The healthiest juices: Choices and more

There is some controversy surrounding the health effects of juices. Pure juice can provide people with vitamin C and antioxidants and help them achieve their “five a day”. However, some claim that the juice is a concentrated form of sugar and can contribute to obesity.

People can drink juice as part of a healthy diet and count it in their daily calorie intake. The best type to choose is 100% pure juice, as it avoids adding sugar, sweeteners or colors.

All fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. People can experiment with making fresh juices from individual fruits or combinations of fruits and vegetables like spinach, kale or celery. I can also buy combinations of fruits and vegetables in grocery stores.

The following sections list some healthy juices, potential health benefits, and nutritional content.

Research suggests that apples are a good source of polyphenols and can support a healthy microbiome. Clear apple juice has a low polyphenol content because the clarification process causes oxidation. Turbid apple juice has a higher polyphenol content.

One cup unsweetened apple juice provides:

  • Calories: 114
  • Carbohydrates: 28 grams (g)
  • Total sugars: 23.9 g
  • Vitamin C: 2.23 milligrams (mg)

Beets or beets contain nitrates, antioxidants and essential nutrients. Research indicates that they can lower blood pressure and blood glucose, improve vascular function and protect the kidneys. However, in some people, beets can cause urine to turn pink or red.

Beet juice can also interact with some medications, so it is important for the person taking the medication to seek medical advice before consuming the juice.

A 240 milliliters (ml) a portion of pure, freshly squeezed beet juice ensures:

  • Calories: 101
  • Carbohydrates: 23 g
  • Total sugars: 20 g
  • Vitamin C: 9.12 mg
  • Folate: 120 micrograms (mcg)

Blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins. Research suggests that active blueberry compounds can protect against oxidative stress, DNA damage, and cancer cell proliferation. Blueberries can also be neuroprotective, but scientists need to conduct more studies to confirm this.

A 180 ml portion blueberry juice provides:

  • Calories: 110
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Total sugars: 24 g
  • Vitamin C: 18 mg

Research suggests that cranberry juice can reduce urinary tract infections, especially in people with recurrent infections.

One cup unsweetened cranberry juice provides:

  • Calories: 116
  • Carbohydrates: 30.9 g
  • Total sugars: 30.6 g
  • Vitamin C: 23.5 mg

Tomato is a rich source of lycopene which research suggests it is beneficial for cardiovascular health.

One cup canned tomato juice provides:

  • Calories: 41.3
  • Carbohydrates: 8.58 g
  • Total sugars: 6.27 g
  • Vitamin C: 170 mg
  • Lycopene: 22,000 mcg

People can buy juice in cans, bottles and cartons. A person can also use a hand-held citrus juicer or an electric centrifugal machine to chew other fresh fruits and vegetables.

It is advisable to consume fresh juice immediately after preparation to avoid oxidation and deterioration of vitamins.

There are several benefits to drinking juice.

A Review 2019 suggests that consuming 1 serving of fruit juice a day can help people achieve the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. The authors suggest that fruit juice is a good source of vitamin C, carotenoids and polyphenols.

The American Heart Association recommends 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. He advises that one quarter cup of pure, 100% fruit juice can fill one of the daily portions.

A systematic review and meta-analysis found that fruit juice can protect against hypertension, but only with moderate intake. The researchers indicated that drinking less than 200 ml of 100% fruit juice per day was associated with a lower risk of hypertension, but there was an increased risk at doses exceeding this amount.

The study also noted that the protective effects may be due to nutrients and bioactive compounds in the juice. Harmful associations to higher doses can be attributed to consuming excess calories, which outweighs the positive effects, the reviewers believe.

One more review concluded that some juices may offer cardiovascular protection and lower cholesterol. Polyphenols and vitamins in juices have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the authors noted that scientists need to do more studies to confirm the mechanisms and possible harmful effects of sugar.

Some possible health risks associated with fruit juice concern fiber, sugar, and weight gain.


For example, while fresh fruit juice contains dietary fiber, the amounts are not as large as those in raw vegetables or fruits. The daily recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture for Food are that females consume at least 28 g of dietary fiber per day, and males 34 g per day.

Learn more about daily fiber recommendations here.


Although pure fruit juice does not contain added sugars like those in sweetened drinks, it does have fructose, which is a natural sugar.

Weight gain

A Review 2019 suggested that when fructose replaces other carbohydrates with similar calories, people do not gain weight. The authors suggest that fructose alone is not responsible for people gaining weight in research. Instead, the culprit ingests too many total calories. The same review also notes that sweetened juices with added sugar can contribute to childhood obesity and adult diabetes.

Therefore, people need to look at the ingredients to make sure the juice is 100% fruit or vegetable. The authors of the review also point out that people should not completely replace whole fruits and vegetables with juices.

Juices can provide essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Drinking a portion of juice can help recommend a daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

Many fruits and vegetables have health benefits, and some can choose certain juices that will supplement their health. However, juices with added sugars can contribute to weight gain.

Juices should not replace whole fruits and vegetables.