Monday, July 19, 2010

I don't care what they say--- A juice box is NOT a serving of fruit!!!!!

And neither are those fruit gummies, or fruit leather things!

Fruit juice is really just a concentrated form of sugar- fructose- that is metabolized by the liver. What most people fail to understand is that whole fruits and their desirable qualities, such as phytochemicals, flavonoids, carotenoids etc., need to be in the form of the whole fruit to produce these desirable effects in the body. The skin of the apple works synergistically with the apple flesh. The skin with all it's antioxidants and fiber content actually stabilizes blood sugar levels. Apple juice without it's peel is virtually a high sugar, high caloric drink with a bit of vitamin C. A whole apple is "health food", a glass of apple juice is not.
The pulp in an orange(the white fleshy part in between the sections of the orange) is where flavonoids are found. Studies are showing flavonoids to be anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-allergic and anti-microbial. Eat an orange...leave the stringy white part on.
I don't want to sound redundant so understand that this "fruit with skin benefit" theme continues for all fruit.

Some of the most beneficial skins??-- strawberries, apples, raisins, blueberries, apricots, raspberries, figs, grapes, pears, plums, prunes....you're getting the picture right?

For kids, juice should be a treat! Making it the sole source of hydration is a detriment to their health. This should be a super easy decision for adults to make- for themselves and their children. It's pretty easy to get kids to eat whole fruit, especially in summer. If you make it available, a perfectly ripe juicy nectarine will not be shunned. If water is what's available from an early age, water is what they will drink. It really is that easy.