Between 1.5 to 2 cups a day -- that's how much fruit you should be including in your diet, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If you're not fond of eating fruit, you're likely having trouble meeting this recommendation. Juicing fruit has become a convenient alternative for some, allowing you to quickly drink the needed daily requirements. Although there are definite benefits to juicing, you are missing out on certain nutritional elements when you don't consume whole fruits.
Ease and Convenience
Making your own juice makes getting in the recommended servings of fruit easier and convenient. You can make a batch in the morning, and take it on the go. It's also a good choice if you don't enjoy eating whole fruit. Because you can blend a variety of fruits together, you can come up with new flavor combinations, which provides variety. You can also combine fruits and veggies together, further helping you to meet the recommended daily servings of these two food groups, which total five to nine per day. One benefit to juicing is the sweet fruit juice can mask some of the flavor of the raw veggies, helping picky eaters to tolerate the juice.
Vitamins and Nutrients
Drinking extracted juice still nourishes your body with all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients available in the whole fruit. Juice can make these nutrients more readily available to your body for absorption, according to the American Cancer Society. In addition, certain vitamins may be lost or reduced during production of shelf-stable juices. However, when making fresh juice, you do not compromise the nutritional value.
Despite the plentiful nutrients available in juice, you won't be getting the fiber contained in whole fruit. Juicing appliances extract the juice and leave behind the pulp and skin, which is where most of the fiber content is located. Fiber's health benefits include supporting digestion, controlling blood sugar and lowering cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. Fiber also helps you feel full longer, an important advantage of whole fruits, particularly if you're watching your weight.
Another important consideration of juice relates to sugar content. Due to whole fruits' fiber content, your body absorbs the natural sugars more slowly; therefore, you're less likely to experience a spike in your blood sugar level. In addition, you need a considerable amount of fruit for juicing -- one glass of juice has more sugar than a single piece of whole fruit. The bottom line is: Juicing can help you round out your fruit intake, but eating more whole fruits should be your primary goal.
- USDA ChooseMyPlate: How Much Fruit Is Needed Daily?
- Columbia University Go Ask Alice!: Is Juice as Good as Whole Fruit?
- American Cancer Society: Nutrition and Physical Activity During and After Cancer Treatment: Answers to Common Questions
- American Dietetic Association: Fiber
- "Yoga Journal"; The Big Squeeze; Lavinia Spalding