There is a lack of knowledge of what goes into the food that you eat and what nutrients certain foods do or don’t contain. Processed and packaged food seems great in theory, what with having a longer shelf life, being higher in calories, and cheaper, but this sacrifices the nutrients in the actual food. Processed food typically has more sugars, oils, and sodium which are not meant for the body to consume large amounts of each day. They are part of the reason there are so many food-related health conditions in the world. For example, freshly squeezed, 100% fruit juice has many nutrients in it but as soon as the juice becomes processed and boxed, it loses lots of its nutrients and gains excess sugars.
Drink your juice freshly squeezed
But everyone loves a cold glass of juice! Whether that be having a glass of orange juice in the morning or drinking a glass of grape juice at lunch, it’s a refreshing staple in households around the world. Fresh fruit juice is most frequently listed after fruit and vegetables amongst the top immunity-support foods because the juice comes directly from the produce at the top of the list. A recent poll, commissioned by the Fruit Juice Science Center (FJCS) and comprised of more than 3000 adults, found that 65% of Brits and more than 34% of French and German adults drink 100% fruit juice to support their immune function.
But much of the fruit juice available is processed and pre-packaged. Because of this processing, you may be denying your body essential nutrients that come from fresh juice. Many people are appalled when they find out that most boxed juice isn’t a fresh product. Read labels and look out for added sugars because they will not be found in pure, natural juices.
This isn’t common knowledge as only half of the adults surveyed by the FJCS agreed that a daily glass of juice is rich in vitamins and minerals. Less than a fifth of people living in France and Germany, and only a third of people in the UK, knew that antioxidants, such as vitamin C, can be found in fresh fruit juice. Most don’t realize that fruit juice contains polyphenols, which are beneficial plant compounds found in fruit, vegetables, and cocoa. Even though knowledge of Vitamin C is growing, four in ten people in Britain and Germany, and more than half of France didn’t know that vitamin C is necessary for healthy immune function.
Five Juice Facts
- Just one small glass of 100% fruit juice provides more than 80% of the vitamin C recommendation. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and essential for normal immunity.
- Orange juice is one of the richest sources of hesperidin, a polyphenol that has anti-inflammatory effects.
- Fruit juice is high in potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure.
- It takes one or two oranges to make a 150 ml glass of fruit juice and all the sugars in the juice come from the fruits used to make them. There are no added sugars.
- Apple, orange, and grapefruit juices are all low GI (glycaemic index) meaning that they raise blood sugars more slowly compared to high GI foods, such as rice, bread, or sugar-sweetened drinks.
Sugar and Fiber
Dr Ruxton says that “Juice is enjoyed by millions of people every day and most seem to recognize that it has a positive role in the diet. Given that most of the sugar we eat comes from sugar-sweetened drinks, biscuits, cakes, confectionery and desserts – foods which are low in essential nutrients – it’s clear where we need to turn our attention to cut sugar intakes.”
The FJSC poll found that eight in 10 adults believe that 100% fruit is not high in sugar. Additionally, a quarter of Brits (24%) and Germans (28%), and more than a third of French (35%), think that pure juice is actually low in sugar. The reality is that a typical glass of orange juice contains the same level of natural sugars (around 13g) as a couple of oranges.
Fresh juices are packed with soluble fiber, a type of fiber that supports good bacterial growth and digestive health. It has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and slow the transit of food through the digestive tract. Soluble fiber can also be found in some oats, nuts, and beans, but fruit and vegetable juice are great and nutritious options to get your daily dose. In both apple and orange juice, you can find almost three grams of healthy soluble fiber.
So, if you are going to drink juice, make sure that it is 100% fresh squeezed, natural juice because it will just contain natural sugars, instead of added sugar, and more fiber than processed juice.