There is some controversy about the health effects of juice. Pure juice can provide people with vitamin C and antioxidants and help them achieve their “five-a-day.” However, some people argue that juice is a concentrated form of sugar and may contribute to obesity.
People can drink juice as part of a healthy diet and count it toward their daily calorie intake. The best type to choose is 100% pure juice, as it avoids any added sugars, sweeteners, or colorings.
All fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. People can experiment with making fresh juices from single fruits or combinations of fruits and vegetables such as spinach, kale, or celery. They can also purchase fruit and vegetable combinations from grocery stores.
The following sections list some healthy juices, potential health benefits, and nutritional content.
- Calories: 114
- Carbohydrate: 28 grams (g)
- Total sugars: 23.9 g
- Vitamin C: 2.23 milligrams (mg)
Beets, or beetroots, contain nitrates, antioxidants, and essential nutrients.
Beet juice may also interact with some drugs, so it is important that a person on medication seek medical advice before consuming the juice.
- Calories: 101
- Carbohydrate: 23 g
- Total sugars: 20 g
- Vitamin C: 9.12 mg
- Folate: 120 micrograms (mcg)
Blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins.
- Calories: 110
- Carbohydrate: 27 g
- Total sugars: 24 g
- Vitamin C: 18 mg
- Calories: 116
- Carbohydrate: 30.9 g
- Total sugars: 30.6 g
- Vitamin C: 23.5 mg
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, which
- Calories: 41.3
- Carbohydrate: 8.58 g
- Total sugars: 6.27 g
- Vitamin C: 170 mg
- Lycopene: 22,000 mcg
People can purchase juice in cans, bottles, and cartons. A person can also use a hand juicer for citrus fruits or an electric centrifugal or masticating machine for other fresh fruit and vegetables.
It is preferable to consume fresh juice immediately after preparing to avoid oxidation and deterioration of vitamins.
There may be several benefits associated with drinking juice.
The American Heart Association recommends 4–5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It advises that one-quarter cup of pure, 100% fruit juice can fulfill one of the daily servings.
The study also noted that the protective effects might be due to nutrients and bioactive compounds in juice. The harmful associations at higher doses may be attributable to consuming excess calories, which outweighs the positive effects, according to the reviewers.
Some possible health risks associated with fruit juice concern fiber, sugar, and weight gain.
For example, while fresh fruit juice has some dietary fiber, the amounts are not as high as those in raw vegetables or fruit. Daily dietary recommendations from the Department of Agriculture are for females to consume at least 28 g of dietary fiber per day, and for males to consume 34 g per day.
Although pure fruit juice does not contain added sugars such as those in sweetened drinks, it does have fructose, which is a naturally occurring sugar.
Therefore, people must look at ingredients to make sure that juice is 100% fruit or vegetable. The authors of the review also point out that people should not completely replace whole fruits and vegetables with juices.
Juices can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Drinking a serving of juice might contribute to a person’s recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
Many fruits and vegetables have health benefits, and someone can choose specific juices to complement their health. However, juices with added sugars may contribute to weight gain.
Juices should not replace whole fruits and vegetables.