The traditional Indian alternative medicine system of Ayurveda goes back thousands of years, and today its principles have extended into the F&B industry by offering consumers a means of obtaining preventive healthcare via daily diets.
This area has grown exponentially in popularity ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and according to Singapore-based juice specialist firm EGA Wellness, many of the Ayurvedic system’s traditional principles can be incorporated well into beverage products based on plants, such as juices.
“Ayurveda classifies some 50,000 to 60,000 plants, including fruits and vegetables, in terms of the benefits for the human body from seed to root to flower to fruit to bark to leaves – and the focus is very much on balance,” said EGA Wellness Co-Founder Sumit Nanda.
“In a place like Singapore where we are on the equator, we get fruits from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres at the same time, places where the temperatures are completely different, and the effects on the body are very different too and can be quite harmful so we rely on Ayurvedic principles to balance this out when advising on juice options.”
The firm currently has a portfolio of some 20 juices which are designed based on these principles, which is still expanding. A large variety of fruits, vegetables and fruit-vegetable blends from citrus to coconut to moringa are used to tackle individual issues such as stress relief, energy, digestive disorders and weight loss according to Ayurveda healing.
Personalised advice is also offered to consumers based on the three Ayurvedic ‘body types’: Fire, Air and Earth.
“Different juices are recommended based on the different body types – For instance, thinner, lighter Air body types will be recommended sweeter fruit juices; Fire body types will be recommended bitter, cooling fruits and vegetables; whereas Earth body types will generally be recommended green and citrus-based juices,” said Nanda.
“It is important to us to give personalised advice to our consumers based on their body types as if this is not done correctly, it could cause issues like constipation and bloating to occur or even aggravate any existing conditions.
“We classify the juices based on Ayurvedic principles also – for example, those which are sweeter are more Earthy and can provide grounding, and those more sour and salty are Fire, and juices made with bitter, astringent or pungent ingredients are classified as Air, so consumers will be recommended the juices based on the elements [which they lack] to restore balance and health.”
Watch the video below to find out more about how juice options can be personalised for consumers based on these Ayurvedic principles:
EGA Wellness operates four stores across Singapore where in-house Ayurveda consultants are available to offer advice not only on juice personalisation, but also full-scale diet and wellness plans based on Ayurvedic principles.
The juices range from S$8.50 (US$6.33) to S$12 (US$8.94) per bottle depending on the types of fruits, vegetables and herbs used, and are also available online and at selected wellness outlets.
The firm saw immense growth in the past year riding on its Ayurvedic value proposition and focus on immunity-boosting.
“Immunity as per Ayurveda refers to the metabolic rate or digestive fire [and] COVID-19 really brought immunity to the forefront,” said Nanda.
“People have realised that even when vaccinated, the vaccine is dependent on the health of the immune system to work [and since last year] we have seen five-fold growth in the business to hit some 20,000 regular consumers [either regularly purchasing the juices or on our Ayurvedic wellness plans].
“Ayurveda is very much about improving immunity, and turmeric is a big feature here. We use fresh turmeric juice in a lot of our products, including a turmeric latte, [and to take this a step further] we also have a concentrated Immunobooster Power Shot made of turmeric, lemon, ginger and amla.
“The Immunobooster has been our number one selling product in recent times since COVID-19 with many consumers looking to this for preventive healthcare.”
Juices as a ‘mineral’ beverage
When asked whether he considers juices made from fruits and vegetables as functional beverages in and of themselves, Nanda said that these are important as a mineral source today.
“Till just a few hundred years ago, we were getting our water from rivers or wells and getting natural minerals from the mountains or the earth – today, rivers are polluted and the soil is filled with chemicals and pesticides so there is no option but to filter the water, which also removes these beneficial minerals,” he said.
“Fruits and vegetables however have already absorbed these minerals from the earth they grow in [so] juices made from these are actually the most nutritious form of essential raw enzymes and minerals the body needs.
“[So to ensure the functionality of the juices], cold-pressing is used to make our products and press out all the nutrients at a cellular level. Regular juicing uses a centrifugal blade which causes oxidation, generates a lot of heat and destroys the minerals and enzymes, and makes for remnant pulp which is quite wet and a lot of nutrients will be lost in it.”