Fresh juice is all the rage, from at-home juicing to the juice bar down the street. And, with all the delicious flavor combinations, you’re sure to find a favorite. My go-to: beets, carrots, apples, lemon, and loads of fresh zingy ginger.
Not only is drinking fresh juice super tasty, it’s a great way to get your daily intake of fruits and veggies. Other benefits include lower sugar content compared to processed juice; ailment-fighting ingredients and antioxidants; and a good hydration source.
While juicing at home produces the freshest option, it can be a hassle because it’s expensive and inconvenient if you’re short on time. Here are several things to look for when choosing a fresh juice at your local grocery store.
Is it pasteurized or unpasteurized?
If it’s pasteurized – it’s been heated to prevent spoiling and to kill harmful pathogens – that means it has a longer shelf life (up to 45 days). If it’s unpasteurized, its lifespan is shortened to just a few days; made-to-order juices are unpasteurized and should be consumed immediately.
Is it cold-pressed?
If it is, that means that once bottled, a large amount of pressure is applied to inactivate pathogens – also called high pressure processed – so the juice is safe to be shipped and enjoyed a few weeks later. Juices found at your local grocery store are likely cold-pressed.
Does it contain 100 percent juice?
Read your nutrition labels! Many juices from the grocery store contain processed ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup, added sugar and food coloring. Instead, look for real ingredients, 100 percent juice, and not from concentrate.
Fresh juice still contains calories – and likely has more calories and sugar if fruit-based. Try looking for juices with more vegetables for both a lower calorie and sugar content. Juices are a great way to sneak in more greens like spinach and kale! Trust me – you can’t taste them!