Fruit Juice Versus Fruit: Which Is The Healthier Option?
Fruits also provide a variety of essential minerals such as magnesium and iron. They are rich sources of antioxidants that are known for many health benefits like boosting immunity, improving sleep patterns, and promoting cognitive health. Are fruit juices as healthy as eating a whole fruit?
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Fruit Juice Versus Fruit: What Is Fruit & Fruit Juice?
Fruits are infinitely healthy, and we know that! They are also a delicious, juicy, and perfect snacking option when hunger strikes in-between meals. Fruits are healthy as they contain all essential nutrients, they are rich in vitamins such as A, K, and C, and macronutrients such as fiber and carbohydrates. Fruits also provide a variety of essential minerals such as magnesium and iron. They are rich sources of antioxidants that are known for many health benefits like boosting immunity, improving sleep patterns, and promoting cognitive health. Regularly consuming fruits can help reduce the risk of several diseases and infections. Fruits are not only consumed raw but versatile as they are, people enjoy fruits in many different ways. Sometimes as part of salads, desserts, and juices too. Many are often confused about the best way to consume fruits. Are fruit juices as healthy as eating a whole fruit?
Fruit Juice Vs Whole Fruit
The main source of nutrition in the fruit is the pulp of the fruit and the skin of the fruit. When you drink fruit juice (sieved and strained w/o any pulp) instead of eating fruits, you don’t get any nutritional value from it. The commercially made juices have almost no real fruit or nutritional value.
People often believe that fruit juices are equally healthy as fruits but that is not true.
Fruit Juice Versus Fruit: Packaged Fruit Juices Are Not Alternatives
This is the sad truth of today’s time that manufacturers are not always honest about the ingredients in their products. Commercially made fruit juices which are easily available in the market are not what you think they are. Once the juice is extracted from the fruit, it is then stored in huge holding tanks which are depleted from oxygen (to prevent oxidization, spoilage)
These juices are stored for months before they are packed and sold. During the processing of the fruit juice, all the natural flavor of the fruit is removed and then the manufacturers add flavor packs to the fruit juices to get the flavor back.
Hence, even if you buy the most expensive fruit juices from the supermarket, what you are getting nutritionally speaking is nothing close to eating the whole fruit.
Fruit Juice Versus Fruit: What Packaged Fruit Juices Are Missing?
Packaged fruit juices miss a lot of nutrients that are easily available in the whole fruit. Let’s look at an example. Orange is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, potassium and folate. Orange juice may have Vitamin B1, potassium and folate but it doesn’t have Vitamin C in the same proportion.
Fresh fruit juices, on the other hand, are rich in antioxidants and their regular consumption could lead to an increase in the level of antioxidants in the blood. Fruit juices may not have fiber but can serve as good options of keeping yourself hydrated during hot months. of course, not adding sugar is a pre-requisite to keeping your glass of fresh fruit juice healthy.
Summary: Fruit Juice Vs Whole Fruit
The best way to derive the benefits of a fruit is to consume is as-is.
Blending fruit and consuming it in a glass without any sugar, is the next best option.
Packaged fruit juices serve as good alternatives when a quick boost of hydration is required and when clean water/fresh fruit/hygienic fruit juice isn’t an option.
Fruit Juice Versus Fruit: Benefits Of Fruits
There have been several studies which prove that fruit juices are just sugary drinks without any nutritional value. Following are the benefits of consuming fruits:
1. Aid In Weight Loss
There have been some trials in which it is confirmed that fruit intake has anti-obesity effects, which means that consumption of fruits regularly may help in weight loss. Along with other healthy foods and exercise, adding fruits in your diet will be beneficial if you are trying to lose weight.
2. Effects Of Antioxidants
Fruits are rich in antioxidants called phytochemicals, which can hinder the production of fat in the body.
3. Microbiome Effect
The undigested fruit residue is beneficial for microbiota in the gut, which is related to lean metabolism.
4. Rich In Fiber
Fruits are highly rich in fiber, which ensures you don’t get hungry too often. It also helps in proper digestion by forming a thick gel by reacting with water in the small intestine. The fiber in fruits slows down the process of digestion which means that the carbs, fats, and proteins are being provided to the body for digestion at a much slower rate.
It is a process that is biochemically mediated, including the binding and secretion of peptides that act as signals releasing from the gut and other organs in response to the intake of food in the body. This decreases the quantity and volume of food intake by a very slow release of sugar in the blood.
Fruit Juice Versus Fruit: Effects Of Excess Consumption Of Fruit Juice
Excessive consumption of packaged fruit juices from a young age may increase the risk of obesity once the child grows up. These are not beneficial to the body at all and hence, it should not be relied upon as a source of nutrition.
The following are some side effects of consuming fruit juice.
1. Quick Absorption
With fruit juices fluids pass very quickly to the intestine and are absorbed rapidly. Hence, fruit juices increase the blood glucose and insulin levels which are a major cause of type 2 diabetes.
2. Lack Of Fiber
Commercially made fruit juices lack fiber in them and don’t provide any benefit which is provided by the fruit. Fruits are way better than store bought juices. Fruits contain all the essential nutrients.
For example, eating whole orange is better than drinking orange juice. A fresh orange has 62 calories while orange juice has 110 calories. There is no fat content in both orange and orange juice but carbs content is higher in orange juice. Fiber decreases from 3 g to 0.5 g when orange is compared with orange juice.
Fresh Fruit Juice Versus Fruit: Homemade Juices
Homemade juices have more nutritional value than commercially made fruit juices. They are freshly prepared without any additives such as sugar. They retain the nutrient value of the fruit. Homemade juices are healthier and don’t contribute to gain in weight. Homemade juices are a healthy alternative to packed juices but eating whole fruit is the best way to absorb all the nutrients provided by the fruit.
Even though preparing homemade juices is a long process but with all the nutrients that you will get with the homemade juice, the time spent on preparation is worth it. You can even try different types of juices at home by mixing fruits with healthy vegetables.
In conclusion, eating fruits has the most benefits. Still, if you wish to drink juice, then homemade juices are much better than packaged juices for regular consumption.