Plant-based drinks with Press Healthfoods

Oranges spilling out of a bag

In celebration of World Health Day, we spoke to the cofounder of plant-based juice company Press Healthfoods to highlight the nutritional value of cold-pressed drinks

Words by Anastasia Miari

‘If I’m ever feeling a bit worse for wear after a night out, I like to have half a litre of our Lean Green juice, a ginger shot, and one of our hydrators,’ says Ed Foy, cofounder of Press Healthfoods – the juice brand that started life in a bathtub at London’s Old Street tube station. In preparation for party life post-lockdown, we’re discussing the popularity of cold-pressed juice and how it might be just the thing to save us from a mighty hangover once we’re able to dance until the wee hours again. 

Though the technology for cold-pressed juice has been around since 1983, the industry didn’t get going until 1996 with Liquiteria – the world’s first cold-press juice bar – in New York. It took even longer to make its way over the pond, with Foy and his partner, Georgie Reames, bringing the concept back to the UK in 2014. 

‘There wasn’t this culture of health-food consumption in the UK, specifically around juicing, at that stage,’ says Foy. Now, the global cold-pressed juice market is estimated at US$6.3b and it’s set to grow by 10% in the next five years. 

Made by using hydraulic pressure (equivalent to five times the pressure of the deepest ocean) at a cooler temperature to squeeze out every drop of juice, cold-pressing uses the entire fruit or vegetable and retains freshness. While other juices are heat pasteurised (causing nutrients to diminish over time), cold-pressing ensures that the fruit (or vegetable) in its liquid form remains as ‘raw’ as possible.

'You preserve 95% of the nutritional value when you cold press'

Ed Foy, cofounder of Press Healthfoods

‘You’re basically breaking open cells and cellular structure in vegetables or fruit to release the liquid part,’ says Foy. ‘In that liquid is all of the nutrient content and the enzymes – everything that you’d want out of it in terms of nutritional value. You cool it down to below two degrees before you do this to delay the decomposition process.’

Another obvious benefit of a cold-pressed juice is its convenience. A bottle of Press Healthfoods’ Lean Green comprises spinach, celery, kale, cucumber, romaine, ginger, and lemon. It squeezes half a kilo of vegetables into just one bottle and you can sign yourself up to a subscription, which means it’ll arrive direct to your door. It also lends itself to a generation of on-the-go breakfasters who want to feed themselves something more wholesome than a croissant from Pret. Improved immunity, gut health and glowing skin are just some of the benefits of switching to cold-pressed juice, and it’s why the market is growing.

Fruit and veg on a table
Tomatoes close up
A health juice with peeled ginger

‘You preserve 95% of the nutritional value when you cold press, and in a single bottle of juice you can consume a whole load of veggies – all before breakfast,’ says Foy, whose brand has expanded to now offer meal plans way beyond the juice subscription that was its staple. The aim is to become a one-stop shop for plant-based meals that pack in as many macronutrients as possible, with an app hooked up to ‘smart scales’ that measure things like body fat and hydration levels for a more tailored approach. 

The emphasis is on education around nutrition. Visit the blog and you’ll find articles breaking down macronutrients, or posts discussing the links between diet and sex. They’re putting emphasis on consumers as individuals and acting as data-driven AI nutritionists. 

‘It’s about giving people the tools to understand their bodies, understand how body composition effects quality of life, and then helping them reach their goals’ explains Foy, leaving us desperate for a set of smart scales and a bottle of Lean Green.

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