The Juice Bar is a vital part of our Co-op, and one of the best benefits of it is that it offers an easy way to get your vitamins—through delicious smoothies and un-pasteurized juice. As a Co-op shopper, I love the benefit of having non-pasteurized juice available to me when I’m not near my juicer.

Regardless of whether you go with a juice or a smoothie, the USDA dietary guidelines recommend consuming three to five servings of vegetables daily. A vegetable serving is equal to a 1/2 cup. The Juice Bar can make it easy to consume the recommended amount of vegetables.

Pasteurization
While there are a lot of things to be said for pasteurized juice, according to www.betterhealth.gov the nutrient value is almost always altered by the kind of processing it undergoes. Pasteurization is the process of heating juice in an attempt to reduce the number of viable pathogens so they are unlikely to cause diseases. They say water-soluble vitamins are the most vulnerable to processing and cooking. Vitamin C is the most unstable. Of the B vitamins, B1 is the second most vulnerable to loss of impact if heated.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C, a.k.a ascorbic acid, aids in iron absorption and supports the immune system. To get a smoothie or a juice with vitamin C, pick parsley, elderberry, kale, oranges, strawberries, lemon, raspberry, spinach, or mango. As at the Juice Bar, these options are listed in the order of highest to lowest amounts of vitamin C. Parsley juice is offered in a shot with or without a chaser and it can be added to smoothies or juice.

This time of year, the best way to get fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and mango which are rich in water-soluble vitamins, is in a frozen form. Elderberry, in a liquid concentrate, can be added to any drink. Oranges are juiced almost daily at the Co-op and, to insure fresh citrus in your drink, lemons are available. To make it easy to get a blast of vitamin C, just order an Evil Genius or a Berry Charger!

Vitamin B
At the Juice Bar there are lots of options to choose from to get your B vitamins.

  • B1 (or thiamine) can be found in kale and oranges. Itwas the first vitamin to be discovered and it is responsible for generating energy.
  • B2 aids in making vitamin C useful to us and allows for the metabolism of fats, ketone, carbohydrates, and proteins. It can also improve vision. B2 (or riboflavin) is found in milk (only available processed) and leafy vegetables.
  • B3 (or niacin) is found in peanut butter, carrots, and leafy vegetables. B3 gives you healthy skin and a healthy digestive system.
  • B5 helps metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and in the Juice Bar, you can obtain it in a yogurt smoothie.
  • B6 is found in bananas and vegetables, and benefits red blood cell production.
  • B7 (or biotin) is found in leafy green vegetables and peanuts. Try a Funky Monkey.
  • B9 (or folic acid) has many health benefits especially for those planning a pregnancy. B9 can be found in leafy vegetables.
  • The last of the B vitamins, B12, is responsible for normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. In the Juice Bar B12 is found in a spirulina additive best for smoothies and is included in the Green Dream. The Inner Peace and Sweet Greens juices are great options to get your B vitamins.

By choosing to consume water-soluble B vitamins and raw vitamin C, you are inviting a myriad of essential nutrients into your system. There are a lot of other great options to make smoothies or juices. Stop by the Juice Bar and create one or pick one of the many options offered!

Daniel J. KrauseJolly BobsHuntington Learning CenterB&Z LandscapeUnion Technology CooperativeMark E. Saunders, CFPYoga for Men