Health fads may come and go, but juices and juicing are a healthy habit that has not only stayed the distance, but with the advent of the green juice movement, and juice bars popping all over London, one that is showing no signs of slowing down. But in the backlash against sugar in our diets and the shocking realisation that most adults in the UK consume way above the recommend daily intake of sugar – juices have also had their fair share of bad press. So, is juicing really as bad as the media may have us believe? Or is green juice really the wellness essential we need in our lives?
The juicing trend has arrived here in the UK fresh from the States, with LA. New York and Miami residents already juice aficionados (check out these Places to go on South Beach if you don’t believe me!) but as they also elected Donald Trump as their President can we really trust this American Export?
Please note that I am NOT a nutritionist, nor do I claim to be one, but I can offer advice on nutrition for sport and exercise and the fundamentals of a healthy diet, and my belief is that in moderation (much like anything) juice can form part of a healthy diet. BUT – this does not count for all juices. Juices from concentrate have sugar and other chemicals added into them – so they’re little better for you than a fizzy drink. Pasteurised juices also up the sugar content of the fruit whilst stripping back some of the nutritional content – did you know Innocent Smoothies contain nearly as much sugar as Coca Cola?
BUT – as with so many “health” foods and products – there are some good guys out there too. Personally I am a huge fan of Moju Juices and Shots, B-Fresh juices and Plenish juices and mylks. These guys cold press fruit and vegetables, never pasteurise and often contain more veg than fruit. The only fruit that B-Fresh #greenglow contains is lemon – the rest is green veg and ginger meaning that it is extremely low in sugar and calories. Mojo’s Ginger Booster is equivalent to a slice of apple, chunk of ginger and squeeze of lemon – nothing but good stuff there (and it really is a chunk of ginger, these little shots pack a fiery punch but I love them!) – and their Turmeric Booster is purely cold pressed pineapple juice, fresh turmeric and a squeeze of lime – delicious and amazing for digestive health.
You might ask well why not spare the expense and juice yourself? Yup, tried that. Bought myself a fancy juicer a few years back and thought I was the epitome of health. Until I realised that to get a decent glass of the stuff I was going through several quids worth of fruit and veg (even a whole bag of spinach barely gives you a couple of mouthfuls of juice), and that the juicer was separating out all the pulp and fibre – i.e the really good stuff. So whilst I was in control of what was going in (i.e. ideally more veg than fruit) each glass was probably costing around the same as a shop bought bottle of juice with a negligible difference in the nutritional content. And then there’s the time factor. Getting up 15 minutes earlier to whizz my way through half a bag of beetroot and 3 apples and then completely clean and wash out the entire juicer soon lost its appeal after a couple of weeks, whereas grabbing a bottle of B-Fresh, Moju or Plenish straight from the fridge fits in perfectly with a busy morning routine pre clients or classes.
As with any product – be label smart and be aware of what’s in it, and what you’re putting into your body. If there are ingredients on the label you can’t pronounce or don’t recognise, or anything other than veg and fruit in the bottle, leave it well alone. Chances are it contains sugar or preservatives or probably both. Isn’t fruit sweet enough without having to add sugar to it?! And whilst it may be an acquired taste, personally other than a little lemon or ginger to spice things up, then I love the taste of straight up vegetable juice – all of the nutrients and refreshment none of the added evils! Juice, much like supplements or pills or powders shouldn’t replace real, actual food – I would always advocate eating some actual spinach or beetroot or kale or carrots rather than grabbing a juice – but when in a rush or on the go as long as you make sure you’re getting the pure stuff (with ideally more veg than fruit) then there’s nothing wrong with a little juice in your life from time to time. Just much like juicy gossip and juicy secrets – don’t make them an every day habit!