Nutrition has always been a controversial field because the science behind it isn’t exactly black and white. The reason is that nutrition experiments must, in the end, take a holistic approach to eating. By “holistic”, we don’t mean yoga and essential oils and rolling around in the grass. Holistic means that all the chemicals and enzymes of Organism 1 interact with all the chemicals and enzymes of Organism 2. There are side reactions, synergistic reactions and a host of other unpredictable results occurring as well.
One Nutrient vs The Whole
It’s important, before any nutritional conversation, to understand that scientific research on nutrition usually focuses on one vitamin, nutrient or mineral. Then the headline reduces the results to “_________ is bad for you”, which is misleading. What the headline should say is, “___________ is harmful if taken alone at high dosages.”
The latter is more accurate, but still opens the door for lots of gray areas and misunderstandings.
Pressed vs Processed
Having said all that, here’s what you need to know about juice. If we’re talking about juice in a box, then yes, juice is not healthy. And by unhealthy, we mean it has no nutritional value other than sugar and water. But if you press your own juice, when the vitamins are still intact, juice can be a dose of concentrated nutrients and even fiber!
Making Your Own OJ
If you get store-bought orange juice, it’s usually overly sweetened, tastes artificial and all the Vitamin C has oxidized (aka: reacted with oxygen and has become inactive). In contrast, if you press your own juice, you’ll be drinking 138% of your daily Vitamin C needs!
Fruits other than OJ, that can be easily pressed at home include: apple juice, grapefruit juice and tomato juice. For that last one, you might be better off blending it and making a Virgin Bloody Mary.
Squeeze It Yourself!
So when it comes to healthy juice, making your own is always going to be better than buying the processed version. That way you preserve the vitamins, you can customize it to your tastes, and best of all, there are no preservatives, added dyes or extra sugar and salt to worry about!