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Is your green juice actually good for you?

Nowadays you will see green juices everywhere, from organic cold pressed in your local health food stores and cafés to supermarkets and convenience stores.  However, they may all look the same but what lurks beneath can be a very different picture!

A few years ago I suffered with some chronic digestive issues that meant I had to minimise my sugar intake.  This led me to do my own little wrecky of my local shops and stores and I was absolutely astonished when I discovered just how much sugar was in a seemingly healthy green juice.  Most (if not all) had at least 20-25g of sugar per serve, eeeeeek!

This inspired me to start making my own. At first I thought this would be really difficult and I would need to buy a fancy juicer but then I discovered there are some fantastic superfood green powders on the market that can provide a quick and nutritious-dense solution, yay! Try Blackmore’s Vitality Super Greens for a delicious blend of 16 superfoods, including Australian Certified Organic greens, super fruits and quinoa. It is even enriched with zinc, vitamin C and fibre to help support your immune system and help keep those winter cold and flus at bay!

Quick green fix.….just add 2 tsps of Blackmore's Vitality Greens to 250ml of water/coconut water, shake and go!

More time…..get creative! Select your choice of the following: 1 apple or pear, 2 celery sticks, 1 cucumber, 1 handful of spinach leaves, mint, ½ lemon or lime (rind removed), a slice of fresh ginger, ¼ avocado (if like me, you like it creamy!), 2 tsps of Blackmore's Vitality Greens. Blend. Serve. Enjoy.

So, just what is 25g of sugar?

Well, if we break it down like this …

  • 4g of sugar = one teaspoon of white sugar
  • this means that 25g of sugar (in a juice) = more than SIX teaspoons of sugar
  • this equates to the total amount of daily sugars the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently recommended to limit consumption to (less than 5% of daily energy intake) for optimal health benefits
    When you consider that some juices contain 2 serves (often unknown to the consumer), you could be consuming 40-50g of sugar in one (not so healthy) green juice! This is the equivalent to a can of coke!

‘….but fruit is natural sugar’, I hear you cry!
Well, yes the sugar in fruit IS naturally occurring, correct!  But when we drink a green juice, opposed to a WHOLE piece of fruit (as nature intended), we do not consume the skin.  This is where we obtain the fibre to slow down the absorption of sugars, as well as lots of important nutrients and antioxidants.

Interestingly, the WHO excluded consuming whole intact fruit as part of your recommended daily sugar intake guidelines, as they did not find consumption caused adverse health effects.

My top 3 juice tips:

Make your own - with green powders such as Blackmore’s Vitality Super Greens.
Ensure the first ingredient listed is a green VEGETABLE - with fruit ideally being listed towards the last (as the ingredients are listed in descending order, most to least.)
Buy fresh, buy local - buying from health food stores or cafes wins over supermarkets, as smaller, more local suppliers are far more likely to get regular fresh deliveries and source from local produce.

Done right, green juices are a fast way to boost your nutrient and antioxidant intake, as well turbo charge your health and vitality.

Written by GMB Nutritionist, Clare Barker.

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