Fruit Juice Is One Of Top Three Foods For Immune Function

why fruit juice should be part of your diet.
Three glasses of fruit juice are arranged in a triangle shape and surrounded by a variety of colorful fruits including oranges, strawberries, apples, watwrmelon slice, and guajava. There is an orange juice, strawberry juice and a green juice. The composition is isolated on white backdrop with natural shadow. Colors are very saturated. Picture taken with DSLR Canon EOS 5D MkII

Everyone loves a cold glass of juice! Apple juice, orange juice, carrot juice – no matter the fruit or vegetable, it’s a refreshing staple in households around the world. What you may not realize, though, is if all the juice you drink is processed and pre-packaged you may be denying your body nutrients that come from fresh juice. Read labels and look out for added sugars- they will not be found in pure natural juices.

A recent poll of more than 3000 adults, commissioned by the Fruit Juice Science Center (FJCS), has found that two thirds of Brits (65%) and more than a third of French and German adults (34%) drink 100% fruit juice to support their immune function. The beverage was most frequently listed after fruit and vegetables amongst the top immunity-support foods.

However, there was less awareness about the nutrients provided in juice, with just half of adults overall agreeing that a daily glass is rich in vitamins and minerals. Fewer than a fifth in France and Germany, and a third in the UK, knew that antioxidants – such as vitamin C – can be found in fruit juice. And most didn’t realize that fruit juice contains polyphenols – beneficial plant compounds also found in fruit, vegetables, and cocoa.

With internet searches on vitamin C soaring during the pandemic, nevertheless four in ten Brits and Germans, and more than half of French didn’t know that vitamin C is necessary for healthy immune function. This is despite six in 10 being more aware of immune health since the pandemic.

Commenting on the survey, Dr Carrie Ruxton from the FJCS – fruitjuicesciencecentre.eu/fr – said: “Awareness of how a glass of fruit juice supports normal immunity has improved but there are still some misconceptions.” Considering that 100% juice is simply squeezed fruit – and has practically identical sugars, vitamins, and positive bioactive compounds compared with whole fruit – there is still a lot of nonsense claimed about fruit juice.

A key myth is that sugar is added to fruit juice, which it isn’t since that would be illegal in the EU and UK. Another is that the vitamin C in packaged fruit juice is destroyed – that’s also untrue. Neither is it correct to say that pure fruit juice contains preservatives and colors, although thankfully only one in 10 people in our Poll believed that.

Five facts on juice – from the FJSC

  1. 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;
  2. Orange juice is one of the richest sources of hesperidin, a polyphenol that has anti-inflammatory effects;
  3. Fruit juice is high in potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure;
  4. It takes one or two oranges to make a 150 ml glass of fruit juice and all the sugars in juice come from the fruits used to make them – none is added;
  5. Apple, orange, and grapefruit juices are all low GI (glycaemic index) meaning that they raise blood sugars more slowly compared with high GI foods, such as rice, bread, or sugar-sweetened drinks.

How about sugar

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.

Dr Ruxton says: “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.”

Fresh juices are packed with soluble fiber, a type of fiber that supports good bacteria 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 is a great and nutritious option to get your daily dose. In both apple and orange juice, you can find almost three grams of healthy soluble fiber!

SOURCE The Fruit Juice Science Center

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