Do you consume 2 servings of fruit every day? It might not surprise you that most Americans don’t meet national recommendations for fruit intake, but did you know that low fruit intake (including 100% fruit juice) has been linked to numerous chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and cancer?
100% fruit juice may offer a convenient, accessible, affordable and practical solution to help increase your intake of fruit. Consumption of 100% fruit juice has been associated with overall better diet quality and may even contribute to increased satiety and weight management. A new study shows that the antioxidants (i.e. polyphenols) present in fruits may be better absorbed in processed fruit juice as compared to whole fruit. Outside of its potential antioxidant effects, 100% fruit juice (just like whole fruit) is packed with essential nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C. Some 100% fruit juices may even have greater amounts of certain nutrients since only fully ripe fruits are used in manufacturing. Disgusted by the bland taste of grocery store tomatoes or blueberries? That’s because many grocery store fruits are picked green and allowed to ripen during transportation.
So what’s the downside of 100% fruit juice? Most juices lack the dietary fiber that whole fruits provide. The sugar in 100% fruit juice is also more quickly absorbed by the body since whole fruit must first be broken down during digestion. For this reason many companies have introduced products where a portion of the naturally present sugar has been removed. Like always moderation is always the key to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The take home message is that if you’re only getting an apple a day… you might want to consider one serving of 100% fruit juice to help meet your fruit intake requirements. Parents – remember that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children age 1-6 limit their consumption of 100% juice to 4-6 ounces per day. For more information visit the Produce for Better Health Foundation website.