- Are bottled juices good for you?
- How do you tell which brand of bottled juice to drink?
- Can they give you the same health benefits as freshly squeezed juice?
- Is it better to have bottled juice than no juice at all?
These questions come up so much that I made a section in my book just to address them! Another reason The Healthy Juicer’s Bible is way more than just recipes! For the first few years that I was juicing, I only made and consumed freshly-squeezed juice at home or at a juice bar. I did not consider bottled juices to be an acceptable replacement. So I avoided them at all costs.
Now this is 2007 and bottled juices on my grocery store shelf at the time contained additives, food colorings, and just about all of them has been pasteurized. As you may know, pasteurization is the process by which they bring the the liquid to boil in order to kill all bacteria and reduce the chances of any pathogens causing disease in the human body. This is the standard process for ‘sterilizing’, if you will, the dairy products.
This is also the process by which all live enzymes and minerals in the juice are effectively killed off and the taste – that delicious, appetizing fresh juice taste – is altered significantly. So these are my 2 reasons for never recommending a bottled juice that has been pasteurized:
1. All live enzymes and potency of the juice has been eliminated.
2. The taste has been altered from original juice to a lesser substitute.
As juicing has grown in popularity, the options for “fresh” bottled juices on store shelves have increased dramatically. Now you can find an entire aisle devoted to “fresh” bottled juices in the refrigerated sections of Whole Foods or even regular grocery stores. They look healthy, tempting and well, perhaps too good to be true.
Notice the labels on these products which claim any of the following: “All Natural,” “100% juice,” “freshest,” “no added sugar,” “no preservatives,” “non-GMO,” “gluten free,” not to mention the delicious ingredients: Apple, ginger, carrot juice. Strawberry, pineapple, spinach.
My mouth is watering just typing this – I am a hopeless juice junkie, quite obviously – but before you reach for one of these colorful fancy bottles, understand what you are really getting and giving up:
The Quiz that Your Bottled Juices Must Pass
First of all, a disclaimer. I am not at all affiliated with Evolution Fresh (pictured right) and they are not even giving me a discount on a bottle of juice for saying what I am about to. There!
So the quiz that your bottled juice needs to pass is this:
1. The bottle must say: Cold-pressed, never heated.
2. The ingredients must contain only fruits and vegetables advertised on the cover.
3. There need be no extra additives listed anywhere on the bottle.
The process that is used for wiping out any bacteria or pathogens by Evolution Fresh, according to Wikipedia, is one that does not expose the juice to any heat. (this is good news, people!)
Evolution Fresh is one of the great bottled juices that I would drink in case of emergency or when I am in a bind. The taste is very close to actual taste of fresh juice – I’ve become a kind of an expert in the green juice taste department, my claim to fame I suppose!
But my all time FAVORITE is Trader Joe’s cold-pressed super delicious super green juice! YUM!
The only caveat is that the juice is not immediately pressed – it has been days or even weeks since that juice has been bottled and while you can still get benefits from it, you won’t get as much as you would from a fresh juice.
Also note that juices that are bottled are no longer considered raw fresh juice. Raw fresh juice has never been heated or pasteurized in any form, shape or fashion. To get raw fresh juice, you gotta do it yourself or get it at a juice bar!
So are Bottled Juices Good for You or Should You Get the Juicer Out of the Cabinet?
Yes I am still a huge advocate of juicing at home and/or going to a juice bar where they juice everything right in front of you and you drink it right away. That is the lifestyle habit you want to develop so that you make bottled juice the exception not the norm in your juicing journey.
The good news is that now we are in the cusp of a juicing and holistic food revolution and if this is ever a market where big money can made, you can bet your bottom dollar that businesses with creative ideas will be there ready to sell to us. All we have to do is to be smart and know what we are looking for in our glass of green juice!
Whatever you do, keep juicing. And grab my FREE juicy tips in your Inbox by joining our exclusive newsletter below: