Several people think that substituting fruits with fruit juice would provide them with the nutrition that their body needs. But is that really the case? Or have we been mistaking fruit juice to be healthy? Science shows that chewing your fruits is way better than sipping them. Let’s explore the why of this below.
Is packaged fruit juice totally natural?
Most juice companies that label their products as 100% natural are being dishonest to catch your attention and win you over. Turn the bottle and peak at the ingredients’ list and you will be able to notice how many chemical ingredients are a part of the composition from artificial flavors to preservatives.
You see, bottle juice companies extract juice from fruits and store it for up to a year in containers that are depleted of oxygen. By the time this juice is packaged, it loses its flavor which is when artificial flavors are added. What’s more, some research shows that the sugar content in packaged juices is almost the same as that of soft drinks like Coca Cola. And then there are the calories too, which are enough to repel anyone who fears weight gain.
One more thing to note here is that juices that are of low quality may just be water mixed with artificial flavors and other such ingredients with no sign of fruits at all.
What about freshly-squeezed fruit juice?
While we’ve cleared why bottled fruit juice is not the best beverage to choose as it poses almost the same health risks as any other sugar laden drink, what about freshly-squeezed natural fruit juice?
Since you are the one squeezing the juice out and ensuring the minimal or no addition of sugar then this pure drink should be healthy, right? No artificial flavors here. Unfortunately, this fresh juice is also not as beneficial as fruit itself. It lacks a lot of the nutrients that whole fruit offers and the sugar that you get from it is also not readily used as energy.
You see, when you squeeze out juice from a fruit, the skin is sliced off and the pulp is left. But the pulp and skin are rich sources of nutrients which you miss out on when you drink fruit rather than eat it. Moreover, it is also essential to know that without the skin and the pulp, the fiber content is also majorly lost. Which is a pity because this fiber is great for digestion and provides several other health benefits.
The downsides do not end here. The sugar that comes from fruits when they are eaten, is bound with fiber and is taken into the body slowly. Which means your sugar levels are not disturbed by this natural sugar and this sugar is also directly used as energy. However, when you drink juice, sugar consumption is not gradual but fast.
This results in an instant spike in your sugar markers which can hurt your health. Insulin is released as a consequence of high sugar which converts sugar into glycogen and fats. So, the sugar of juice is not a readily available source of energy. Then there are calories to worry about as well. It’s a myth that all calories are equal. No, liquid calories are worse.
Drinks also make you feel hungrier unlike when you eat fruit, in which the act of chewing reduces your appetite and makes you feel full. When you drink juice, you tend to feel hungrier which can lead to a further increase in calories. People who have metabolic problems may face adverse reactions by the intake of juice even though eating fruits is mostly healthy for them.
Which is the best juice?
Nutritionists recommend to never leave out pulp when squeezing juice out of fruits. One of the best natural juices out there is pomegranate juice. This is because it is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory benefits as well. This allows pomegranate juice to unclog arteries and protect the health of your heart along with providing other health benefits.
Wrap up thoughts
Fruits are way better when served in a plate rather than when served in a glass. This is because fruits when chewed can control appetite and provide with fiber and many nutrients. However, fresh juice may lack these nutrients and even fiber. Its sugar is also not as easy on the body as that of fruit.
Coming to bottled juices those come with the same cons as fresh juice but with another problem as well – that of artificial flavors and preservatives. This is why it is best to drink juices in only moderate amounts and stick to water for a drink and fruits for eating.
However, if you are craving a sugary beverage, 100% natural fresh juice is way better than soft drinks.