Is bottled organic juice better than a fresh non-organic juice?
Most health experts agree that fruit and vegetables should be part of a healthy diet. The fibre, energy and nutrients present in these plant sources can provide essential nutrients that cannot be obtained from other foods. But how best to include fruit and vegetables in eating plans, how much to eat daily, and which fruits to choose are hotly debated topics.
There are several different schools of thought ranging from those that minimize their fruit intake to just eating berries to those that eat all fruits and vegetables in abundance. Then there are those who advocate eating only whole fresh fruits and others that promote juicing fruits and vegetables to gain optimum nutrition. Some sportspeople confirm they have experienced great results when consuming specific bottled juices, yet others insist that fresh juicing is the only way to go.
What is the thinking behind these approaches and how do you know what might be the best option for you? As with most food products there are multiple factors that contribute to the nutritional content of the end product.
Unfortunately, to date no specific studies have been conducted on the question as to whether bottled organic juices are better than fresh juiced non-organic fruits and vegetables. However, a number of studies have been conducted on the nutritional value of organic versus non organic foods as well as on the different methods of processing.
In this article we will look at these and other relevant studies to enable you to draw your own conclusions. We will also explore the thinking behind juicing and related health benefits so that you can understand how you might be able to benefit from organic juice.
A juice is not a just a juice
Processing methods can be the difference between a juice that heals and a juice that harms
Most of us grew up drinking fruit juice without giving it a second thought. It is usually a firm favourite with children as it is sweet and tasty. However, nutritionists have identified several issues with high consumption of commercial fruit juice.
One 250ml glass of juice can contain the equivalent of up to six pieces of fruit – far more than what would normally be consuming in a single sitting. The sugar present in fruit is primarily fructose – a type of sugar that can be harmful when consumed in excessive amounts.
When eating a whole fruit this is less of an issue as the whole fruit contains fibre, nutrients, antioxidants and water. The problem with fruit juice is that most of the fibre is filtered out and many of the nutrients and antioxidants are damaged during processing. The result is that the commercial juice ends up being primarily water and fructose which many people claim is no better than fizzy sodas and certainly not good for health.
On the other end of the scale there are those that advocate juicing for better health, even going as far as to claim it as a treatment and cure for chronic conditions such as cancer. Considering these two opposing views of juice it’s important to understand that there is a distinct difference in type of juice that is being consumed.
What is the organic difference?
Organic produce is beneficial to human health and the farming ecology
For years agricultural and food regulating authorities have advocated that pesticides help enhance crop production and are not in any way harmful to human health. As children we were taught to wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating to get rid of the chemicals on the surface of the foods.
However, what most people aren’t aware of is that governing bodies have been silently raising the permitted levels of pesticides in recent years. In some cases in the USA, these new limits are 15-30% higher than what was previously allowed.
This provides an even greater reason to choose organic produce over conventional commercial produce. Commercial non-organic produce is no longer sprayed with just moderate amounts of pesticides and this is something that consumers need to be aware of.
How have pesticides harmed the food we eat?
Pesticides leave residues that can be harmful to human and ecological health
Organic produce subscribes to farming values that support healthy soil and water management. Pests are controlled using non-chemical methods and plants are allowed to grow and mature according to their natural growth cycle. Crops are rotated to ensure that minerals are retained in the soil and chemical fertilisers are not utilized.
As more evidence comes to light of the harmful long term effects of pesticides and chemical fertilisers the demand for organic produce is growing. (The following links provide information on some of the studies done on the effects of pesticides: Glycosphate residue study; Higher chemical residues in sick people; Glycosphate pregnancy impact; Chemical environmental damage )
What is the nutritional difference of organic fruit and vegetables?
Organic fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients in greater concentrations
In 2001, a study by V. Worthington concluded that there was a noticeable difference in the nutritional content of organic versus non organic crops. In other studies these claims were refuted, citing there was no significant difference in the nutrient value. And so the debate has raged on between organic and non-organic supporters.
In 2014 a review of studies, determined that there was overwhelming evidence the organic produce contained significantly higher levels of nutrients. Some highlights from the study include:
- Pesticide residues were found to be 3-4 times more likely in non organic produce.
- Pesticide residues were found to be 10-100 times lower than non organic produce.
- Organic crops showed as much as 60% higher concentrations in antioxidants
- Organic crops showed on average 17% more antioxidants
- Levels of flavanones were found to be almost 70% higher in organic produce.
In addition to the nutritional value, organic produce appears to win the taste test on a regular basis, even in blind tasting. For many health conscious people eating organic produce isn’t even a debate. The same is true for the product developers at Natureland. We believe that organic is best and always source the best organic ingredients for our juices.
Common sense thinking supports the case for organic as is discussed in this popular blog Mark’s Daily Apple It would appear that many consumers agree. If they have a choice of organic that is still affordable, they will choose it.
Juicing, juice and your health
Pure nutrients can promote healthy cell activity and help heal
Juicing has increased in popularity in recent years. It has been widely promoted as a therapy for cleasing and detox, weightloss and as part of a stricter diet based approach to treating chronic diseases such as cancer.
These claims may seem to go against the logic of modern medicine, until you start to learn more about what makes these juices so powerful. According to Dr Max Gerson – a doctor who pioneered a natural approach to treating cancer and other degenerative diseases in the 1930’s – most of these conditions are caused by toxicity and nutritional efficiency.
One of the reasons that fruits and vegetables are the focus of detox therapies is because of the rich diversity of vitamins, minerals and enzymes present in these foods. The theory is that by feeding the body large amounts of nutrient dense organic plant based foods, mostly in the form of juice, the body is able to rid itself of toxins more effectively. In addition, the nutrients help to boost oxygenation in the body which helps boost the immune system and allows healthy cells regenerate.
When juice is being used as part of a treatment there are two important factors to be aware of: Firstly to use organic produce, and secondly, to make use of a juicer, not a blender to make the juice. A blender is great for smoothies as it simply liquidizes all the ingredients and makes them easy to drink. A juicer extracts only the juice and leaves behind the digestive fibre. When a person is chronically ill it is best to get the nutrients into their bloodstream in as simple a way as possible. Juice without the fibre requires minimal digestive energy and is very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.
Is fresh juice best and what’s a good juice?
Fresh organic juice is best but when not available organic bottled juice may be the next best option
There is general consensus that fresh organic juice is best. However, practically it is not always possible to follow these guidelines. Organic produce can sometimes be difficult to find, or may be too expensive. When travelling or leading a very busy lifestyle, it may be difficult to have access to fresh organic fruit and your juicer. Is organic bottled juice then a feasible alternative?
Bottled organic juice can be an option if processed correctly
Certain processing methods help preserve nutrient value
When considering bottled juices, it is important to know the brand and what processing techniques they use. The juice extraction and preservation methods are a strong indicator of how many nutrients have been retained. As a general rule cold pressing is considered to retain the most nutrients when compared with other techniques such as heat or centrifugal extraction methods.
Without some kind of processing bottled juices will not have a shelf life because enzymatic action within the juice will cause it to ferment and spoil. Commercially juice is often boiled as a form of pasteurisation. Unfortunately some nutrients such as vitamin C are easily destroyed by heat and this type of pasteurisation can destroy most of the nutrients in a juice.
In an effort to preserve the juice nutrients, other methods such as flash pasteurisation have been developed. It is believed that by heating the juice to a set temperature for a very short period of time, helps stop enzymatic action, but still preserves some nutrients.
Natureland juices are made from organic fruits and vegetables and many carry the dementer biodiversity certification. Great care is taken in picking and processing the fruit or vegetables. Cold pressing is the method used to extract the juice. In the lacto fermented vegetable juices the lactobacilli are added at this point and allowed to ferment before being flash pasteurised and bottled. Glass bottles are used so that the nutritional integrity of the juice is retained even when it is on the shelf.
Because in flash pasteurisation the juice is rapidly cooled, it is believed that some enzymes and nutrients remain intact. However, until specific studies are conducted to verify or dispel these claims there is little evidence to prove or disprove these claims.
What is the verdict?
Organic juice and carefully processed bottled juices as choices
In conclusion, while we may know that to juice your own organic juice at home may be the best nutritional option, it may not always be practical. In this case it would leave you with a choice between deciding which factor is more important to you – the origin of the fruit or vegetables being organic, or the methods used to process the juice. In this case high quality bottled juice may be an option. This is exactly what Natureland strives to provide the customer – a quality organic juice that has minimal processing and delivers great taste and nutrients.
From a research perspective there is strong support of organic produce having a higher nutritional value. In addition there are increasing number of studies highlighting the dangers of overuse of pesticides and the longer term impact for health. In terms of processing methods research highlights there are some methods that retain more nutrients than others, but this topic needs more in depth study.
To view more thoughts and opinions on this topic you can view these forums. Perhaps in reading through these and other links you will be able to decide for yourself which is nutritionally and practically the best option for you and your specific health requirements.
To see what a quality bottled organic juice tastes like try one of Natureland’s fruit or vegetable juices on sale now.
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