There is no denying that vegetable juice is good for you. Packed full of vital nutrients: essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that your body is just screaming for. The problem is, these nutrients are very easily lost if not handled correctly. This is where the issue with juices like Naked and Odwalla come in. I want to break down the ingredients and the processing of one of these Naked juices just to show you why they are horrible for you.
The juices may start out as wholesome vegetable and fruit juices but by the time they hit the store shelves most of them are nothing more than sugary, empty calories with little to no nutritional value. These juices go through a process called pasteurization where they heat it at high temperatures to kill off all the bad bacteria, but the problem is this kills off all the good stuff too: vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. There is no point of drinking the juice when what is left is nothing more than highly processed sugary water!
- CONVENTIONAL FRUITS & VEGGIES
These companies are not using organic produce, which means you are flooding your body with a pile of chemical pesticides. The photo below should make you seriously question ever eating any non-organic produce again. Not to mention, the only way to ensure you are not eating GMO produce is to eat organic, because by law anything labeled organic is not allowed to contain GMOs. GMOs are still considered a science experiment since we do not know their longterm effect yet, but they have been heavily linked to rapid tumor growth and infertility and thats just some of the side effects!! It's not worth the risk! You can read more about GMOs and why I avoid them here, here & here.
Lets talk about Naked juice's Veggie Blends (label shown above). It sounds healthy, right? Well, I hate to break it to you, but it is a sugar bomb! The first NINE ingredients are syrups. YES SUGARY SYRUPS. Concentrate is just a fancy name for syrup. Juice concentrates are made from fruits and vegetables that are heated down to a syrup then they just add water back in! They do this to keep the juices shelf stable for longer periods of time. Yes the green machine (another popular Naked juice) boasts a lot of veggies, but you have to remember all of these veggies have been so highly heated that they barely resemble veggies anymore. Then add in the fact that there is 38 GRAMS of sugar in one bottle! I know a lot of you are thinking “but fruit sugar is okay, it’s not bad for you.” Yes this is true, but the "fruit juice" in these juices no longer resemble fruit that you can buy at the supermarket or pick off a tree. Am I saying you should never have fruit juice? No. But I am certainly saying you should have real, freshly squeezed fruit juice (not from concentrate) or cold pressed juice. I will get more into cold pressed juice below!
- SYNTHETIC VITAMINS
Since all the nutrients are lost during pasteurization and the heating down to syrups (concentrate), companies will add back in synthetic vitamins to make up for the loss. According to Melanie Warner from the book Pandora’s Lunchbox, “adding them back in wouldn’t work from a biological point of view, meaning they don’t function effectively when isolated from their natural fruit and vegetable habitat”. Not to mention, most of these vitamins are being created through chemical manipulation in labs, not from actual fruits and vegetables.
SO WHAT SHOULD I DRINK INSTEAD?
Cold pressed juice! Cold pressed juices are “pasteurized” using a method called High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing (HPP) that kills off any bad bacteria without the use of heat, therefore preserving all the essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. My personal favorite cold pressed juice on the market is Suja! You can find them at any Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, Publix or checkout their website to find where they are sold near you. They make cold pressed juice "smoothies" almost identical to Naked and Odwalla but all the vitamins and nutrients remain in tact because of the cold pressed process they go through. http://www.sujajuice.com/
And right now you can trade up your Naked or Odwalla juice for a non-GMO, organic, cold pressured Suja and get $1.00 a Suja juice! Click below for the coupon