How healthy are fruit and vegetable juices?

Maoshing Ni, PhD, LAc
Geriatric Medicine
When juice is extracted from whole fruits and vegetables, the resulting liquid contains phytonutrients – plant chemicals – and most of the vitamins and minerals. Bear in mind that the juicing process eliminates most fiber, which is important for healthy digestion and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Some individuals with digestive issues may benefit from pure juice, as the body immediately absorbs the nutrients without having to break down the fiber. Juice proponents claim that juicing may prevent cancer and boost immunity. While there isn’t sufficient evidence of such claims, there is a substantial link between eating a plant-based diet and a reduced risk for cancer.

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Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Throwing fruits and veggies into a whirring juicer spells death for much of their fiber. That’s because the pulpy fiber is trapped when the juice is extracted. There is nothing wrong with juicing in moderation and drinking smoothies is very healthy. But it is best to eat most of your fruits and vegetables whole.

Despite claims to the contrary in TV ads, juicing doesn’t make nutrients more available to your body, and raw-food enzymes don't have special powers, including the ability to survive your stomach's digestive acids. In fact, if you have diabetes or are overweight, you should know that ounce for ounce, fruit and starchy vegetable juices are far higher in sugar than the whole foods they come from.

The bottom line: It's fine to occasionally drink your fruits and veggies as long as you eat them often, too

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.