What are the benefits of drinking juice?

Properties of natural fruit juices

What is a juice?

Fruit juices are culinary preparations consisting of the extraction of the aqueous part of the fruits and their separation or filtration of the pulp, fibers or other solid materials that it may contain.

Differences between natural and industrial juices

homemade orange juice
Homemade orange juice. The white part of the orange is the one with the highest concentration of antioxidants, for this reason it is interesting to add the pulp to the juice.

Natural juices are those that are made at home from squeezed fruits. For example, many people consume fresh orange juice, made from oranges squeezed at home.

On the other hand, industrial juices are a refined version of purees, which are obtained from crushing fruits and the subsequent separation and filtration of solid substances.

It is inevitable that some part of the pulp remains in the juice, adding turbidity and body to the drink, although in the case of industrial juices, the amount is minimal.

What are industrial nectars and shakes?

At this point, it should be mentioned that there are many products that look like juices but are not at all. These are fruit purees, fruit purees, smoothies and fruit nectars that are rich in sugar. (They carry as much or more than a !) , they preserve very few vitamins and usually also contain sweeteners and flavor enhancers.

Unfortunately, most of these are intended for children, who get used to very intense and processed flavors, which can cause them to reject fruit later. It is better to get used to the taste of natural foods!

Characteristics of natural juices

When the pulp is squeezed, different components of the fruit come into contact, among which are the browning enzymes. These components are the cause that some juices, such as apple and pear juice for example, have a dark and unappetizing color. One way to avoid this is to keep them refrigerated.

In addition, natural juices are unstable and it is normal for them to divide into two phases, one liquid and the other more cloudy, if they have been prepared for a long time, as their components separate.

Why are industrial juices so appetizing?

Industrial juices are subjected to a thermal process that inactivates the enzymes and kills the possible microbes that it may contain. For this reason, they have such a beautiful color and keep for a long time. (However, the thermal process has also destroyed vitamins).

Composition of juices

  • These are foods that mainly hydrate, as they are composed of more than 90% water.
  • They contain sugars, approximately 10%. It is not an excessive amount, but it must be taken into account.
  • They have a low fiber content, less than 1%.
  • Some are rich in vitamin C and some B vitamins, especially those from citrus. Sterilized juices do not preserve these vitamins.

What benefits do juices bring us?

The main advantage of juices is that they are very light and easily digestible foods. If they are consumed with all the pulp or with part of the pulp, a little fiber and many more antioxidants from the fruits are added.

The fact of being previously processed or crushed saves work to the digestive system. For this reason, it is a food that is given to convalescent people or children who are recovering from an illness, such as gastroenteritis.

It is also given to hydrate athletes, after a competition or a great effort, as it hydrates as well as nourishes.

Disadvantages of juices

On the other hand, there are situations in which natural juices are not so recommended. It should be borne in mind that in a short time you can be ingesting the content of two or three pieces of fruits (or even more).

Those people with intolerance to sugars, such as diabetes and obesity, should note that the juice adds more calories and sugar to their diet, which is usually not advisable. In these cases it is more ideal to drink water or infusions to lower the sugar (ginger infusion, etc.).

How is it better to drink the juice?

The best juice is the one made at home, made with natural and seasonal fruits. In case of consuming ready-made juices, you have to look for them in the refrigerated section of the hypermarket.

Although the juice is not harmful, there are reasons why it is preferable to consume a whole fruit before a juice. Fruit pulp contains bioflavonoids (such as hesperidin, rutin, etc.), a type of antioxidant. These components have the property of improving circulation and heart health.

For example, they are found in the composition of many pharmacy preparations intended to improve varicose veins.

By squeezing the fruit, you are losing most of the bioflavonoids in the fruit. For this reason, we know that a juice does not have the same benefits as eating fruit. A pity to waste these components!

What are smoothies or shakes?

Juices are different from smoothies or shakes, which are preparations with crushed fruit (therefore with all the pulp), to which other ingredients such as milk or yogurt can be added.

punto rojo More information on fruits and juices

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Elisenda Carballido
Written by Elisenda Carballido Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.

1 February, 2021

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