Is Fresh Fruit Juice Bad for You?

is fruit juice good for youOk deep breath! There are several facets to this. The answer to the question “is fresh fruit juice bad for you?” is not a yes or no answer. If I was asked if processed fruit juice you buy at the store is bad for you? I would be bold enough to say yes – in most cases it is just flavored sugar water. But, fresh fruit juice – it’s a different story…

The Good
The upside to drinking fresh fruit juice is the nutrition it contains. It is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is therefore, generally speaking, great for boosting the immune system, great for detox, has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes overall good health. More specifically studies show that pomegranate may help reduce arterial clogging, grape juice helps reduce blood clot formations, apple juice can lower cholesterol and cranberry juice helps prevent the occurrence of urinary tract infections. So far so good.

The Bad
The problem with fresh fruit juice is the sugar it contains. Too much sugar in the diet is a key risk for developing diabetes, is a risk for heart disease too, promotes the growth of unhealthy gut flora, and can increase inflammation in the body. The laundry list for the negative effects of excess sugar consumption doesn’t stop there either. Before that scares you into ever drinking fruit juice again, the emphasis here is on Too Much sugar. Taken in moderation, fresh fruit juice provides the above mentioned benefits for health and more.

The Balance
is fresh fruit juice bad for youWhat is a recommended amount of fruit juice to drink per day? As it stands there are no official guidelines for fruit juice, but there are guidelines for the amount of sugar we should consume. The American Heart Association (AHA) were the first to put out guidelines in 2011:

” Women should consume no more than 100 calories (about 25 grams) of added sugars per day. Most men should consume no more than 150 calories (about 37.5 grams) each day. That’s about six teaspoons of added sugar a day for women and nine for men. “

It is very easy to reach and exceed these sugar-intake guideline if we are not keeping an eye on the processed foods that we are eating. So we really need to be observant about what the rest of our diet looks like when drinking fresh fruit juice because the average 8oz glass contains between 25g to 30g of sugar!

  • 8oz of fresh apple juice contains 27g of sugar (110 calories)
  • 8oz of fresh orange juice contains 20g of sugar (112 calories)

Our Recommendations
Drink vegetable juice mostly. And mostly green vegetable juice. Most vegetables are considerably lower in sugar content than fruits. Green vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale and spinach are extremely low in calories and sugar, but absolutely brimming in antioxidants and other healthy nutrition. Green juice is just all health benefits. Even the more sweet of vegetables, such as carrots are lower in sugar than fruits, with the average 8oz glass providing 15g of sugar.

It is still a great idea to drink fruit juice, but keep the portions controlled. Stick with no more than an a 4oz glass per day, that provide an average of 12g to 15g of sugar a serving. This still leaves some leeway room for a little more sugar from other foods in the day without breaking the AHA guidelines.

Fresh fruit juice provides nutritional diversity to vegetable juice, providing certain nutrients, antioxidants and health benefits that you may not find with vegetables. We just need to be smart about how much we drink, and then we get the benefits and none of the negative effects of excess sugar consumption.

How Long Can I Store Fresh-made Juice?

storing juiceIf you have searched the net to find out if you can store fresh juice, then you may have bumped into a few people claiming you must drink the juice right away or otherwise you lose all the nutrition and benefits. This isn’t exactly true. The truth is that drinking the juice as fresh as possible is always best, but storing your juice properly is still an effective way of gaining the benefits of juice, especially if it otherwise means no juice. However, as with all stored foods, there is a time limit.

How long you can store your juice totally depends on the type of juicer you are using, but before we get more into those details lets look at how juice must be stored, regardless of juicer-type.

  • It is very important that juice is stored in an air-tight container. Filling the container to the brim is best, this will reduce any excess air in the vessel. Alternatively there are tools that pump the excess air out of containers.
  • Keep the juice refrigerated. This keeps the juice cool and in the dark, 2 important factors for preserving fresh-made juice.

Which Juicer – How Long?

If you are not clear on the difference between a centrifugal juice extractor and a masticating juicer, then check out our post explaining this – Best Juicer. For a quick and limited reference – all Breville juice machines and Jack LaLanne juicer machines are centrifugal juicers. The Hurom Slow Juicer, Omega 8005 and 8006 Juicers are all masticating machines.

Centrifugal juice machines are fast-running machines that produce some heat and friction that creates some oxidation. The result of this is that the juice does not store as long as it does with the slower more deliberate juicing mechanism of a masticating juicer. The absolute maximum time for storing a juice made with a centrifugal machine is 24 hours, providing the above mentioned storing methods are adhered to. Even so, 24 hours is a maximum. After about 8 hours the juice will start to taste a little different as it starts to lose its freshness. Personally I aim for drinking a juice from a centrifugal machine within 12 hours provided that I cannot drink it immediately.

Masticating juice extractors create very little heat, and they don’t cause much oxidation as a result, which increases the shelf-life of the juice it produces. Provided the juice is stored as outlined above, then the juice will last for up to 48 hours.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Add some lemon juice or lime juice to a recipe, if it doesn’t already contain some. These two citrus fruits help preserve the juice.
  • Cabbage juice does not last long. Any recipe with cabbage juice should not be stored for longer than a few hours. Or else – taste the difference!!!
  • If it is practical, consider freezing juice as a Popsicle and eat it later. May not be the tastiest thing for a green juice, but fruit juices can make a tasty healthy treat.

Juicing Vs Blending | Juicer Vs Blender

Juicing Vs Blending

juicer vs blenderWhat is the difference between juicing and blending? This is a very common question given both these methods are popular for creating health drinks, with each having its own strengths. So first things first lets take a closer look at the difference between the equipment itself – juicers Vs blenders.

Juicer Vs Blender

Blenders are machines that take fruits, vegetables, and a whole variety of foods such as nuts, seeds, milk, ice cubes and protein powders to create a smoothie. The reason things are ‘smooth’ is that a blender liquefies whole fruits and vegetables. Nothing is discarded, so the blended fruits and vegetables will have a smooth texture.

A juicer machine (also referred to as a juice extractor) is different because it extracts the juice out of fruits and vegetables and discards the pulp (fiber). So a juice is not a whole food, whereas a blended drink (smoothie) is.

Blenders are easily distinguished from juicer machines since they are almost always made with upright glass containers that slot into a base that contains a motor. At the bottom of this glass container is a set of blades that rotate rapidly to blend whatever ingredients are placed inside. The glass container is then removed from the base so that you can pour the drinks. Check out the vid below.

Juice extractors come in two main types, centrifugal juicers and masticating juicers. Centrifugal juicers are more upright in shape, such as the Breville BJE200XL, and the masticating juicers, such as the Omega 8006 tend to be more ‘horizontal’. Take a look at the vids below to see the difference between these two juice extractors. You can also visit our our other post best juicers to learn more detailed information about juice extractors.

Breville BJE200XL

Omega 8006

Juicing Versus Blending

So, we know now the difference between the machines – blender Vs juicer, but is drinking a juice better than drinking a smoothie or vise versa? Well, the major upside of both methods is that you are getting more fruits and veggies, but they both have their pros and cons. It is not really about which one is “best”.

The major advantage of blending is that you are consuming whole fruits and vegetables, this means you get the whole benefit, including the fiber that is essential for digestive health. This is also better for blood sugar since fiber slows down the rate at which fruits and vegetables are digested.

The main disadvantage of blending is volume. In other words smoothies are filling and you therefore consume less fruits and vegetables than drinking juice.

This brings us to the key advantage of juicing – sheer volume of nutrients in an extremely easily digested form. Since the fiber is removed and all that is left is a juice the body digests it rapidly and efficiently. The nutrients have been freed from the pulp and the body has to do very little in terms of digestion, that means we absorb and assimilate more nutrition fruit for fruit (or vegetable for vegetable), compared to a smoothie. Of course the one big exception is fiber! In addition to the higher assimilation of nutrients, is the fact we get more of them overall. In an average smoothie we can only consume a few pieces of fruits or veggies, but in one juice we can consume 3 to 10 fruits or vegetables.

The compromise with all this extra nutrition in juice is the lack of fiber. This is more of an issue with fruit juices, since vegetables are much less sugary than fruits. A fruit juice can cause a sharp spike in blood sugar, and should be avoided by diabetics. Also when drinking fruit juices it is better not to juice too many fruits just because we can drink a lot of them in one juice. It is better to just juice 1 or 2 pieces, or better still stick mostly with vegetable juice. Besides, vegetable juice is the healthiest thing you can drink, absolutely brimming in antioxidants!

Personally, we like to drink both juices and smoothies. We like to drink vegetable juice in the morning on an empty stomach about 20 to 30 minutes before breakfast. The benefit of an empty stomach is that there is no other food for the juice to “compete” with for digestion. This improves bio-digestibility further. Smoothies we like to drink as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon as a hearty snack using fruits, nuts and protein powder.

Is Juicing Good for You?

Is juicing good for you?

is juicing good for youAs with all things it is always smart to question how healthy something really is, and when it comes to healthy eating and drinking there can often be a lot of controversy. Even though juicing is generally seen as a good thing, there has also been some bad press that may make people question it. So, let’s explore this fundamental question “is juicing good for you?” a little more closely.

The Good
The upsides of juicing are excellent. One thing that all studies conclusively show us is that lots of fruits and vegetables in our diet is vital to good health and those that eat the most fruits and veggies are the least likely to suffer with heart disease, cancer and other types of degenerative diseases. This is because fruits and veggies are loaded with nutrients that we need for optimum health such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. It is antioxidants in particular that defend us greatly from disease because they reduce oxidative damage to our cells that can lead to premature aging and degenerative diseases.

When we drink fresh made juice we are increasing our intake of antioxidants dramatically for two good reasons. First, we are consuming more fruits and vegetables in one serving of juice than we would most likely eat in a day. We can expect to use 5 to 10 servings of fruits and veggies on average for a single serving of juice. Second, and this is an important point, a juice extractor “frees” considerably more antioxidants from fruits and veggies for us to digest than we could be chewing them. Antioxidants are bound to the fiber in produce and some of them are released by chewing, but the rest just pass straight through us with the fiber. However it is important to state that eating whole fruits and veggies still provide us with LOTS of antioxidants, juicing increases this number extensively.

To cut a long story short, fresh juice is essentially concentrated liquid nutrition.

The Downside
If you have heard that juicing is not so good for you, this is for two reasons – the sugar content of fruit juice and the lack of fiber. These are fair criticisms of juicing and can be remedied if we juice responsibly. While a juice extractor does pour forth an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant, it discards fiber – but not all. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber. Juicing completely discards insoluble fibers which are important for moving food through our intestines and keeping us regular. Soluble fibers, such as pectin, are not completely eliminated, a small amount of it does make it through. These soluble fibers help to lower our LDL “bad” cholesterol levels by absorbing cholesterol in the small intestine before it gets a chance to move into the bloodstream so that we just, well, poop the cholesterol out! This is why studies show that giving apple juice to patients that was made with the whole apple is more effective at reducing total cholesterol levels than apple juice made with peeled apples. The peel contains more fiber than the pulp.

So, it is vitally important that we don’t swap out eating whole fruits and veggies for drinking juice, but that we do both – drink and eat them. This way we got an abundance of nutrients and plenty of fiber too.

When juicing it is recommend to stick with vegetable juice most of the time because vegetables contain way less sugar than fruits do. Vegetable juice will not adversely effect your blood sugar like fruit juice can. A glass of fruit juice will spike your blood sugar. For this reason it is better to have a fruit juice just before a solid meal so that blood sugar levels can get evened out with a healthy meal. Used as a snack by itself you may find that fruit juice may leave you feeling hungry as soon as the blood sugar spike drops. The other thing is that whole fruits do not affect blood sugar in the way that fruit juice does because fiber slows down the rate at which sugar moves into the blood stream.

So, while fruit juice is very nutritious we have to take into account that it is sugary and use it wisely.

To conclude the question “is juicing really good for you”? The answer is – juicing is great for you, especially as part of a healthy diet and if you stick with mostly vegetable juice.

To your health
Darren Haynes

Which Orange Juice Has The Most Vitamin C?

Which Orange Juice Has The Most Vitamin C?
which orange juice has the most vitamin COrange juice is an awesome way to obtain your day-to-day needs for vitamin C, however some types of orange juice feature more vitamin C compared with others.

One of the most understated facts regarding orange juice that the content of vitamin C in different types of orange juice varies dramatically, even as much as 100%. Some types of orange juice contain up to twice as much vitamin C as others. If you’re searching for an orange juice that supplies the most vitamin C, here’s some important things to bear in mind.

  • Oranges that are grown in areas with cooler night have more vitamin C. Such oranges are easily identified since they will feature no green pigments in the peel.
  • Organic oranges feature higher vitamin C levels than conventionally grown oranges. A key difference between conventional and organically grown oranges is the conventional methods use pesticides that contain nitrogen. Nitrogen based pesticide sprays reduced the amount of vitamin C that develops in fruits.
  • Oranges that are grown in desert areas generate more vitamin C compared with oranges that grow in rainy areas. Antioxidants are a natural part of a plant’s defense against drought and heat, so oranges trees exposed to these harsher conditions create more vitamin C rich oranges, since vitamin C is an antioxidant.

Even though grower would most definitely provide a differing opinion, generally speaking, oranges grown in California contain more vitamin C than Florida grown oranges, and Texan grown oranges contain less of this vitamin than Florida oranges. Oranges that are grown in Morocco, Israel and Chile are the better international options for vitamin C content.

Fresh-Made, Packaged and Frozen Orange Juice

  • How orange juice is packaged makes a huge difference in its vitamin C content. Fresh squeezed orange juice will always contain the most vitamin C undoubtedly, yet some commercial orange juices contain more nutrition that others.
  • Frozen orange juice in a can preserves more of its vitamin C content than orange juice stored in cartons or bottles.
  • Orange juice packaged in resealable bottles maintains more of its vitamin C than juice stored in cartons. It’s important to always reseal the cartons properly to prevent exposing the juice to the air, oxidation kills vitamin C.
  • Orange juice stored in cartons have around 25% less vitamin C content than juice stored in bottles, and up to 50% less of this vitamin than orange juice that is frozen because it is pasteurized.
  • Orange juice that is canned and just hangs out on the kitchen shelves for months or even years unrefrigerated contains the least vitamin C content of all.

Ok, so to cut a long story short and answer the question ‘which orange juice has the most vitamin C?‘ – fresh made orange juice!