IF YOU’RE THE type of modern citizen with a gym membership and/or a road bike, you’ve probably heard at least a little about cold-press juicing. Celebrities deliver breathless testimonials about their juice’s improved nutritional profile, magically legitimizing $12-a-bottle prices. And startups are popping up to capitalize on the trend—one raising $120 million by promising to deliver pre-packaged fruit, ready to be juiced on its proprietary machine.
The science, at first, sounds pretty good. Good enough, at least, to convince consumers to pay up to $2,500 for the privilege of making the right kind of juice at home with their own blender. See, most juice blenders are centrifugal, with fast-spinning blades that rip apart produce, exposing it to oxygen and heat in the process. Both of those things can degrade vitamins and phytochemicals—the things, nominally, you’re trying to consume. But a cold-press (or “masticating”) juicer crushes and squeezes, sidestepping the nutrient-killing extra oxygen and heat.
Seems legit, right?
But those claims don’t hold water (or juice). The nutrients that go into your juice are not necessarily nutrients that stay there. And they’re not necessarily the nutrients that your body is going to absorb, either.
“In some cases, the heat is helping convert the metabolites into useful, absorbable compounds,” says Bhimu Patil, director of the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center at Texas A&M University. So cold-pressing’s lack of heat isn’t always a good thing.
On top of that uncertainty, everybody’s guts handle nutrients differently. The bacteria that line your intestines chemically transform the nutrients from your food, which can make them more or less absorbable. “I cannot say that what you see in the juices is what you see in the human body,” says Patil. In an ideal world, everyone would get their gut microbiome sequenced like Michael Pollan to help determine which nutrients will be favorably absorbed. But for now, it’s kind of a (ahem) crapshoot.
To read the full article, see the Wired post online at “Nobody Can Prove That Cold-Pressed Juice Is Better for You.”