Fruit juices used to be a treat, a dessert beverage enjoyed only occasionally. However with the way the modern American diet has changed, various commercial fruit juice products now fill grocery shelves.
To avoid the artificial ingredients and processed sugar contained in such commercial fruit beverages, one can always make homemade fruit juice derived from actual raw and whole fruit. There are now kitchen appliances that make this process easy to accomplish.
But even a carefully prepared and freshly made juice has some disadvantages from a nutritional standpoint. Continue reading about the pros and cons of fruit juices to understand why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends only moderate consumption.
Fruit Juice Benefits:
The nutritional substances in fruit are locked inside its cellular structure. Once you consume a piece of fresh raw fruit, the whole digestive process – from the chewing in your mouth all the way to the biochemical activities in your intestines – work to break up this structure, release the nutrients and absorb them into your system.
Juicing a fruit aids the digestive process because most of the cellular structure has already been broken up. Some of the nutritional substances are mixed with the fruit’s water content right there in the juice, ready to be easily absorbed once you drink it. In this sense, fruit juices can be considered to be a more efficient way to deliver certain nutrients.
While it is generally accepted that due to the processing they undergo fruit juices contain less nutrition than their raw and whole counterparts, they still deliver some antioxidant benefits. One study looked into how orange juice was able to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress that often result from high-fat and high-carbohydrate meals.
Fruit Juice Risks:
Dietary fiber is the main nutrient that is lost in fruit juices. Juicers and similar appliances are often designed to filter out pulp and fiber from the liquid content which results in this loss. Besides this, certain other nutrients can get lost as well.
In oranges for example, majority of the Vitamin C is found in the juicy orange pulp while the flavonoids are in the white surrounding pulp. Since this is one of the few parts filtered out, orange juice would be missing this beneficial component which would otherwise be received if the orange was simply eaten out of hand.
Some enzymes and phytonutrients in fruits tend to degrade when exposed to oxygen and humidity which is exactly what happens after you juice them. To mitigate this loss it is recommended that homemade fruit juice be consumed immediately and not stored.
Unfortunately the sugars in fruit are also easily absorbed along with the nutrients. This makes fruit juices have a more significant impact on blood sugar levels than their raw and whole counterpart. Those with diabetes will need to consult their doctor on how much fruit juice they can safely consume or if they need to avoid it altogether.
Fruit Juice Practical Uses:
Besides being consumed directly, fruit juice is one way to add a fruit’s particular flavor to a baking recipe, dessert or snack. Here are some suggestions:
- Soak natural dried fruits in fruit juice instead of plain water when the recipe requires the dried fruit to be reconstituted.
- Add naturally sweet fruit juice in order to lessen use of processed sugar.
- Replace oil with fruit juice as the moisturizing agent in cakes and similar types of pastries.
- To lessen intake of artificial flavoring and additives, use a combination of unflavored gelatin and homemade fruit juice.
- Make a cool treat for a hot day by freezing fruit juice in an ice pop maker.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of canned fruits and why you should avoid it to succeed in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of fruit juices, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of fruit juices.