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Green juice: drink your way to five a day

MOVE over lattes. Juice made from green leafy vegetables is the latest health-food trend. Is it really good for you, or just an expensive fad?

Green juice, or drinks made from leafy green vegetables, are stealthily emerging as the UK’s must-slurp beverage. They are popping up on supermarket shelves (Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Whole Foods all now stock branded green juices), in juice bars such as Crussh, in recipe books (thanks Gwyneth Paltrow) and on Instagram, currently clogged with #greenjuice selfies.

Meanwhile, New York is experiencing a “juice bar brawl” as a flurry of brands each claim their juice is the healthiest.

While vegetable juice is nothing new, with the likes of V8 and carrot juice doing the rounds for years, green juicing uses large quantities of leafy veg and brassicas such as kale, spinach, chard and broccoli. The other main difference between (fresh) green juice and traditional vegetable drinks is the technique – cold-pressing, where the juice is extracted by a method of crushing and pressing.

Traditional centrifugal juicers, the type usually sold in Britain, use fast-spinning blades that heat up as they whir, thus, cold-press converts say, oxidising and therefore destroying some of the nutrients in the juice. Clare Neill, co-founder of juice company Radiance Cleanse, says juice from a centrifugal machine “oxidises faster because so much air has gone through the juice while it’s being made.”

Fresh green juice wins health points over packaged fruit juice and smoothies on several counts. First, most fruit juices sold commercially in the UK are pasteurised. Nutritionist Vicki Edgson says: “They’re heat-treated so they have a longer shelf life and no bacteria, but this means unfortunately a lot of the nutritional value is knocked out.”

Second, green juices contain much less sugar than their fruity counterparts.

Third, there is a range of nutrients present in those dark green vegetables, the ones we’re always being told to eat more of – kale is packed with beta-carotene, calcium, vitamin C and vitamin K…..

The Guardian: Read the full article

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