Fruit juices are often thought to be very healthy and offered to patients during illness and recovery. Fruit juices are introduced prior to whole fruits in the diet of a child. Fruit juices are also considered to be refreshing and are preferred especially during summer or after a long travel or in case of weakness. So, can we make a statement that fruit juices are better? Wait a minute! Before concluding, let’s evaluate whole fruits and fruit juices nutritionally!!
|Whole Fruits||Fruit Juices|
|Whole fruits are rich in fibers.||Fruit juices (specially strained juices) are devoid of fibers.|
|Edible skins of many fruits (apples, pear, grapes, plums etc.) are rich in antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids which reduce risk of many diseases including cancer.||Mostly the skin is removed while juicing the fruits; so many good nutrients in the skin are lost.|
|Pulp of whole fruits is the storehouse for some important nutrients. E.g. orange & sweet lime pulp is rich in vitamin C.||Pulpy part of the fruits like orange, sweet lime is lost while extracting juice; as a result, a part of nutrient store is lost.|
|Satiety value of a whole fruit is good. (i.e. you do not feel hungry for a long time after consuming whole fruit)||Satiety value of fruit juices is poor. (i.e. you feel hungry very soon after drinking fruit juice)|
|Whole fruits don’t directly affect blood sugar levels.||Fruit juices directly influence blood sugar levels. (Thus they are known as quick energy source!)|
|Skin of whole fruits prevents entry of pathogens. Thus whole fruits can be stored safely and infection chances are minimal||Fruit juices are often exposed to pathogens easily during juice extraction and handling. Thus chances of infection are more.|
So, what do you think is a better choice??
Yes, the whole fruits! Whole fruits should be washed thoroughly before consumption to remove pesticide & wax residues. They should be freshly cut just before consumption.
Fruit juices containing added sugar, soda or preservatives should be avoided. Fresh, unsweetened and unstrained & hygienically prepared fruit juices can be taken once a while! Such juices are good for those who cannot eat/ digest a whole fruit or those who need instant energy / sugar etc.