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Health Benefits of Apple Juice and Side Effects

Apple juice contains comparatively high levels of fructose compared to other fruits.

Drinking large quantities of apple juice can cause digestive distress in people with sensitive intestines.

Whole apples are healthy.

However, apple hydrating benefits increase when you make juice from it.

The juice keeps certain plant compounds, but it decreases the additional benefits of whole apples, such as fiber.

In this article, we will walk you through the health benefits of apple juice and its potential side effects.

Supports Heart Health

Plant compounds in apple juice, such as polyphenols, may provide health benefits for people with heart disease.

Polyphenols can prevent oxidation and the buildup of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your arteries.

The study associates higher levels of oxidized LDL with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack (1).

One study found that when healthy adults consumed 375 ml of pure apple juice daily for 6 weeks, their LDL (bad) cholesterol was 20% more oxidation-resistant than at the beginning of the study (2).

In addition, when healthy women drank 310 ml of pure apple juice, their blood antioxidant activity increased by almost 11% within 1 hour of drinking the juice, compared to a placebo (3).

This boost in antioxidant activity means greater potential for heart disease protection.

Still, there is a need for more human studies to confirm apple juice’s health benefits.

Protects The Brain

Preliminary studies suggest that apple juice can support mental health and brain function as you age.

Some of these benefits may be because of the antioxidants found in apple juice.

These antioxidants can protect your brain from damage caused by unstable molecules, called free radicals (4).

They gave older mice daily apple juice in a series of studies. When the mice ingested the juice for one month, they performed significantly better on labyrinth-based memory tests than a control group that did not receive the juice (5).

Another study shows that it preserves acetylcholine levels, a nerve messenger essential for memory and good mental health, and that level appears to decrease with aging (6).

It reduced a rise in beta-amyloid protein fragments in the brain, which are linked to Alzheimer’s disease brain damage (7).

When people with Alzheimer’s disease drank 1 cup (240 ml) of apple juice every day for one month, their behavioral and mental symptoms, such as anxiety, restlessness, and incorrect beliefs, decreased by 27% (8).

Memory and problem solving, however, have not improved. There is a need for further human studies to confirm the benefits of apple juice for brain function and to clarify how much they would need for this.

Supports Hydration

Apple juice tastes good, and it is 88% water. This makes consumption easy, particularly for those who are at increased risk of dehydration (9).

In addition, for one-year-old children who are dehydrated, some pediatricians suggest a mixture of half apple juice and half water (10, 11).

In a study of moderately dehydrated children with diarrhea and vomiting, those provided diluted apple juice were 6.5% less likely to need fluids via their veins (12).

Even though electrolyte drinks are specifically designed for rehydration, some kids don’t like the taste and will not drink them. They are fairly costly, too.

Diluted apple juice is a handy and pleasant alternative for children and adults (12).

Be sure to drink diluted juice to rehydrate, as the high sugar content of pure juice can pull excess water into your gut and cause diarrhea, particularly during recovery from illness (13, 14).

Medicinal electrolyte beverages are also recommended for more serious cases of dehydration.

While the amount of potassium in apple juice is like that in electrolyte drinks, it has little sodium, which, when you’re sick, is often lost by body fluids (9, 10, 11).

Contains Beneficial Compounds

Apples are rich in compounds, especially polyphenols. Although most of these compounds are in the peel, some are also found in the flesh of an apple (15).

These plant compounds can prevent inflammation and oxidative damage to your body cells. The inflammation and oxidative damage can cause certain cancers and heart disease (16).

In one study, healthy men drank 2/3 cup (160 ml) of apple juice, and then scientists collected their blood samples.

Within 30 minutes of drinking the juice, oxidative damage in their blood was suppressed, and this effect continued for up to 90 minutes (17).

For more polyphenols, choose cloudy apple juice, which contains pulp, instead of clear juice, which removes the pulp. This study showed that cloudy apple juice contained up to 62% more polyphenols than clear juice (15).

Apple Juice Side Effects

The apple juice results in the loss of some advantages and potentially causes safety risks.

Low in Nutrients

Apple juice is low in vitamins and minerals. For example, one 1-cup (240 ml) serving of apple juice does not supply 10% of any micronutrient reference daily intake (RDI) (9).

It is usually fortified, and the manufacturers add vitamin C per serving with 100% or more of the RDI.

That said, apple juice contains about 2% of the RDI per serving of this vitamin when not fortified (18).

Low in Fiber and High in Sugar

Always choose apple juice that is 100% pure. Nearly all the calories in 100% apple juice come from carbohydrates.

These are mainly from fructose and glucose.

A 1-cup (240-ml) juice serving-clear or cloudy-only supplies 0.5 grams of fiber.

For instance, for this nutrient, a medium apple with the peel has 4.5 grams of fiber, or 18% of the RDI. Fiber helps improve digestion and facilitates a more gradual increase in blood sugar (15).

The high sugar and low fiber combination in apple juice can spike your blood sugar.

If you are drinking apple juice, combine it with something that contains protein and healthy fat to reduce its blood sugar’s increasing effects.

For example, when healthy adults consumed an apple juice, toast, and peanut butter breakfast, their increase in blood sugar was 30% lower than that of the same meal without peanut butter (19).

Causes Tooth Decay

Drinking apple juice can cause tooth decay. In your mouth, bacteria eat the sugars and produce acids that can erode the tooth enamel, which can cause cavities (20).

Apple juice was found to erode tooth enamel in a test-tube study that assessed the dental effects of 12 unique types of fruit juice (21).

When you drink apple juice, stop swimming it around.

The longer your teeth are exposed to sugar, the higher the chances are of developing cavities.

Always use a straw if you like to drink sugary beverages (22).

Contributes in Weight Gain

A 1-cup (240 ml) serving has 114 calories, whereas an apple of medium size has 95 calories (23, 9).

Someone can consume apple juice faster than an entire apple, which can cause you to take in enormous quantities of calories over a brief time. Juice isn’t good at reducing hunger or making you feel full (24).

That may lead to excess calorie consumption. In one study, they gave adults an entire calorie-based apple, applesauce, or apple juice in equal amounts (25).

Whole apples had best fulfilled their hunger. Juice has been the least filling, even after adding fiber to it.

Conclusion

Apple juice has many health benefits, which can help you rehydrate when you’re sick.

Its disease-fighting plant compounds can also protect your heart and brain as you age.

However, apple juice is not very filling compared to whole apples, nor does it offer adequate fiber, vitamins, or minerals.

Even if you like it, use organic pulp juice to get more beneficial plant compounds. Be sure to enjoy this juice in moderation because of its high calorie content.

Always make your own fresh apple juice rather than drinking packaged products.

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