Health and Nutrition
Fruit Juice is a part of a Healthy Balanced Diet
Fruit juices can play an important role as part of a healthy diet. Apart from being an important source of fluids, fruit juice can provide essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, folate, potassium and antioxidants. A 125ml serving of fruit juice can count towards the 5-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetables. Fruit juice does however contain carbohydrate-derived kilojoules and therefore should be enjoyed in moderation.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that performs many important function in the body e.g. it contributes to iron absorption from food; it is necessary for normal connective tissue structure and function and for normal blood vessel structure and function; it helps to protect cells from free radical damage; it is necessary for normal neurological function; helps to maintain the normal functioning of the immune system and also plays an important role in wound healing. Most fruit juiced are a good source of this essential vitamin.
Phytochemicals have antioxidant properties that may provide desirable health benefits beyond basic nutrition to reduce the risk of the development of chronic diseases. Some examples include carotenoids in red, orange, yellow and green plants green plants may inhibit cardiovascular disease and boost immunity. Flavonoids in berries, apples and citrus may fight inflammation. Anthocyanins in berries and red grapes are associated with lower blood pressure. Lutein and zeaxanthin in dark, leafy greens are linked to eye health.
Many fruit juices such as orange juice are an important source of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral for normal water and electrolyte balance. It contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system; contributes to normal muscle function and contributes to normal blood pressure.
Low Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. Various fruits have been reported to have low GI values e.g. apples, peaches, cherries, oranges, strawberries, cranberries, pears and plums. It is however important for diabetics to only consume fruit juice as part of a carbohydrate controlled diet in consultation with their doctor.
RECOMMENDED HEALTH AND NUTRITION WEBSITES
1. FRUIT JUICE MATTERS
Fruit Juice Matters is a non-branded and non-commercial initiative, informing health care professionals about surprising health benefits of 100% fruit juices by sharing the latest scientific insights.
2. SIP SMARTER
Juice Products Association site including information on the health benefits of juice plus lots more.
3. Fruit Juice Science Centre
Providing evidence based information to consumers, journalists and healthcare professionals on the role of 100% fruit juice in diets and
Health and Nutrition FAQ's
Does reconstituted juice have any added sugar?
if a juice uses reconstituted juice but the bottle doesn't list a sugar under ingredients or doesn't say "No added sugar" on the label - is it likely that sugar has been added?
SAFJA, through its voluntary Code of Practice, actually monitors fruit juice samples from the marketplace and analyse their contents for truth in labelling on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance to the Standards and the safety of consumers.
How much Vitamin C does fruit juice provide?
Fruit juice is a rich source of vitamin C. A regular glass of orange juice provides almost 3 times the Recommended Dietary Intake of vitamin C.
Fruit juice provided 33% of the vitamin C in children’s diets
Fruit juice contributed more vitamin C than whole fruit in children’s diets
Fruit juice plus whole fruit provided 50% of the vitamin C in children’s diets
Adults also rely on fruit juice as a source of vitamin C with almost 25% of the vitamin C intake for adults provided by juice alone1.
1. S.J. Record, CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition “Intakes of fruit and fruit juice in the 1995 National Nutrition Survey” December 2001
Can Diabetics Drink Fruit Juice?
As a source of carbohydrate with a low Glycemic Index, moderate amounts of fruit juice, such as orange, pineapple or apple juice can be included as part of a carbohydrate controlled diet.
While there is no need for people with diabetes to follow a special diet, there are some important dietary principles that should be adopted to ensure the condition is well managed and the risks of complications are reduced.
Eat mainly high fibre carbohydrate foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals and vegetables and fruit.
Reduce fat intake, especially saturated fat.
Limiting the serving size of meals to help maintain a healthy body weight1.
It is advisable to ensure each meal contains some carbohydrate as this is important for maintaining blood glucose levels.
1. The Better Health Channel, Department of Human Services Victoria, “Diabetes and healthy eating” www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au, 1999, reviewed January 2006
Can Fruit Juice Boost Mineral Absorption?
What Are Phytochemicals?
A recent Australian study1 showed:
“One orange has over 170 different phytochemicals, including more than 60 different flavonoids”
The author of the report concluded:
“… fruits and juices contain hundreds of active ingredients that can affect human health in a number of ways”
Although phytochemicals are not yet listed on the Nutrition Information Panel of any fruit, vegetable or juice, there is extensive research underway to reveal and explain their considerable health potential.
1. Baghurst, K., CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition, The Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits, 2003
Fruit juice is an important food in the diet as it provides nutrients vital for good health and disease prevention. Independent analyses of dietary intakes reveal average energy (kilojoule) intakes from juice are not excessive and are consistent with good health.