Thursday, January 5, 2012

What Apple Juice Healthy Or Not?

The juice from an apple which you have pressed yourself and not added anything too is very beneficial for your health, especially if it still contains bits of skin from the apple. There are, it would seem problems with packaged apple juice, and one problem is that the content of lead and arsenic are not regulated in fruit juices as they are in bottled water.

A study in Connecticut New Jersey was carried out in August 2011 on packaged apple juice and grape juice and of the 88 samples taken a quarter of them contained higher levels of lead than should legally be in bottled water and 10% contained more arsenic then recommended as being safe for water. In water 5 parts per billion are permitted, and 10 parts per billion is the total limit for arsenic as set out by the USFDA.

Apple juice is manufactured by a process of maceration and the pressing of apples which may be further treated to remove the pectin and starch, then pasteurized for packing or dehydrated for concentrate. The majority of nutrients are lost in the processing and some have "added vitamin C" which basically means that manufacturers are adding a nutrient which has been removed from the apple in the processing. Minerals appear not be lost, as apple juice contains boron which is thought to contribute to healthy bones. It also contains flavonoids and natural phenolic compounds as well as pyrocyandins which may delay the effects of aging due to their antioxidant actions. It is also believed that acetylcholine in the brain may be increased by apple juice and this is believed to help boost the memory.

The polyphenols and pectin in raw apples have an anticarcinogenic effect on the stomach, according to the American Research Center US Apple Association. Pectin obtained from expressed apple juice increases the production of butyrate which enables the body to activate its mechanisms to produce antioxidant compounds. This helps to maintain healthy flora in the stomach and is anti carcinogenic. The iron and pectins in apple juice are beneficial for the lungs so helping those who are heavy smokers or are prone to attacks of bronchitis. These also help to rid the body of toxins.

Apple juice has been found to be helpful for post-menopausal women and children as it can help to maintain strong, healthy bones. However there are some who just can't take apple juice unless it's the alcoholic drink cider so for them it is best to blend apple juice which has been put in a juicer at home, with carrot juice and perhaps beetroot juice. This combination gives a balance of vitamins and minerals which should be in your diet.

Quercetin is found in the apple skin and red apples contain more of this than do yellow or green ones, so it is best to eat an apple with its skin on after washing it thoroughly for the best health benefits. This way of ingesting the fruit is best as it also gives you a dose of dietary fibre which you need to prevent constipation and so piles or haemorrhoids.

However, if you can't take apples in any form, try cranberries, blueberries or bilberries, and of course onions, for their quercetin content.

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