First, let’s understand what exactly makes a juice cold-pressed? The process of cold-pressing juice is done through the use of a hydraulic press to extract juice from fruits and vegetables. There is no heat used in the process for the specific reason that heat causes pasteurization, which diminishes the nutrient levels, but creates a longer shelf-life in the juice. Cold-pressed juice only has a shelf-life of a few days, so it’s meant to be consumed asap. This makes sense since actual fruits and vegetables are only fresh and delicious for a brief period of time.
It needs to be noted that drinking cold-pressed juice within 15-20 minutes after it’s been made is best. The shelf-life of 3-5 days is short, but even over the course of a few days, some enzymes and nutrients will dissipate.
As many nutrition experts have pointed out, the juicing process leaves the pulp behind, therefore essentially removing almost all of the fiber found in produce, but not diminishing the natural sugars. The appeal is that when you drink a cold-pressed juice, you’re getting a heck of a lot more nutrients in one sitting than you would by eating a salad or several pieces of fruit. And the combined efforts of several ingredients all working together offers loads more vitamins and minerals than you’d likely be willing to sit down and eat your way through. And, when done well, the result is pretty delicious.
So, without much fiber, is it possible to feel full and satisfied drinking a juice instead of eating a meal? It’s $10.00, yo. That’s tough for many of us to justify unless it can suffice as one of our meals for the day.
To be very clear, I am not a nutritionist. But, I am a dedicated healthy eater. This experiment has lead me to consider my diet even more carefully, and for that, it’s been well-worth it.
I spent two weeks straight drinking juice for breakfast every day instead of eating what I typically would. And by typical, I mean an apple with almond butter, granola with berries, or eggs with tomato and avocado. Not only did I feel completely satisfied, but also motivated to make the best food choices I could throughout the day. Why ruin what I started? For my other two meals, I made certain to eat fiber and protein-rich foods. When many people think nothing of eating pizza for dinner (me included) which might create a feeling of fullness, it certainly doesn’t provide many nutrients unless it’s caked in vegetables and either minimal or zero cheese. So I may not juice every day, but I now know it serves as a wonderful breakfast option.
Nicole Salvo Davis, co-owner of Native Cold Pressed in Columbus, Ohio, is dedicated to the process and only uses 100 percent organic fruits and vegetables. Organic produce contains more antioxidants and essential nutrients than produce with toxic chemicals. And as Davis points out, by removing the naturally occurring fiber found in fruits and vegetables, the body absorbs the nutrients more quickly, and there are no harmful additives to ingest. “Most people believe drinking organic juice isn’t a big deal, but in fact, it’s the most important thing about drinking cold-pressed juice because it is absorbed straight into your bloodstream,” says Davis.
Native Cold Pressed offer green, carrot, and beet-based juices and have several options that are almost entirely vegetables. I love their Strong Green, which is a combination of kale, bok choy, celery, romaine, parsley, lemon, and Himalayan salt.
Each juice contains between 3-5 pounds of organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs in a reusable glass bottle. Native offers 75 cents to customers returning their bottle, which they disinfect and reuse.
Can’t I just juice at home?
Uh, sure, but my stars, what a mess. And the time and expense of buying all the produce, and a cold-pressed home juicer (also known as masticating or slow juicers) runs from $300-1,500! (For a mid-priced home juicer, try tribest life.). If you’re down and game for all that, go for it (and try this recipe for starters). It could be less expensive in the long run, but if you’re like me, you ain’t got time for all that, and just want your juice ready to roll.
So, yes to juice as a meal?
Possibly. Try it for a week as a breakfast replacement. If you find it simply does not do the trick, then add in a serving of whole organic fruit or vegetables, and see if that completes your meal. If you already eat what’s become known as clean, then perhaps you don’t need to juice. But for the rest of us, adding cold-pressed juice to our diets will give us way more nutrients than we’ll ever take in eating whole foods. We all have different appetites and need a variety of calories depending on how we spend them. So if you consume over 2000 calories a day, a juice may only suffice as a supplement or snack.
It’s worth it. Even if you can only afford to do this a couple of times a week, the addition of such a large quantity of enzymes and nutrients is sure to stimulate your palate for being even more conscientious of what you eat.
By Lara Falberg
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