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Fruit juice versus fresh fruit

by Alia T (follow)
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Nutrition (266)     
One of the many misconceptions is that fruit juices are healthy, but according to The Guardian, fruit juices and smoothies represent a new risk to our health.

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Liquid sugar, found inside fruits, also known as fructose, is dangerous for health. Now don't panic - it is almost impossible to overeat fructose by eating whole fruits - it is fruit juices you need to watch out for; they are concentrated with fructose and sucrose.

Nowhere else in our body, except the liver, can break down fructose. An overload of these sugars may cause liver problems and lead to liver fat, high blood pressure and high insulin levels.

Moreover, the fruit juices that we buy from supermarkets are concentrated with sucrose and often contain added sugar, and may contain artificial additives, preservatives or flavorings. Also called "empty calories", these products contain no essential nutrients, just pure energy. As well as being bad for the teeth, they can cause Insulin resistance, which is believed to lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. In addition, multiple studies have shown that people who have a lot of sugar are more prone to cancer than those who limit their sugar intake.

I have always believed that homemade juices are the best. It was a way for me to make my kids have their daily intakes of vitamins which, I have recently discovered, was not enough! The loss of most of the fibre, nutrients and enzymes, devoid it of usefulness.

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Naturally low in fat, fruits are a good source of essential nutrients like potassium, dietary fibre,vVitamin C and folic acid. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, fibre is important for proper bowel movements, Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of body tissues, and folic acid helps the body form red blood cells.

Even though whole fruits contain fructose, the fibre forms a protective layer which acts as a barrier to the intestine, and slows down the absorption of fructose so the liver can catch up.

So, does this mean we should not drink these refreshing fruit juices, especially during the hot summer days? Certainly not. Simply use a combination of fruits and vegetables and limit your intake - and homemade is a must!

Important tip: Take care to press your fruits within 20 minutes before consumption, to preserve the essential enzymes that will be doing all the good work in your body. Make use of the left-over pulp in muffins and biscuits or soups.

Do not rely on juices for your daily intake of vitamins and minerals though - nothing beats the whole organic fruits that we used to eat right from our backyards.

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