So what exactly is cold-pressed juice? And how does it differ from ‘normal’ juices? After all, it’s about extracting the juice from the fruit. Does it matter how it’s done?
This type of juicer is the one most commonly used.
The juice is extracted from the fruit when the fruit is pushed down into a mesh chamber, and shredded by the sharp teeth on the floor of the chamber. It is then spun at high speed to separate the juice from the pulp, and voila! Your juice comes out the spigot devoid of pulp.
A cold-press juicer works differently from a centrifugal as it is ‘gentler’ on the fruit. The fruit is compressed and squeezed to extract the juice, as opposed to it being shredded.
What difference does this make to the juice?
Do both methods still produce juice? Yes, they do. However the major difference between the two would be the exposure to heat. A centrifugal juicer produces heat during the process and this can destroy some of the heat-sensitive vitamins and minerals. It also oxidises the nutrients which means you’re not getting the best juice possible.
It is believed that a cold-press juicer produces juice which retains more vitamins and minerals as there is less (negligible) heat in the juicing process compared to that of a centrifugal juicer. This method is touted to produce juice that is healthier with most of the nutrients intact.
Although it is recommended to consume juices immediately, the cold-press method claims to have a longer shelf-life as most of its nutrients are still intact due to the absence (or very little) heat used during the juicing process. It is however still recommended that you consume it within 24 hours. The cold-pressed juices that are sold are usually bottled and sealed immediately, then refrigerated to maintain its freshness. The method used to bottle these juices is said to give them a refrigerated shelf-life of up to three days.
Are juices really good for you?
There are two schools of thought on this.
Juices are easy for the body to digest, thus giving the digestive system a break. Your digestive system won’t have to work as hard as when it has to break down the food before the nutrients can be absorbed.
Fresh juice is absorbed immediately and is like a nutrient shot in the bloodstream. Juices allow for the nutrients to be readily available for the body, as compared to eating the fruit or vegetable whole. Juicing also makes it easier for you to meet your recommended daily dose of fruits and vegetables as you can pack more servings of fruit and vegetables into a glass of juice.
While consuming juices makes it easier for the body to digest what you ingest compared to when you eat, if you’re only consuming fruit juices, this can be high in sugar. If you’re relying on just fruit juice to get you through the day, you‘d have to consume quite a bit; which means more sugar and the calories can add up. This can also cause a spike in blood sugar levels which can lead to a whole host of problems.
Juice is also without fibre which means it won’t fill you up for long.
While juices may be good for you, whether you should consume juice on a regular basis is really a personal choice as it depends on your health and what you hope to get from it. It is also important what juices you take. For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea for a diabetic to consume fruit juice by the gallon on a daily basis! Remember, it’s always about balance. And if you’re unsure, do consult your doctor.
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