Is Apple Juice Good for You?
If you are looking for a quick answer to the question “is apple juice good for you?”, then yes it is, but it needs to be freshly made and consumed in moderation because fruit juice contains sugar along with all the wonderful nutrition it contains. Commercial juice almost always contains more sugar than fresh made juice because it has sugar added to it or it is concentrated (which means concentrated sugar basically!). However, don’t let this discourage you, there are some great health benefits to drinking apple juice, just get a juice extractor!
Drinking cloudy apple juice daily is shown to be an effective natural remedy for lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Cloudy apple juice is made by juicing apples with their skins on as opposed to clear apple juice which is made with peeled apples. There has been several studies that have tested this and even though clear apple juice helps to lower LDL cholesterol, cloudy juice is more effective. It is a soluble form of fiber in apples called pectin that is responsible for this beneficial effect, and a lot more pectin is found in the skin than in the pulp of an apple. Pectin binds with some cholesterol in the intestines, stopping it from entering the bloodstream and therefore decreasing LDL cholesterol levels. Instead, we just excrete it!
Apple juice is shown to have further benefits for cardiovascular health, and again this involves LDL cholesterol. The problem with LDL cholesterol is not so much that it is in the bloodstream but that when it becomes oxidaized in the bloodstream it will then stick to artery walls to form plaque build-ups, a disease known as atherosclerosis, a key cause of heart disease and heart attacks. Apple juice helps because it contains polyphenol antioxidants that help to limit oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol cells in the blood, therefore reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol that gets turned into plaque.
Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease
One study published in 2009 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease found that giving apple juice daily to mice for one month improved their cognitive function abilities and delayed the rate of cognitive decline as they aged. The mice where given the human equivalent of two glasses of apple juice per day.
The results of another study that was released in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias found that apple juice is a helpful aid for calming down the declining moods which are part of a normal progression for moderate and severe cases of Alzheimer’s Disease.” The patients of this study drank two 4 oz. servings of apple juice every day for 30 days. Even though there was no improvement in cognitive function, there was a significant change in mood and behaviour such as anxiety and agitation.
Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Cancer Benefits
In a study released in the Journal Molecular Nutrition Food Research, German researchers analyzed the specific cancer-preventative qualities of a polyphenol extract from apple juice. Amongst the most notable discoveries, a number of substances in apple juice have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is connected with numerous chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and some neurological conditions. Antioxidants in apples called procyanidins were discovered to restrict the activity of Cox-1, a major enzyme involved with serious inflammation.
Research indicates that cloudy apple juice contains greater levels of procyanidins than clear apple juice does. One study established that the ‘cloudy particles’ in apple juice possess up to 60 percent of whole apple procyanidins within the juice.