Cold-pressed vegetable-fruit juice is a natural source of vitamins, enzymes, and chlorophyll, which have a beneficial effect on our body and gut and is therefore a great addition to our diet, especially because of its nutritional, anti-inflammatory, alkaline, and detox effects.
Through the process of juicing we remove fiber from vegetables and fruit, making all the phytonutrients quickly available for absorption in our body. At the same time, they are very sensitive to external factors. Therefore, it is advisable to drink such juice in a very short time. Any exposure to the daily light, sun, air, or temperatures above 28 degrees Celsius activates the process of losing sensitive nutrients. Compared to a smoothie that is full of fiber and therefore more nutritious and suitable as a meal, cold-pressed juice is often a part of detox menus.
Properly combined and pressed juice is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants (polyphenols), oligosaccharides, and other beneficial bioactive substances. It has a positive effect on our blood work and due to its prebiotic nature it also has a positive effect on our intestinal flora. At the same time, our intestines can get some rest, and the energy that would otherwise be used for digesting food with fiber is directed to the regeneration of cells and the whole organism while our body still receives all sufficient nutrients.
There was an example of the improvement of intestinal flora conducted in a study following individuals who had been on a strict cold-pressed juice diet for three days, and on an adjusted diet for the next 14 days. On the fourth day, the reduction of Firmicutes bacteria (connected with obesity and diabetes) and Proteobacteria (including some pathogenic substances) has been observed. At the same time, a significantly higher value of Bacteroides - probiotic bacteria that keep our intestinal wall strong to prevent the toxins and pathogenic substances from getting into our bloodstream. These also help to reduce intestinal inflammation and regulate the immune system which is directly related to the health of our intestine. The levels of Bacteroides have slightly decreased in the later tests within the study, but they remained higher according to the initial state. Changes in Firmicutes bacteria values were also observed; they had slightly risen but remained lower according to the initial state. It is estimated, therefore, that the consumption of cold-pressed juices benefits our microbiota in the long run.
However, in order for our body to benefit fully from vegetable-fruit juice, it should be noted that:
if possible, juice organic fruit and vegetables to avoid health-threatening pesticides, etc. and increase the value of antioxidants,
choose the cold press juicer so that the juice doesn't heat up during the juicing process. If the juice heats up, it loses its vitamin and antioxidant levels - ascorbic acid, phenols, carotenoids, and FRAP and DPPH (antioxidant capacity),
the major proportion of the juice should consist of vegetables, not fruit. Due to the higher sugar content in fruit and no fiber, the blood sugar would rise quickly. The fruit we choose should be juicy and not too sweet (such as lemons, oranges, apples, pineapples, kiwis, etc.); The juice should only contain 10 - 30% portion of fruit,
we can avoid the oxidation and the juice becoming dark (and with it the loss of bioactive components) by consuming the juice right after we make it otherwise we suggest to store it in a dark glass bottle which should be immediately closed with a minimum of oxygen and then stored in a fridge (even better if you can seal it with vacuum). These kind of juices should be drank in one day,
we mix every sip with saliva in the mouth so the juice blends with enzymes that help the digestion. Although, since the juice contains natural sugars and acid that can harm our tooth enamel, we advise that you wash your teeth thoroughly with water after drinking the juice and not brush your teeth for at least half an hour.
It is recommended to drink the juice on an empty stomach as the absorption of all its nutrients will be rapid and smooth. However, it's useful to drink it any time of the day. It is also excellent as a substitute for coffee or any other stimulant as it boosts our energy levels and improves our focus.
People who regularly drink the juice speak of better well-being, clean and fresh skin, loss of excessive weight, energy increase, a clear mind, and improved digestion. There are also many who have been drinking the vegetable-fruit juice as a support in facing more serious health challenges and in treatment of chronic diseases (supervised by experts).
Despite all the positive effects caution is still advised:
Because this is raw (fresh) food which lowers the digestive fire, principles of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) advise its consumption only during spring (Kapha) and summer (Pitta) months. In colder months (Vata) it is more appropriate to consume warm meals that support the digestive fire.
With people suffering from indigestion, bloating, excessive phlegm, stomach acid, etc. these problems may start to deteriorate, and it is important for them to slowly increase the introduction of juice into their diet and to monitor their well-being. In such cases, it is recommended that you contact a nutritionist who will prepare a suitable menu and advise you how and when to drink a cold-pressed juice.
In combinations using predominantly green leafy vegetables, it should be noted that they are a rich source of oxalates belonging to the group of antinutrients. We should also be careful when frequently consuming herbs (parsley, cilantro,...) as these potent plants may irritate the gastric lining which may cause a burning sensation in the stomach or regurgitation.
The preferred combinations are:
Apple and carrot
Cucumber, kale, celery, lemon, ginger
Green leafy vegetables, lettuce, apple
Cucumber, pineapple, ginger
Beetroot (wait 20 minutes after the juicing, then drink it slowly sip by sip)
Two known recipes for a therapeutic juice are:
beetroot, carrot, celery, potato, and radish
Gerson's green juice
red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, endive, curly leaf endive, red cabbage leaves, young beet greens, chard, watercress, green pepper, green apple
Try different combinations and discover flavors that suit you and strengthen your body. Some prefer green leafy vegetables which are based on chlorophyll, others prefer carrots containing more beta-carotene, and some prefer beets to add more nitrates to their diet. On colder days, you can also add a piece of ginger root that will detox you further, speed up your digestion and warm you up at the same time. But in the first place, always listen to your body.
Gerson, et. al. Zdravljenje z Gersonovo metodo. (2012)
Khaksar, et. al. Effect of cold-pressed and normal centrifugal juicing on quality attributes of fresh juices: do cold-pressed juices harbor a superior nutritional quality and antioxidant capacity?. (2019)