shelf life. This involves “cooking” the juice for at least 45 minutes at 110-degree celsius. This cooked juice is reduced to a concentrate with a large part of its water content removed, this makes it easier to logistically handle the shipping and storing.
At a later time, this is diluted with water and additional ingredients are put in including synthetic vitamins and minerals, sweeteners, colourings, and “flavour packs”. From here, the juices are packed in a carton/ bottle and dispatched. While the label may claim natural flavourings and colours along with a list of vitamins, these are chemically added at a later stage.
Cold-pressed juices: Cold-pressed juice is made with a special juicer that uses a hydraulic press and slow pulverizer to juice the fruits and veggies. They crush and press the fruits and veggies to extract the juice. These juices have a shorter shelf life as these don’t undergo heavy processing.
Why are cold-pressed juices better for you?
According to the FDA, unless fruit juices are pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy harmful pathogens, they could be contaminated. Most packaged juices in the market are pasteurized or heated. But with pasteurization, the nutrients could be lost. A 2017 study pointed out that high-pressure techniques are better than heat treatment when it comes to retention of health-promoting compounds like anthocyanins. The researchers said that pressure-based food preservation techniques (ones that are used to make cold-pressed juices) are better than pasteurization while also retaining vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Additionally, cold-pressed juices do not involve rapid spinning that causes friction and hence, loss of nutrients.
A study which reviewed two decades of research on the effect of cold-pressed fruit juices (100% pure fruit juices) on human health reported that these increase antioxidant capacity in blood plasma for a few hours after consumption and in some cases, offers long-term health benefits. The research also highlighted the potential health-related and disease prevention markers associated with consuming these juices as part of a balanced diet.
While there is no doubt that eating fresh fruits is great for the body and has a long list of benefits like the rich fibre content, it might not be possible to eat large volumes of fruits every day and therefore, cold-pressed juices might just be the right choice for you.
We have put together a list for you to check while opting for juices:
- Read the label and make sure there are no hidden ingredients that are unhealthy – like sugars, disguised under different names
- Know the serving size and calorie count – Because cold-pressed juice is so nutritionally dense, it contains a higher caloric count. It takes a lot of fruits to make that 200 ml of juice, so it’s going to be more calories than just one single piece of fruit. That doesn’t mean you should abstain. Just be aware of how much cold-pressed juice you’re consuming so you don’t overdo it
- Good cold-pressed juices don’t have preservatives, because of which they don’t have a long shelf life – so be sure to check the expiry date before consuming
Note: Cold-pressed juices can not replace eating fruit and veggies. But act as a way to add supplement vitamins & minerals in the diet