It’s way easier to gulp down a glass of fruit juice than eating the whole fruit. Not just because of the extra effort of always having fresh fruit at hand, but also because drinking is faster and more convenient than eating, when you’re not particularly fond of a certain food.
Sure, the fruit juice if 100% natural will boost your daily vitamin intake, along with other nutrients depending on the fruit. But it doesn’t mean it can completely replace the whole fruit and here’s why:
1. Fruit skins provide important health benefits
Except for those fruits that need to be peeled before they’re eaten like bananas and oranges, skins of fruits such as apples, pears, apricots, grapes and strawberries contain various pigments. Some of these pigments, such as flavonoids and carotenoids, which are subjected to ongoing research and may have benefits such as improving nutrition and lowering the risk of cancer and other diseases.
Eating a whole fruit will get you a good amount of dietary fiber, which is extremely important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. In this case however, fiber has another essential benefit.
It slows down the digestion of the fruit, along with its sugars (fructose) and prevents blood sugar spikes. Also, for the same reason eating a fruit is more fulfilling than drinking a glass of fruit juice and helps keep hunger at bay.
3. Eating the whole fruit is the low-calorie option
Fructose, be it natural, is still a type of sugar and comes with the same calories and lack of nutrition just like refined sugar. It’s a lot harder to ingest too much fructose when eating whole fruits, unlike when drinking fruit juice.
The same amount of calories taken from a whole fruit contain less sugar than the ones taken from fruit juice. So instead of taking unnecessary calories from sugar, opt for the whole fruit and get more calories from valuable nutrients.
4. “100% natural juice” are you sure?
Lots of store-bought fruit juices have in fact very little fruit juice and a lot of artificial flavors, dyes and preservatives. But even some products that have the appealing “100% fruit juice” (or something similar) can be misleading. This is because the fruits are collected and juiced during season after which they are stored in huge vats.
Since they can’t be sold immediately, they undergo unnatural preservation methods after which they lose a lot of their natural flavor. When packed for selling, the manufacturing companies often add artificial flavors to compensate the loss. It’s ok to drink fruit juice every once in a while, but if you can’t find a store bought product you can trust 100%, it’s best you make your own juice from fresh fruits.