In today’s fast paced environment, the last thing we remember is getting all our nutrients in a day, so necessary to support us through our work, our daily errands and to simply boost and maintain our health. We often tend to skip eating veggies and fruits or eat them in other forms that are more handy to us. One such example is that many of us have switched to drinking fruit juices instead of eating the fruits themselves, out of ease and other practical reasons.
Having said this, one of the most popular juices out there is the apple juice, which can widely be found in supermarkets and farmers markets or may just as easily be prepared at home. Is apple juice good for you though? How much apple juice should you consume in order to assimilate all the nutrients and have a healthier diet? We’ll tackle these questions below and we’ll provide you with the answers you need to establish if apple juice is also a right fit in your life.
Why Drink Apple Juice?
Apples are one of the most common fruits out there and we tend to gloss over them when arranging our fruit menu for the week. So it’s safe to ask – why drink apple juice at all? What good can it do for your well-being?
The benefits of apple juice have been proven time and time again through countless studies and personal stories from users who’ve integrated this sweet juice into their lives. Let’s dive deeper into all the apple juice health benefits that have been documented up to this point.
How Nutritious Are Apples?
Before we go any further, let’s look at what one regular apple can provide in terms of nutrition. One medium apple weighs around 6.4 ounces or 182 grams offers 4 grams of fiber, 14% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin C, 6% of the RDI of potassium and 5% of the RDI of vitamin K. It also has copper, manganese, vitamins B1, B2 and B6, A and E. An apple also contains a good dose of polyphenols, the micronutrients that are typically riddled with antioxidants and potential health benefits.
Fortunately, apple juice retains a lot of these nutrients, so you can easily get your daily vitamin intake like this as well.
How Is Apple Juice Made?
Making apple juice is a simple process that involves pressing apples, regardless of the particular variety you choose out of the hundreds available across the globe. If you want to get one cup of juice, you typically need two medium-sized apples. Commercially sold juices are made after another step is added to the process: filtering or pasteurization. This helps the producers make a thinner juice consistency that’s easier and more pleasant to consume.
What Are The Benefits of Drinking Apple Juice?
As mentioned before, there are many documented apple juice health benefits, so we’ll focus on the most promising ones:
1. May Improve Heart Health
The best ally your heart can get from consuming apple juice on a regular diet is the potassium it contains. This wonderful mineral acts as a vasodilator, which means it will relieve tension in your blood vessels and arteries, while also relieving some of the strain and pressure on your cardiovascular system.
One study, Apple juice consumption reduces plasma low-density lipoprotein oxidation in healthy men and women, shows that adults drinking at least 375 ml of clear apple juice for six weeks noticed it prevented bad (LDL) cholesterol from oxidizing and being deposited in the arteries. This also further leads to having a healthier heart down the line. However more human studies are needed additionally to those already conducted. If you want to better protect your heart, it’s best to look for apple juices that have very little or no sugar added to them. Opt for the organic version, even if it costs a little more and has a shorter shelf life.
2. May Help With Weight Maintenance or Loss
As mentioned before, apple juice retains many of the wonderful nutritious qualities that solid apples have. Among these nutrients are also flavonoids, micronutrients that help regulate the cell cycles and that display antioxidant properties.
It’s been shown that a higher intake of foods or drinks rich in flavonols, such as apples or apple juice, may contribute to weight maintenance in adulthood or even support weight loss.
However it’s indicated that you don’t exclusively use apple juice for this purpose, but rather pair it with an active lifestyle and a healthy, complete everyday diet.
3. May Help With Dehydration
Those who are at risk of being dehydrated and not consuming liquids often enough for their bodies to function properly may rejoice when hearing that apple juice may help with this issue.
Apple juice is 88% water and it has a really pleasant taste, making it a more pleasant and easier-to-remember substitute for water.
A study,Effect of Dilute Apple Juice and Preferred Fluids vs Electrolyte Maintenance Solution on Treatment Failure Among Children With Mild Gastroenteritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial, was conducted on children who had diarrhea and vomiting, as well as mild dehydration symptoms. This study showed the ones who were offered apple juice diluted with water were less likely to need intravenous fluids administered to them than the children who had ingested an electrolyte drink.
Apple juice works especially well with children that suffer from dehydration issues because the juice is simply diluted with water and the taste still remains pleasant, compared to an electrolyte drink whose taste many kids will simply reject. In order for this work, it’s also recommended that you use sugar-free apple juice, since the sugar may worsen the digestive symptoms.
4. May Protect Cognitive Brain Function
Another impressive health benefit of the apple juice is that it may play an important part in protecting the brain’s cognitive functions. The polyphenolic antioxidants in the apple juice may actually diminish brain apoptosis which is actually the death of the brain cells.
In a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Apple Juice Improved Behavioral but Not Cognitive Symptoms in Moderate-To-Late Stage Alzheimer’s Disease in an Open-Label Pilot Study, it’s been found that regular consumption of apple juice in patients suffering from moderate or late-stage Alzheimer lead to an improvement in their behavioral symptoms. The most impressive changes were noticed in terms of decreased anxiety, agitation and delusion. The study indicates that apple juice may be offered to these patients as a supplement that further contributes to the positive effects of proper pharmaceutical care, thus relieving a bit of the burden that’s placed on caregivers.
Antioxidants do have this marvelous quality of protecting the body’s cells against oxidative damage. In other words, antioxidants found in apple juice will play an important part in slowing down the natural aging process at cellular level in the body, thus also protecting the brain from this organic decline.
5. May Improve Skin Health
The vitamin C and antioxidants the apple juice contains are simply wonders for the skin. Together they form a powerful protective combo that will act as a shield against pollution and sun damage for your skin.
Additionally to this, the copper you can find as a natural compound in apple juice encourages your body to produce melatonin, the pigment responsible with the color of your skin. Melanin is an excellent aid in fighting against harmful UV rays and contributes to building healthier eyes, hair and tissue.
You’ll find that apple juice can be an amazing natural remedy against anti-inflammation, skin infections, wrinkles, cracked skin and itching.
Vitamin C also helps build more collagen in the body, which further supports the elasticity of the skin. As a bonus to this, your ligaments and tendons will also be healthier as a result of your regular apple juice consumption. If you want additional effects as well, you can also include solid apples in your beautifying rituals by creating a mixture of honey, apple and oatmeal or any other mixture you need, depending on your type of skin.
Of course, there are also side effects to consuming too much apple juice. Apples are pretty acidic, so it’s important to control your intake in order not to have any upsetting stomach issues down the line. The high natural sugar content it has may also encourage unwanted tooth decay and other conditions that can be directly influenced by your sugar intake. Depending on where you get them from, apples may also have pesticides that are harmful to the body’s well-being, so it’s important to take note of your supplier and the quality of fruit they bring to the table.
Making the Apple Juice
If you want to full-on benefit from what regular apple consumption can do for your health, all you need to do is invest in a blender or a manual press. There is also a completely free alternative that involves boiling the apples until you get the much desired apple juice.
Before you put them in a pot, it’s essential that you clean them and remove the core with the seeds. Afterwards you can leave them for about 25-30 minutes in, time in which all the aroma infuses into the water. At the end make sure you filter everything through the mesh strainer and you’ll have delicious apple juice to enjoy by yourself or with your loved ones.
All in all, apple juice is a very accessible and nutritious drink you can always make in the comfort of your own home or buy whenever you feel the need to have a delicious drink. It’s nutritious, pleasant tasting and hugely beneficial for the body, with effects to be seen both immediately and in the long run. Pick your favorite type of apple and make it the star of the show or mesh several types together and create a symphony of aromas in your juice.