It’s the age-old breakfast compliment competition. It’s a juice joust that extends far beyond just the breakfast table too.
Everyone has their favorite. Orange juice or apple juice? Which is best?
Apples do have a wider variety of flavors between the varieties, but oranges do seem to have a higher micronutrient content. They are both high in antioxidants as well as sugar content, but that’s why they’re so tasty.
While you might have your preference, there’s more to these humble fruits than just their flavor.
Apple Juice Benefits
Apples are grown all over the world and have a rich variety of flavors between its many different species. Gala, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, and Golden Delicious are all well-known varieties with their own unique variation of appley taste.
Apples are rich in important phytonutrients, antioxidants, pectin, and phenolic compounds. They can help in reducing the risk of many chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, asthma, risk of heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Apples are also an excellent source of minerals such as manganese and boron.
Cloudy apple juice, including apple cider, is often the option with the most health benefits. It contains more polyphenols than its non-cloudy counterpart. In fact, one study found cloudy apple juice contained as much as 62% more polyphenols than clear apple juice.
This is likely a result of the filtration process in which apple juice is put through to make it clear. This filtration removes some natural dietary fiber content and other vitamins.
Often, supermarket apple juices are artificially fortified with Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which acts to prevent oxidation and, of course, supplement the low amounts of Vitamin C in the apples typically used to make supermarket apple juice.
Orange Juice Benefits
Oranges are loved all over the world, but grow best in warmer climates. So they can end up being shipped large distances.
Orange juice contains high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, along with the B vitamins folate and thiamine.
Like apples, oranges are also rich in antioxidants; such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid. Antioxidants help to protect your body from damage caused by oxidation.
Interestingly, orange juice can increase the pH of your urine, making it more alkaline, which can reduce your chance of forming kidney stones. Although a high Vitamin C intake can also increase your likelihood of forming kidney stones, which oranges certainly are rich in. It’s a case of everything in moderation.
Supermarket orange juices are often enriched with calcium and vitamin D. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing is you are actually looking to supplement your Calcium and Vitamin D intake, although it’s always best to get these nutrients from their natural source.
Which Is The Healthiest Whole Fruit Juice?
Both apple juice and orange juice have a similar amount of calories per volume, undiluted. This is mainly due to their natural amount of sugar content. High sugar content is worth taking into consideration when thinking about tooth decay.
In terms of antioxidant content, they are also both quite similar. Orange juice does take a slight lead when it comes to vitamin and nutrient content.
Many grocery store orange and apple juices will contain added sugars, high-fructose corn syrups, or sweeteners which will, of course, increase their calorie content. Like most healthiest juices, if you’re looking to keep that calorie count down and avoid strange additives to your juice then it is always best to make it at home from fresh whole fruits.
When choosing between making apples and oranges into smoothies or juicing them, the question comes down to what you’re looking to get.
Maybe your choice between juicing and smoothies is simply preference, and that’s as good a reason as any. It’s worth noting that juicing does remove some dietary fiber and micronutrients from the end product compared to smoothies.
As part of a healthy balanced diet, both fresh orange juice and fresh apple juice make a lovely compliment to any diet or meal plan when used in moderation. Neither will fulfill all of your dietary needs, but they can both contribute towards a healthy balanced diet.
Other Fruit Juices
There are more fruits in this world than just apples and oranges. Why not think about some other fruits to throw into the mix?
Cranberry juice is believed to help protect against Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). It can help to prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus helping to prevent a UTI. Although one review article looked at 24 different studies that investigate this and found studies reporting that cranberry juice had no effect on UTIs; your mileage may vary.
Beetroot juice is a famous veggie for athletes.
There is evidence that suggests that beet juice can increase Nitric Oxide levels in your body. Which can bring mild effects similar to blood doping such as increased blood flow and strengthening of muscle contractions.
Although the nitrate content of beets can vary vastly between beetroots depending on the species and their growth conditions, so it’s difficult to know how useful your humble beetroot will be as a sports supplement.
For such a little thing, blueberries sure are one very researched little fruit.
First of all, of course, blueberries are famous for their high levels of antioxidants. One study investigated 168 people drinking a liter of blueberry juice every day for four weeks. It found that oxidative damage (damage due to free radicals) in participants was reduced by 20%.
Another eight week long study involved obese participants eating 50 grams of blueberries each day. The study found that the participants’ blood pressure was reduced by about 4%-6%.
It seems that blueberries can also make a great post-workout snack. Another study found that blueberries sped up muscle recovery in 10 female participants who had all taken part in the same strenuous leg exercises.
As well as being delicious, grapes have some wonderful health benefits to them also.
One study found that a compound in grapes, called resveratrol, helped to protect retinal cells in our eyes from ultraviolet light. This could help to lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
It seems that grapes are good for our brains too.
The first grape-brain study gave 111 healthy adults 250mg of a grape supplement for 12 weeks. They found that participants had significantly improved on cognitive tests which investigated language, memory, and attention.
The second grape-brain study gave a small sample of healthy young adults 230ml of purple grape juice. 20 minutes after drinking the grape juice, the study found the participants had improved memory-speed, attention, and mood. Not bad for a glass of grape juice.
Pomegranates are rich in an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which gives them their distinctive dark red color.
Pomegranate juice also has high levels of Vitamin K which aids in heart health, bone development, and blood clotting.
Acai Berry Juice
Acai berries are a fruit that has gained popularity only fairly recently, although there is still plenty of research into their health benefits.
They contain very high levels of antioxidants such as ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, and many flavonoids. In fact, acai berries can typically contain more antioxidants than blueberries which are already well known for their antioxidant content.
Grapefruit is another fruit that is famous for its high levels of antioxidants. Interestingly, it seems that as the fruit is processed more it loses some of its antioxidant content. So, rather than juicing grapefruit, it might be best to just enjoy it in a smoothie or even just sliced into segments.
It’s worth noting that grapefruit has been shown to interact with many prescription medications such as blood pressure medication, blood thinners, and antidepressants.
Some studies have found that pineapple can reduce inflammation. It is thought that this is mainly due to a compound in pineapples called bromelain. Bromelain could be similarly effective at reducing inflammation as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, but with fewer side effects.
Pineapple juice could also contribute toward strengthening your immune system. This is also due to the bromelain content in pineapples.
Tomato juice makes a great workout recovery drink. It works wonders to give you a lovely fresh feeling. Try it on ice with a little pinch of salt.
Tomatoes have a mild natural laxative effect. They can be an effective aid in helping digestion and preventing constipation.
Tomatoes are also a good source of lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant and carotenoid which gives tomatoes their red color. There is evidence that suggests that lycopene can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Both Apple Juice and Orange Juice are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Apple juice has a rich variety of flavors for just one kind of fruit.
If you get the choice, cloudy apple juice is the healthier option over its alternative, clear apple juice. The cloudy variety has all of the benefits of clear plus 62% more polyphenols as well as other micronutrients.
Orange juice is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and B vitamins. Interestingly its pH level may even help to prevent kidney stones.
Both orange juice and apple juice do contain a fairly high sugar content. To complement your gut health, oranges or apples served in a smoothie, or even as whole fruits, may be a good option to include extra fiber alongside the sugar content. Including vegetable juices is another way of including some lovely variety.
If you are looking for interesting ways to mix up your diet with orange juice, apple juice, or with other fruits; I recommend you absolutely consult a qualified dietitian for advice, don’t just listen to Dr. Google.