You may have heard about a new juice and smoothie line Starbucks is selling called Evolution Fresh. Currently sold on the West Coast in select Starbucks and grocers, the juice is being promoted as being full of vitamins and nutrients that are found in raw, fresh, fruits and veggies. Starbucks is spending $70 million dollars to create a high-tech juicery that will use high-pressure processing to make this juice, with plans to roll out across the nation in 2013.
But is juice really a smart way to consume all of those integral vitamins and nutrients our bodies so desperately need?
In a word, NO!
I am not a fan of juice, especially the juice sold in stores (even the "natural" and "organic" varieties). This might get a little technical, but stick with me.
Juice is best when it is consumed immediately after it has been made. Once the juice is exposed to oxygen, it begins to oxidize - the same thing that happens when an apple begins to turn brown after it has been cut and exposed to air. Some juices, if bottled correctly, can maintain most of their nutritional value for up to 72 hours. However, most juices spend much more than 72 hours in their bottles before they are purchased and consumed.
Another problem with juice has to do with that all-important nutrition powerhouse, fiber. One of the greatest benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables is getting abundant fiber. Among other benefits, fiber helps to eliminate any blood-sugar spikes from the ingestion of large amounts of sugar, including fruit sugars. Unfortunately, all that healthy fiber is stripped away during the juicing process, meaning that when you drink juice, you'll get a full-on sugar rush with no fiber to slow it down.
I don't drink juice, and my children don't drink juice. I think it is way too much sugar to drink in one sitting without fiber to slow its absorption. It's a recipe for a blood-sugar high, which is always followed by a blood-sugar crash.
Spending your money on juice, in my opinion, is not worth it. You are essentially buying a bottle of sugar, even if it is "natural sugar." You would be much better off spending that money on a quality, organic greens drink, from which you will absorb many more vitamins and minerals. Another great idea is to head to your local farmers' market, where for just a few dollars you can get a delicious bundle of fresh fruits and vegetables.