A glass of fruit juice is usually part of a healthy breakfast for most of us. However, experts recommend eating the whole fruit rather than drinking the juice even if it is freshly made. Fresh fruit is full of healthy fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Fruit juice nutrition on the other hand is lacking in antioxidants and also usually, fiber. It does not provide the same health benefits as eating the whole fruit.
Fruit Juice Nutrition
Of late, fresh fruit juice is being touted as a healthy option with smoothie bars and fruit juice stands mushrooming all over. And, why not – after all, the juice from the fresh fruit is delicious and the smoothie is easy to drink. The juice came from the healthy fruit, so it must be healthy as well. However, this is far from the truth. Although the natural sugars from the fruit are present in the fruit juice, the fiber content is missing. Whole fruit contains four times the fiber as that in juice. Also, your glass of juice might contain the juice of more than one fruit. Also, the most vital ingredient – antioxidants is usually totally absent in the pure fruit juice you consume. Further, because you could be drinking one or more large glassful of juice, you could be consuming more than the recommended quantity of fructose (sugar from fruit).
Fruit juice is not all empty calories like soda. It does contain the natural sugars known as fructose from the whole fruit. 100% juices also contain phytonutrients – these are compounds found in plants, fruits and vegetables that have potential for preventing diseases. Fresh fruit juice is a reasonably nutritious beverage that can be included in your diet in a healthy manner. Yet, it is always a better option to eat the fruit rather than squeezing the juice out of it so that you also enjoy the benefits of fiber. Next time you crave a snack, chomp on an apple with the skin; it will give you 15 times more fiber and 100% more antioxidants than the apple juice.
Fruit Juice Nutrition Myths
We have bust the myth that drinking fruit juice is as healthy as eating the fruit itself. Fruit juice nutrition is surrounded by a number of other myths – how many times have you heard people asking you to drink orange juice to fight a cold? Orange juice, many people believe, supposedly boosts the immune system, thus keeping diseases at bay. In reality however, the opposite happens. The sugar in the orange juice makes your immune system quite lethargic and you are vulnerable to disease.
Orange juice is considered to be a rich source of Vitamin C which is true. However, the high content of sugar in the orange juice prevents the assimilation of Vitamin C in the body, thus making it practically useless as a rich vitamin source. In comparison, the Vitamin C from other sources like Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, snow peas and red cabbage can be easily absorbed by the body.
From what we have seen in this article, fruit juice is not as healthy as the fruit itself. It lacks fiber and therefore does not rank high in the list of healthy foods. While fruit juice may be included in our diet, we must not substitute it for whole fruit.
If you often find yourself drinking fruit juice (fresh or not), the very least – start controlling its portions!