Subscribe to receive exclusive news, workouts, giveaways and more!

This Juice Company Wants Moms-to-Be to Drink Up

As any mom-to-be knows, navigating what one can and cannot eat or drink is a supreme challenge. Unfortunately, the It Drink of the moment—fresh, cold-pressed, unpasteurized juice—is on the banned list. But thanks to juice brands like Lumi Organics, a feel-good company whose name stands for “Love U, Mean It,” pregnant women and new moms can sip their favorite nutrient-dense concoctions without hesitation.

Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, Lumi uses a process called high pressure processing (HPP), which kills potentially harmful bacteria like E-coli and listeria once a juice is bottled, without compromising nutrients or taste. Despite HPP’s ability to eradicate the bad stuff, making Lumi safe for pregnant women to drink, it is not without its critics. To find out more about that—and what to look for in general when choosing a juice—we chatted with Hillary Lewis, founder and CEO of Lumi, who wants everyone to have a great relationship with a healthy juice.

What to Look For

Quality over quantity counts when it comes to juice nutrition. More than two pounds of fruits and vegetables go into one 16-ounce bottle of Lumi juice; Lewis points out that she chooses more nutrient-rich (and often spendier) produce—collard greens, for instance, versus romaine—for maximum nutrient impact. If you want to make sure what you’re drinking now lives up to your expectations, read the label. “Since the FDA requires companies to list ingredients on food labels according to the highest concentration of each ingredient, consumers can look [there] to get an understanding of the ingredients, from highest to lowest concentrations,” says Lewis.

The More You Know

“As the juicing trend continues to grow, it is really important for pregnant, new and nursing moms to be informed of the process that goes into making the juices they consume and the different health benefits between juices,” says Lewis. “When produce is squeezed into non-HPPed juice, any bacteria present can become part of the finished product. Unless juice undergoes an additional method to destroy potentially harmful pathogens, it could be dangerous for pregnant and nursing women and anyone with a weakened immune system.”

HPP Explained

“High pressure processing applies extreme water pressure—87,000 pounds per square inch, which is five times the pressure at the deepest point in the ocean—to deactivate bacteria and preserve vital nutrients,” says Lewis. “In order to distribute to grocery stores, the FDA requires a five-log reduction in bacteria, which you can only achieve in three ways: UV radiation, heat pasteurization or high pressure processing. UV radiation only works for apple juice, heat pasteurization degrades 40 percent of the vital nutrients found in produce and kills the flavor. But HPP maintains 100 percent of the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables and does not impact flavor and taste. Critics of HPP claim that the process causes enzyme depletion; however, enzyme depletion occurs more quickly with untreated juice.” The technique is also a natural way to preserve food. “HPP extends the shelf life up to eight times,” says Lewis. “Without some processing, cold-pressed juice safely lasts only 72 to 96 hours.”

Good vs. Bad

Though HPP knocks out bad bacteria, it also deals a blow to the beneficial kind. “One downside to the HPP process is that HPP eradicates all bacteria found in produce, which includes bacteria that is good for you and that can be helpful in building your immune system,” explains Lewis. “But you are probably getting enough of that bacteria from your cell phone or the interior of your purse.”

Add your comments