Fruit Juice Nutrition
Key elements of fruit juice nutrition are the water-soluble vitamins, especially vitamins A, C and folates. Fruit juices also contain small amounts of protein, some carbohydrates and almost no fat. A number of packet juice manufacturers fortify their products with nutrients such as calcium and they use fluoridated water. Antioxidants are another nutritional benefit of juices which protect the body against heart diseases and cancers. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Dark fruits are particularly rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, for example blueberries, grapes and cranberries. Furthermore, fruit skins alone are very rich in nutrients. Consequently, some nutritionists advocate drinking dark juices and those made with pureed bits of skin.
Fruit juices contain calories from naturally occurring sugars, with the calorie content varying depending on the fruit source. A cup of grape juice has about 155 calories, orange juice about 115 calories per cup and grapefruit has about 95 calories.
With all of the great properties of fruit juice nutrition does this mean that the more you drink, the healthier you will be? Not necessarily. Too much juice may also have its set backs. Care should be taken when purchasing store-brand fruit juices, particularly fruit drinks and fruit sodas; read the nutritional listing labels carefully. The actual nutrition in supermarket juices is often considerably less than that of pure or fresh-squeezed juices.
Many supermarket juices contain very high levels of calories in the form of added sucrose or fructose-rich corn syrup, but minimal amounts of vitamins and minerals. These manufactured juices may have up to 8 teaspoons per eight ounce glass. Excess fructose has been linked with hormonal responses that promote weight gain.
An important practice is to consume pure and pasteurized fruit juices and not fruit drinks. The calories in 100% pure fruit juice have not been linked to weight problems which makes them a good food item for weight-watchers.
Fruit juice nutrition can be useful with children who do not like to drink water or to eat whole fruit. It also helps the same children when they suffer from constipation or diarrhea. While pure juices are recommended for children, there juice intake needs to be controlled. Consuming too much juice may prevent your child from eating other more nutritious foods. For example, a child may be drinking to much juice and not enough milk which is a better source of natural calcium.
Fruit Juice, they say, is not as healthy as whole fruit because when it’s peeled, squeezed or pressed to make the juice, certain nutrients are lost. Orange juice is made from the inner flesh of the fruit, but doesn’t contain any of the nutrients in the outer white pulp, such as flavanoids that promote good metabolic processes. Vitamin C that’s contained in the fleshy, inner orange parts works better when consumed with the flavanoids in the outer pulp.
Overall, fruit juice nutrition is still recommended as part of balanced meals and when consumed moderate amounts. Researchers say that drinking pure fruit juice supports the nutritional benefits of whole fruit and promotes higher quality diets.