Boost Nutrient Density Now

Last month I wrote about a new frontier in organic agriculture: nutrient density. You don’t have to wait on the farmers, though. You can boost your nutrient density right now, thanks to the wider availability of cold-pressed juice in Kansas City.

If you have been enjoying fresh juice at your local coffee or tea shop, you have not been drinking cold-pressed juice. Most local coffee and tea shops use the Nutrifaster juicer. It’s a centrifugal or “basket” juicer. The perforated basket spins while a blade at its base grinds the vegetables or fruit into pulp. The juice flies out through the perforations and is collected into a pitcher. This juice is best enjoyed immediately. Spinning adds air and heat which quickly oxidizes the juice and degrades the nutrients quickly. Centrifugation is the least efficient juicing method. Most of the nutrients are left behind in the moist pulp. Never use centrifugated juice for a fast. Check out this article on types of juicers.

There are at least two companies in Kansas City that produce true unpreserved cold-pressed juice, Enjoy Pure Food and Drink and Evolve Paleo.

Unsurpassed nutrient density. The fruit and vegetables are ground into pulp via a process that adds minimal air and heat. The pulp is then wrapped in a filter cloth and pressed at 2500 pounds of pressure. I suspect the cell walls are broken at this pressure filling the juice with nutrients and enzymes that other juicers can’t. The pulp is bone dry. Compared to a “basket” juicer, cold-pressed juice has three to 20 times more minerals and maintains its nutrient density for up to 96 hours.

Beware of cold-pressed juice sold at grocery stores! This juice may be cold-pressed, but it isn’t fresh. Check the expiration date. It should be no more than four days out, yet you’ll find many that expire up to 45 days out. What gives? Many companies preserve their cold-pressed juice with high pressure Pascalization or HPP.  The process kills microorganisms while retaining the nutrients, flavor or texture of the product.

However, there is concern that beneficial enzymes are altered by the process. “A carrot’s nutritional content will be very similar before and after treatment,” says Professor V.M. Balasubramaniam of the Food Science and Technology Department at Ohio State University, “but if you look at it microscopically, there may be changes in the cell structures.” Enzymes are cellular structures that are easily altered by heat and pressure.  Yet, the enzymes in fresh food are essential for its digestion and assimilation. Additionally, the process does not distinguish between pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms. They are all killed.

The taste of certain vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, is altered after HPP, which likely means HPP is altering the phytochemicals that give vegetables their health promoting effects. HPP makes the juice more acidic reducing it’s ability to promote detoxification and repair. Never use HPP juice for a fast. It defeats the process.

Makers aren’t required to put HPP on the label. The only way to know is to look at the expiration date.

You can make cold-pressed juice at home. Hubby and I have owned a Norwalk Juicer for some years now and enjoy freshly cold-pressed juice daily. It’s become part of feeling balanced for me. I don’t feel quite right and may even experience cravings if I skip a day. It’s wonderful to start the day with the natural steady energy and clarity that comes from nutrition instead of the fake energy burst and subsequent crash that comes from caffeine. Read how caffeine can block weight loss and disrupt sleep.

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