Apple juice is one of the most popular and widely available fruit juices in the world due to its impressive health benefits and dense nutritional value. The many excellent health benefits of apple juice include improved heart health & digestion, cancer prevention, detoxification of the body, increased hydration, boosted immunity, better cognition, strengthened metabolism, weight loss, and improved respiratory health.
What is Apple Juice?
Apple juice is made through the pressing of apples, of which there are hundreds of varieties in the world. It takes two medium-sized apples to make one cup of apple juice, which is why these fruits are grown in such huge numbers. After the apples are pressed, most juices are further filtered or pasteurized, which helps to remove any particulate matter, resulting in a thinner consistency of the final juice.
McIntosh apples are the most common types of apples used to make this delicious juice and China is the largest producer of apples in the world. Apple cider, which is often confused with apple juice, is unfiltered and unpasteurized liquid initially pressed from apples, in addition to being fermented.
Nutritional Value of Apple Juice
Apple juice retains many of the key nutrients of apples, including vitamin C and various B vitamins, as well as many different minerals, such as magnesium, iron, calcium, manganese, and copper. Some of the fiber is also retained in this juice, as are the phytochemicals, flavonols, and procyanidins. A single cup also represents about 10% of your daily required carbohydrates, thanks to the natural sugars found in apple juice. Potassium is the most notable mineral in this juice, with a single serving delivering roughly 7% of your daily required intake.
Benefits of Apple Juice
Apple juice has many health benefits, let us discuss them in detail below.
Improves Heart Health
Potassium is found in higher concentrations than any other mineral in this juice, which is good news for your heart health. Potassium is a vasodilator, which means it can help to lower tension in your arteries and blood vessels. It also helps in relieving pressure and strain on the cardiovascular system as a whole. Apple juice also prevents cholesterol formation in your arteries, which is often of the major reason for heart attacks and other cardiovascular ailments.
There are certain anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic substances found in apple juice that can soothe the respiratory system and decrease irritation in the throat and lungs, helping to relieve asthma attacks and prevent respiratory infections.
One of the lesser known substances in apples is called malic acid, which can improve the digestive rate and support liver function. In combination with fiber and other stimulating minerals in apple juice, this juice can quickly relieve symptoms of constipation, cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. It also contains sorbitol which helps in smoothening the digestive tract, by extracting water from the large intestine and pushing it into the colon, thereby easing the movement of stool.
The polyphenolic compounds, procyanidins, and quercetin present in apple juice are extremely powerful antioxidants that can help the body fight the effects of free radicals. By eliminating oxidative stress, apple juice has been shown in numerous studies to lower the risk of colon, breast, and skin cancer.
Packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, apple juice is very beneficial for the skin. It helps in reducing acne, inflammation, scars, and wrinkles. It is also known to prevent premature aging. By helping in collagen production, apple juice makes the skin more soft and healthy.
Improves Eye Health
The vitamin A present in this juice helps to sharpen the vision and prevents the development of any eye ailments.
Apples contain a compound called procyanidin B-2, which is responsible for promoting hair growth and luster. This compound is what makes apple juice is beneficial for hair health.
Apple juice is a diuretic, and diuretics help you shed the excess water in your body. This means that it promotes urination and prevents swelling and bloating.
By balancing the pH levels of your body, apple juice prevents the growth of the UTI causing bacteria in your body, thereby preventing the painful occurrence of a urinary tract infection.
Loaded with a chemical called phytoestrogen, apple juice makes sure that your estrogen levels don’t dip down, thereby regulating menstruation, reproduction, and other features among women.
Apple juice has a notable amount of vitamin C, which is a key component of the body’s immune system. Vitamin C not only stimulates the immune system but also functions as an antioxidant compound that can prevent oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
Antioxidants do more than protect against cancer; they also prevent oxidative stress in other parts of the body, such as the brain. Studies have shown that the antioxidants present in this fruit juice can lower your risk of neurological disease, particularly Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Long-term research has linked the consumption of apple juice with smaller waistlines, lower levels of body fat, lower cholesterol levels, lesser chance of developing diabetes and lower blood pressure, all of which are risk factors known as metabolic syndrome. For this reason, apple juice can help optimize your metabolism and protect your heart.
Detoxifies the Body
As mentioned, malic acid can improve liver function, which will speed the process of toxins being eliminated from the body. When combined with a large amount of water in this juice, this can stimulate urination and promote the release of more excess salts and fats that the body doesn’t need.
Improves liver function
As mentioned, malic acid can improve liver function. Apple juice, when combined with the large amounts of water, can stimulate urination and promote the release of excess salts and fats from the body. The high alkaline content in this juice also helps in flushing out toxins and maintains a good pH balance in the body, thereby acting as a liver cleanser.
How to Prepare Apple Juice?
This juice is available all over the world, but some people do prefer to make their own apple juice. Without a true pasteurization machine, most people make something between apple cider and apple juice, but it is still delicious and relatively easy to prepare!
- 8-10 apples
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- Step 1: Clean the apples thoroughly, but there is no need to remove the peel, as many of the nutrients can be extracted from the peel.
- Step 2: Core and slice each apple into 12-15 chunks, increasing surface area to make the breakdown process easier.
- Step 3: Fill a large pot with the apples and enough water to cover about half the apples.
- Step 4: Slowly warm the water, and eventually bring it to a low simmer. This should cause the apples to begin breaking down.
- Step 5: Occasionally mash the apples to speed up the process.
- Step 6: Gradually strain the apple mash through a strainer into a jar or other container. Press the mash to extract as much juice as possible. Do not discard the mash, as they can be used to make applesauce.
- Step 7: For a very thin consistency, you can then filter the apple juice again through cheesecloth or coffee filters, although many people prefer a bit more pulp in their juice.
- Step 8: Chill the juice, serve and enjoy!
Apple has amazing benefits and boasts a great nutrition profile, but too much of this juice can cause various problems, including:
Gastrointestinal problems: Excess of apple juice can various stomach problems ranging from diarrhea to constipation, as well as excessive flatulence.
Higher risk of kidney stones: This is due to the presence of oxalates, which may exacerbate pre-existing kidney problems.
Higher risk of diabetes: With a relatively high sugar content, it is important to drink apple juice in moderation, particularly for already diabetic patients.
Having said all of the above, 1-2 glasses of apple juice per day can deliver some great health benefits!