Not that many years ago, I’d see celebrities like Miranda Kerr extolling the virtues of cold-pressed juice and think, what are they talking about? (Followed by, if I drink that, could I look like that too? Um, no.)
Now, cold-pressed juice has hit the mainstream, and it’s not just supermodels and yoga masters who are turning to it as a clean living assist. But while brands are plentiful, as more products enter the market it’s important to understand what cold-pressed juice is, and be vigilant about reading labels so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Short version: To make cold-pressed juice, a hydraulic press crushes fruits and vegetables, then extreme pressure is applied that extracts the maximum amount of juice and nutrients. Because no heat is used in the process, enzymes and vitamins are preserved. All that’s left is nutrient-rich fruit and vegetable juice.
Unless something is added.
Some brands are better, and purer, than others, and the only way to tell what you're getting is by carefully reading the ingredients. Many companies don’t use organic produce, so check for that, and if filtered water is listed as the first ingredient, that means you’re plunking down upwards of $7 for a bottle of fruit-flavored water.
Also, check out the sugar content. While natural sugar is good for you, you don’t want additional sugars. Cold pressed fruit juices will have natural sugars which fuel our bodies, but look for a brand like Living Juice, which has no added sugar (or water, for that matter). Nothing but the organic fruits and vegetables.
If you really want to cut down sugar, go for a green juice like Living Juice’s Green Vitality. But scan green juice ingredients, too – just because a juice is called green doesn’t mean there isn’t added sugar. Before I sat down to write this, I did recon at my grocery store and the first green juice I picked up had 19 grams of sugar. Not what I’d expect from kale and cucumber. I'm guessing just about any cold-pressed juice is better for you than, say, Tropicana, but whether you’re doing a juice cleanse, using juice as a breakfast or lunch alternative, or mixing it with Absolut Citron and ice as a summer cocktail, you want to get the purest, best quality product you can find. And all the information you need to do that is right there on the bottle.