Last Updated on January 19, 2023 by Share My Kitchen
This article intends to educate those who are new to raw juicing. You will find some quick definitions and an explanation of the basics of raw juicing. These will help you make an informed decision on how much you want to incorporate juice into your life (or not, that is entirely up to you).
Why is it even necessary to level-set about raw juice? Essentially, the juice market is increasing, including many healthy (and unhealthy) products. So, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to choose the right juice for their specific needs, and it’s confusing! Shouldn’t everyone know what goes on in that $10, $12, $15, or $15 bottle? Let’s begin!
Why Is Raw Juice Even a Thing?
Raw juice is consumed primarily for two reasons: beauty and health. Juicing is gaining popularity because of its ability to cleanse, detoxify, and energize both the inside and outside. Juicing vegetables and fruits can provide the body with beneficial nutrients, antioxidants, and live enzymes, which quickly transport nutrients to the right places. Plenty of holistic and wellness experts claim that juicing can improve skin health, and gut health, reverse disease effects, and boost mood and mental clarity (naturally, without using harmful drugs). Unlike crash diets or pills, it is a safe way to lose excess fat. The body begins to lose excess fat when it has the proper nutrition and enzymes. Your body will then naturally produce more energy, heal, and detoxify, making you feel and look better.
Why do a Juice Cleanse or Juice Fast?
People drink juice to “cleanse” or “juice fast” for many reasons: detoxification, weight loss, mental clarity, mitigating disease, or to get that “juice glow,” which is a real thing. You have to think of the body as a superhighway. When you are on a cleanse, the juice moves in the fast lane of your body. It skips the “traffic” that chewable foods have to pass through. To edit fans, this essentially allows your digestive system to relax since it works around the clock. Once the digestive system is on a break, the body can focus on energy, not just digesting food, but repairing damaged cells and getting nutrients to the places that most need them, and quickly. Although juice cleansing may not be for everyone, many people believe it is a powerful way of reaping the health benefits of juice.
Conclusion: it does not matter whether you want to boost your body’s nutritional intake, eat more nutritious foods, or do a full cleanse; raw juice will make you feel and look better. Hence, it’s a huge deal.
What Does “Raw” Really Mean?
Raw juice contains only whole fruits, vegetables, herbs, and sometimes spices. It is also not altered from its original form (e.g., cooked or heated). Any “raw” juice with a shelf life of more than 3-5 days isn’t raw. It’s just what the big brands want you to believe it is, well, because of money.
You might be thinking, “Okay, raw is best. I understand.” But why? Do you remember those live enzymes and nutrients mentioned before? These benefits are most substantial in raw, pure juice and more conventional preservation processes like pasteurization destroy it. You should avoid these if you want to reap the actual benefits of natural juice:
Pasteurization (or gentle pasteurization)
It is a process that uses high temperatures for varying periods and destroys enzyme activity, which dilutes nutritional value and flavor. Then, colors, vitamin additives, and “natural flavors” are added back into the liquid that was once juice. Commercial juice, which you can buy in stores, is pasteurized and has a shelf-life of up to three months. It is unacceptable! Pasteurizing juice ruins the purpose of juicing since you cannot get the powerfully healing active antioxidants and enzymes found in a fresh raw juice. So, don’t waste money on pasteurized juice.
High-Pressure Processing (HPP)
HPP is a type of pasteurization that uses pressure instead of heat. Although it seems to kill less of the good stuff that traditional pasteurization does, evidence is still emerging since this process is still relatively new to the juice industry. Experts say HPP still kills many active enzymes, but not to the same degree as pasteurization. The final verdict on this method is still not readily available, but hopefully, more research on this process will be public soon.
This process isn’t as bad as the previous ones, but frozen juice doesn’t taste as good, and it still loses many nutrients. However, this is the recommended process if you don’t want to drink fresh juice or need to keep it for longer than 3-5 days.
In conclusion, you should not waste your hard-earned money on juices that have been pasteurized, frozen, or went through HPP if you want to fill your body with fresh, pure, raw ingredients with active enzymes and complete healing potential.
Produce is equally essential as the process.
It Is Important to Use Organic, Local, Clean Produce
Research is expanding on the dangers of pesticides and herbicides found in conventionally-grown produce. But you won’t read about that here. You already know that harmful carcinogens, also known as cancer-causing substances, can be found in produce that has not been organically grown (even if you peel the crop). So, it is essential for raw produce used for your juice to be organically grown and local as much as possible. Now, you need to pay attention to every ingredient that goes into ZDF juice. If you cannot produce them yourself, you should only purchase from trusted farmers who grow organically and try to stay local if possible. Juice companies that are organic and local tend to have higher prices, but the quality is unbeatable.
After produce has been sourced and collected for a batch, every inch must be thoroughly soaked, scrubbed, and rinsed with fresh water several times to ensure it’s clean and ready for the cold press. There are innumerable reasons why it is essential to clean produce, but it will stop here.
Now, you will learn how this beautiful produce ends up in the bottle.
The Juicing Process Is Important
There are two main ways to juice: centrifugal and slow (mostly known as “cold-pressed”). These two categories have many different processes, but this post will focus on the basics. Let’s take a look at it.
- A centrifugal juicer uses a fast-spinning blade to pulverize and extract juice from produce.
- Slow home juicers, masticating and triturating are the most well-known; crush the produce slowly at low rpm. Sometimes they use one auger or between two gears.
- Professional cold-press technology creates the highest quality juice. It slowly presses the produce between two plates with thousands of pounds of pressure.
But does it matter? Yes, as a juice drinker, you should know these! How you process your juice matters since the quality and freshness are affected. Simply put, the spinning blades of centrifugal juicers add heat to the process, which can destroy many of the beneficial enzymes. It also oxidizes the juice (by forcing air into it), causing it to lose nutrients and quality. Slow-masticating juicers create a higher rate of fluid compared to a centrifugal system, but professional cold presses are still the best. Accurate cold-press systems do not generate heat and extract more nutrients from the product since it is more deliberate in their slow produce-crush, preventing oxidation. Cold-pressed juices are the best for nutrition and can last up to 3-5 days. ZDF juices are possible using professional cold press technology where you crush produce between two plates.
Putting Everything Together
As you embark on your juice journey, focusing on three factors: shelf life, produce quality, and the juicing process is a good idea. You can get the most benefits over time from fresh, raw juice made with organic and local produce that is clean and cold-pressed.
It is also important to remember that there are no miracle cures for your health. Raw juices, as with all things, are not a panacea, and they should not replace healthy whole foods and fibrous vegetables. Juicing should be a long-term lifestyle since it is when it’s the most beneficial and not a short-term fix or fad diet. So, find a healthy balance uniquely for you, and incorporate fresh juice whenever possible. You will soon experience the incredible benefits of raw juice living.