Nowadays for convenience sake, we often squeeze or juice our fruits, and, as common as bubble tea franchises, juiced fruits stalls are sprouting everywhere in shopping complexes.
However, fruits is best eaten whole and wherever possible, eaten with their skins as well.
Freshly made juices, although an excellent source of natural vitamins and minerals, lack fibre, which is obviously present in whole fruits. Fibre adds bulk to the stool (and are mild natural laxatives) and also eases the rate of passage of materials through large intestine. The process of preparing juice reduces fibre content. For instance, in a clear apple juice, about 12 to 15g of fibre is lost as compared to a whole apple!
Fruit juices are high in sugar as the squeezing process concentrates their sweetness. A study cited in ‘The Telegraph’ (9 June 2011) found that freshly squeezed fruit juices can contain as much as 5 teaspoons of sugar per glass. This is around two thirds of the amount found in a can of soda and can contribute to obesity and also disturb blood sugar levels and the body’s natural metabolism, the study found. Also, the sugar in liquid form gets absorbed rapidly, which is bad for diabetics.
“People often substitute them for real fruit which is a mistake. Fruit juice is higher in sugars than people realise and they are likely to encourage drinking too much sugar” says Dr. Hans-Peter Kubis of Bangor University in North Wales.
Eating whole fruits provides beneficial and health-giving nutrients from the skin. The is one of the places where the fruit interacts with sunlight and forms a variety of coloured pigments that absorb different wavelengths of light. These pigments, including carotenoids and flavonoids, are nutrients that protect our health and provide nourishment.
The skins of whole fruits like grapes, for instance, have actually been studied for their ability to help lower risk of cancer and provide protection from ultravoilet (UV) light.
Eating whole fruit can help maintain weight as according to a study published in the journal Appetite, when researchers looked at eating fruits in different forms (apple juice, apple sauce and a whole apple), the juiced version performed the poorest in regards to increasing feelings of “fullness”. Eating the whole fruit increased fullness and decreased the number of calories study participants ate by 15% in the following meal afterwards.
But most of all, we love the feeling of munching into fruits – the texture, juices, chewy fibres, taste, you know, all the good stuff!