Drinks, some like it hot, others love it cold. But when it comes to juices, does it make a difference? Apparently, a lot. No, it’s not about drinking a hot cup of juice nor does it mean having a juice popsicle—it’s about how the juice is made. Simply put, a regular juicer’s mechanics (read spinning blades) heats up the fruit, leading to loss of nutrients, while a cold-pressed juicer uses very high pressure (and not heat) to do the same, keeping all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes intact.
“The traditional process of juicing rips and shreds fruits and vegetables to extract juice, which allows for higher exposure to oxygen leading to a reduction in the nutritional value of the juice. This process generates heat which can destroy some of the heat-labile vitamins and phytochemicals present in fruits and veggies,” says functional nutritionist Mugdha Pradhan, founder of Pune-based ThriveFNC. “Cold-pressed juices are made by crushing and pressing and the process claims to prevent oxidative and heat-induced damage to the end product.” Pradhan also prefers cold-pressed juices over others because there are no additives such as sugar or colour or any sort of added flavour in them.
“Whether you are a hardcore fitness junkie, diehard vegan, proud carnivore, or a couch potato, you can use cold-pressed juice to improve your overall health. Drinking cold-pressed juices assists your body in detoxification,” says Preeti Seth, nutritionist, cosmetologist and the founder of Delhi-based Pachouli Wellness Clinic. As per Seth, cold-pressed juices are full of nutrients that are geared towards fighting toxins and boosting immunity and health. “Cold-pressed juice lacks the fibrous pulp of the whole fruit or vegetable. Since the body doesn’t have to break the fiber down in the digestive system before being used, cold-pressed juice is like a lightning bolt to the system. The nutrients immediately enter the body and get to work. That’s why when you take a sip of cold-pressed juice, you immediately feel a kick of energy,” says Seth. However, warns Seth, that not all cold-pressed juices are good for you. “Stay away from any juice with added sugars. Sugar can be disguised in the ingredients listed under glucose or fructose,” she says.
Seth recommends adding pomegranate juice, apple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice and kiwi juice to your diet, as most have anti-atherogenic, antioxidant, antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory effects. Some even help cleanse toxins and maintain the pH levels of the body. Seth also shares some juice combinations that are great for your taste buds and your health: “Starfruit is a top performer in the nutrition arena, but has a sour taste. Pair it with sweet strawberries, which help to offset starfruit’s tartness while adding antioxidant and polyphenolic compounds and boosting your immune system.” Another great combination is mango, cherry and dragon fruit. “This lip-smacking recipe features sweet mango, cherries, and slushy dragon fruit. The rainbow of vitamins and minerals that mango has makes it a great aid to eye health, the tart cherries help activate PPAR (peroxisome proliferator activating receptors) in your tissues, promoting heart health and reducing the risk of stroke. Dragon fruit is great for your immune system, with its antibacterial and antifungal properties,” adds Seth.
“Cold-pressed juices can be more expensive compared to normal juices. They also have a shorter shelf life,” says Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker, bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon, Saifee, Apollo Spectra, Namaha and Currae Hospitals, Mumbai. According to Dr Bhasker, a cold-pressed juice may offer temporary weight loss but the effect will not be long-lasting. “The common folly is that most people believe that by including or excluding a particular juice or any other kind of food, they will be able to lose weight. However, weight loss is not a derivative of a particular type of food. Juices can be an intermittent part of your diet, but they cannot be relied upon for providing adequate nutrition or for inducing weight loss,” explains Bhasker. Her advice? “Have juices in moderation and remember that they are not a replacement for a healthy and balanced diet or water.”
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