Fruit juice is getting some bad press at the moment. Is fruit juice the new junk food?
I absolutely agree with Emine Saner and Elizabeth Chaplin in the story reported in the Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/17/how-fruit-juice-health-food-junk-food?CMP=twt_fd. Fruit boxes should be consumed with caution. Concentrated, heat treated fruit juice is packed with sugar and very little nutrients as with heat treating most of the goodness is destroyed. But if you are having fresh pressed juice or smoothies packed with real fruit and veg I can guarantee you are going to be feeling more energised and your immune system will thank you. I like to eat my fruit and drink my veg. With the exception of bananas which are a must for making green smoothies packed with kale more palatable.
Fruit sugar is very different to refined sugar and shouldnt be feared. I think it also depends on where you live and what is in season. I am in Australia at the moment and it is mango for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are ripe, local and packed with the suns energy. I don't tend to make smoothies with them as I find it too sweet and too much fruit in juice or smoothies gives me a sugar headache.
The trouble we often face is that our kids are having a juice box instead of water. They would be better off eating an apple and drinking water. The juice box, even though it may say ‘no added sugar’, still acts as sugar when entering the blood stream . It is nutrient poor due to the processing and heat treating. I think it is important to differentiate between processed smoothies and ones you make yourself and drink fresh. Smoothies made at home with raw, seasonal fruit are easily digested and very good for you. But if you were just juicing lots of fruit you may still be feeding infections, candida and even cancer as these thrive on sugar.
Be aware of fast food giants selling smoothies that are 100% real, natural and with a 'real fruit feel in the mouth'. This is processing gone nuts. They will have no nutritional value, be high in fat and packed with sugar. If it is heat treated (killed/concentrated) it will have no living enzymes. Now that Innocent Smoothies have been bought out by Coca-Cola I bet they are going to have more sugar than ever. Not so innocent anymore!
My advice will stay the same. Eat your fruit, drink your veg and try getting more leafy greens into you anyway you can. If it is in a smoothie, great! It has been working for me for the last 30 years. Don't forget that 4 - 6 pints of pure filtered water is also vital to good health and abundant energy.
What do you readers think about juice being junk? I know how I feel if I have junk food and I know how I feel when I have a real, fresh, raw smoothie like the Cheeky Monkey for an afternoon pick me up. As a mum I also know what I feel comfortable giving my kids. Give me the home made smoothie anyday!