Many health benefits of juice are indisputable, but people may be confused because many reports on health, especially those concerning calorie consumption, warn against drinking too much of it or to avoid it completely. In particular, parents are told not to offer their kids fruit juice, but instead to stick to milk or water, and while the intention of saving children from obesity is a good idea, these warnings may go overboard slightly.
Juice of any kind can be an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and many juices are chock full of potassium, which helps to balance sodium in the body. It can also be difficult to get the recommended three to five servings of vegetables and fruits per day, and substituting a glass of juice helps give people one serving. Though vegetable juice is undoubtedly typically higher in mineral and vitamin content, colored fruit juices — especially those that are deep dark reds or blues — are excellent too. Citrus juices can be also be a great source of vitamin C.
The health benefits of juice usually aren’t equivalent to the health benefits of eating the fruits or vegetables from which they’re made. One thing most people eliminate when they substitute juice for fruit is fiber. Even when people drink some of the pulp left over from making juice, they aren’t getting the same high quality fiber that they would if they crunched on an apple or consumed a carrot instead. Since many peoples’ diets are too low in dietary fiber, it’s important not to only use juice as a means of getting fruit and vegetable servings.
Additionally, health benefits of juice tend to be mitigated by the types of juice consumed. Apple juice or white grape juice is inferior to red grape juice and cranberry juice. Many people buy juice that is blended, and the principal components are apple, grape or pear juices which help sweeten any other fruit juices added.
Those looking for benefits from specific types of fruits should look to juices made solely from those fruits and avoid mixes of less nutritious juices. Look for 100% pomegranate juice for instance, instead of a mix. It’s also important to make sure that a juice isn’t sweetened with sugar or corn syrup, which may degrade its nutritional value.
Certain fruits and their juices may have particular health benefits. Cranberry juice has been shown to reduce incidence of bladder infections. Red grape juice may reduce blood clotting and some studies have found it to be as effective as red wine in prevention of heart disease. Most fruits with deep colors have anthocyanins, which might help lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and overall the high content of antioxidants in a majority of deep colored juices and those containing high levels of vitamin C, can have anti-aging benefits.
It is true that most juices made from fruit are higher in calories and have higher sugar content than the actual fruit. When anyone makes juice, it can take a lot of fruit or vegetables to produce a single glass of it. While people should take advantage of the health benefits of juice, they shouldn’t overdo it. Many doctors who favor juice recommend drinking no more than eight ounces (.24 liters) per day to avoid consuming too many calories. Note that many of the benefits of these juices are also even more available in the fruits and veggies that produce them, and people may want to substitute juice for one serving of fruits or vegetables a day, but not for all servings.