Fruits and vegetables are staples of any healthy and balanced diet. There are many benefits to eating a healthy amount of fruits and veggies, and many people like to get their daily dose through fruit juices instead of eating the solid fruit. And while there are still health benefits, fruit and vegetable juices are not equal to their solid counterparts.
The juicing trend has really taken off in recent years. The different juice cleanses and diets out there all promise to make a healthier life. And it is true – drinking your fruits and veggies does give you some of the benefits that eating the same fruits and veggies will give you. Juices are a great way to get your fill when you are super busy and on-the-go. Also, nutrients are quickly assimilated into the body as it doesn’t have to separate out the fiber.
Conversely, fruit juices really cannot replicate the real thing. Even if it is 100% juice, juices don’t include some of the key benefits of fruits and vegetables, like fiber. When you juice a fruit or veggie it removes all of the fiber, which is one of the main benefits. Additionally, fruits and veggies are great for weight loss because they fill people up without many calories. Juices don’t provide people with the same full feeling.
If you are drinking fruit juice that is not freshly squeezed, it is likely not as healthy as you may think. Many fruit juices are highly concentrated in natural sugar, and mass produced vegetable juice is very high in sodium. A glass of orange juice contains nearly twice as many calories as an orange – and it takes much less time to consume.
The high concentration of fruit sugar in these juices can raise blood sugar quickly and the high volume of sodium in vegetable juices can increase the risk of hypertension. The amount of sugar in fruit drinks and smoothies really cancels out many of the benefits they are thought to possess.
If you are going to drink juice, here are some of the healthier beverages to help you get your fix:
Pomegranate juice: Pomegranate juice is loaded with antioxidants that help fight against inflammation, heart disease, lung cancer and prostate cancer. Just be sure that you are drinking pure pomegranate juice and the beverage is not sweetened with sugar.
Fresh Veggie Juice: While not as good as eating a vegetable, fresh veggie juice is a great way to ingest many different veggies at once and get their various vitamins and minerals. Beware of bottled veggie juices that are high in sodium.
Beetroot Juice: Beets are supremely good for you, and the juice is no different as it can help lower blood pressure and increase stamina. It can even help slow dementia in older people.
While fruits and veggies are undoubtedly good for you, it is important to notice what is added to the juices. Be vigilant about reading labels and ingesting only healthy juices and your diet will be better for it.