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Maximising the goodness of fruit juices

Maximising the goodness of fruit juices

Blog > Fruits and Vegetables: fresh, frozen or canned – what’s best for you?

Maximising the goodness of fruit juices

There’s no doubt that fruits are essential for overall wellness, so wouldn’t it naturally mean that drinking them would be just as beneficial? And the anecdotal evidence of juice cleanses sounds compelling; glowing skin, weight loss, lowered inflammation, great sleep… the list goes on. Yet, there are also contradicting reports slamming the high sugar content in these drinks.


For the record, this newsletter advocates a whole-foods, plant-based diet that encompasses multiple food groups. Our body is already equipped with a natural detoxification system through our kidneys, liver and intestines to remove toxins in our blood. A short term detox might yield initial weight loss and help you to feel better. To sustain the goodness, we should focus on making long term changes to our diets instead.


However, there is wisdom (and fun!) to be found in fruit juices. Let’s delve into the facts and science behind what you should pay attention to.

Cold-pressed, crushed, squeezed – how you get your juice matters
The labels on juices contain many different terms that can be confusing; here’s an inside look into what you should look out for. The main differentiator lies in the processing and preservation. On one end of the spectrum are the ‘Cold Pressed’ or ‘High Pressure Processed’ juices; the fruits are first crushed by a hydraulic press, then submerged in cold water under high pressure to kill pathogens. No heat or oxygen is used so there is limited nutrient loss. The other end of the spectrum are juices that undergo thermal processing. This allows them to be stored on the shelf without refrigeration, but the heat means nutrients are lost during pasteurisation. Where possible, look for cold-pressed juices with no added sugars or preservatives. Additionally, don’t shy away from cloudy juices with pulp.

Juicing? Don’t miss out on the fruit pulp!
Take orange juice as an example. While the juice is not 100% devoid of nutrients, it is less nutrient dense than the whole fruit, especially when the pulp is removed. The stringy white pulp is the main source of its phytonutrients that give the orange its colour, but are also essential for supporting the body’s process. These pulps are also a source of dietary fibre. 

Fruit skins are nutritious as well
The edible skins of many fruits are where many biological activities happen. As the outer layer of the fruit, it interacts with sunlight to produce different color pigments that include beneficial carotenoids and flavonoids. Take the banana for example. The banana peel is rich in magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6 and most notably B12, the last of which is less abundant in plant-based sources. Following a vegan or vegetarian diet? Scrape off the soft layer on the inside of the peel, chop fine and use in meatless meatballs or burger patties.

Smoothies retain more fiber than juices
Smoothies are mostly made from fruits that have been Individually Quick Frozen (IQF). This is an industrial process where fruits are individually sorted on a conveyor belt and fed into a blast chiller to be frozen. This processing usually happens a few hours from harvest, thus retaining most of their nutrients. Compared to other juices, smoothies tend to have a higher fiber content, and a higher proportion of fruits. Making fruit smoothies at home? Experiment with some frozen spinach cubes, a spoonful of peanut butter, some oats, even a dash of turmeric!