Cold-pressed juice: convenient and superior nutrition or a fad?

WATCH ABOVE: Cold-pressed juice bars are popping up in many Canadian cities and people are spending big money for it. But, does the cold-pressed technique make juice a healthier alternative or are you just getting squeezed? Allison Vuchnich reports.

Cold-pressed juice bars are sprouting up all over Canada, as nutrition-focused and time-starved consumers are willing to pay a premium price for the juice that has become a health trend.

Hanging on the wall in The Juicery Co. in Metro Vancouver is a framed sign that reads “Dad’s Juice – It All Started Here.”

It did and it changed nurse-turned-business co-founder Christina Prevost’s life.

“My dad, unfortunately, got cancer in March 2013, I was nursing at the time and took some time off, we started looking at alternative therapies,” Prevost told Global News. “He had esophageal cancer so for him he couldn’t eat.”

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Her father’s cancer was terminal. He needed nutrition. So the family researched and decided that juicing was the best option, and that led Prevost to cold-pressed juice.

“When we were researching it became apparent that there is more of the live enzymes and nutrients (in cold-pressed) that it doesn’t heat them up the way the other juicers do. So it was just superior product really,” Prevost told Global News. “We got the nutrition that he required.”

WATCH: Christina Prevost, co-founder of The Juicery Co. in Metro Vancouver explains how she discovered cold-pressed juice and why she believes in its health benefits.

Prevost and her family experimented with different juice formulations and ingredients. Her father was originally given three months to live.
“It was a three month diagnosis, we had him for nine months, so something helped,” said Prevost.

She added that her entire family started juicing and feeling better so Prevost and her daughter, Alex Troll, co-founded The Juicery Co. Working with nutritionists and naturopathic doctors, The Juicery Co. has grown in popularity quickly. They now have three stores and on the shelves is a juice called, “Dad’s Juice.”

Cold-pressed juicing slowly extracts the juice using force and a hydraulic press.

WATCH: Co-founders Alex Troll and Christina Prevost from The Juicery Co. in Metro Vancouver explain and show how cold-pressed juice is made.

“It’s 10,000 pounds of pressure that is going to press the vegetables,” said Alex Troll, as she explained the cold press process. “This is such a slow process that nothing is warmed or oxidized so all the nutrients are kept intact…all the enzymes are still alive.”

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The health claims are one of the reasons that there is a cold-pressed juice craze. Stars like Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow have taken to social media backing cold-pressed juices. It is estimated that it is a $3 to $5 billion dollar industry in North America.

The amount of fresh produce, usually organic produce, it takes to create a cold-pressed juice is sizeable and that is why, proponents say it can cost consumers up to $12 for 250 millilitres.

Holistic Nutritionist Sarah Dobec from Toronto’s The Big Carrot Natural Food Market, told Global News that cold-pressed juices are a nutritional improvement for most Canadian diets.

“So cold-pressed juice is definitely more nutritious than say a pasteurized juice that you’d find in your regular grocery store because it is a live juice,” said Dobec. “It still has all the live enzymes that come with a fresh-pressed or fresh extracted juice. As opposed to some of the juices that the average Canadian eater might get from the grocery store that’s been pasteurized, so heat’s been applied to it and that makes it shelf-stable but also reduces some of the healthy enzymes and some of the nutritional benefits of the juice.”

WATCH: Cold-pressed juice. Is it better for you? Holistic Nutritionist Sarah Dobec from The Big Carrot Natural Food Market shares her thoughts.

But not everyone is sold on the health benefits of cold-pressed juicing.

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Mayo Clinic stated in an article that there is “no sound scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get by eating the fruit or vegetable itself.” It also warns that freshly squeezed juice can quickly develop harmful bacteria.

Kate Comeau, spokeswoman for Dietitians of Canada, told Global News that Canadians should focus on eating their nutrition not drinking it.

“I think that by chewing our food it not only helps to break down that food because we have enzymes in our mouth that helps break down the sugars and the food for example,” said Comeau, “but it also sends a signal to our brains that we’re eating something and so I think that when we are drinking all of our calories it can get in the way of that signalling to our brain to say: ‘Hey, I’m eating. Pay attention, start feeling full!’ which is really important to not over consume.”

Comeau also questions the claims that cold-pressed juices are nutritionally superior.

“So I think if you want to enjoy a juice occasionally, I’m not saying don’t ever do it, but to consider that some of the health values or health benefits that are being labelled onto these foods are perhaps more marketing than actual evidence,” said Comeau.

WATCH: Kate Comeau a spokesperson from Dietitians of Canada explains her views on cold-pressed juice and if it is healthier.

More advice from dietiticians and nutritionists is to consider drinking a smoothie or blended drink, which contains more fibre than cold-pressed juices, and whether you are consuming cold-pressed or a blended juice opt for more green vegetables than fruit to reduce sugar intake.

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Back at The Juicery Co. Prevost also believes that blending is a great option as well as cold-pressed, and she’s not worried that traditional science may not back up the cold-pressed juice health claims – yet.

“It’s nutrition on the run so if I can get that two pounds of produce in me while I’m driving my car instead of drinking a coffee, that’s a much better choice,” said Prevost. “Our product is all organic. It’s just really healthy. It’s a good option.”

An option inspired by her father.