Apple juice is a surprisingly healthy beverage when it’s used well. Unfortunately, many people drink the juice because it tastes good and that can cause problems.
For people with diabetes or other sugar issues, especially pregnant women, apple juice contains many sugars that are not part of the healthy diet. Instead, you should have regular apples and stick with water.
Apple Juice Benefits
Apple juice is good for just about all your health needs, as long as you use it correctly.
First, you want to go with organic apple juice *. Conventional apple production, especially large commercial operations, heavily use pesticides and chemicals. Smaller operations often won’t use these chemicals, but they also don’t make much juice for sale.
The benefits of organic are that you support a healthier environment and that means better-tasting juices.
In 2007, the European Respiratory Journal reported a study that showed children who drank 200ml (about 7oz) of apple juice per day were less likely to have breathing problems.
Apples also contain a large amount of potassium and a healthy amount of magnesium. Both of these are good for the heart and can promote more energy. These nutrients can also help reduce neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease according to the Journal of Food Sciences March 2008 Issue.
Although apples can help stimulate beta cells in your pancreas to secrete insulin, the high amounts of sugars in the apple juice negates this benefit. So, we encourage you to moderate the juice and seek out apples if you want this benefit.
Apples are also ranked second highest in antioxidant activity. However, most antioxidants are destroyed during the pasteurization process. So, if you want this benefit, find or make raw apple juice or just eat an apple.
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Apple cider vinegar is breaking news for just about all conditions. Many studies are being done on this liquid and it is showing up to be a very popular home remedy. In fact, most home journals from the early 1900s include apple cider vinegar or apple vinegar as a home and medicinal staple.
As a daily regimen, just 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar is said to relieve many disease problems. It helps acidify the urine, balance the digestive system, and increase immune support.
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Because of all the sugars in the apple juice, it can give you a boost of energy. It’s a very healthy and safe drink to give to diabetics during a sugar drop because of the easily absorbed sugars. But for the same reason, it should not be given to children. The sugars are easily absorbed and cause a sudden and large spike in energy.
But, don’t worry, apple juice doesn’t contain caffeine. The boost is totally natural.
This also means you should not have it before bed. The amount of sugars in the apple juice could keep you awake.
Apple Juice & Arsenic
Yes, apples and apple juice do contain arsenic. The seeds contain minute traces in order to stop animals from eating the core and bird from eating the seeds. This allows the seeds to be spread around and produce new trees.
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The amount of arsenic is very small.
One of my friends is highly allergic to arsenic. Enough so that I was able to witness her eat one small apple and see her lips swell. She did not eat the seeds and it was not a serious reaction. It just demonstrates it is possible for the reaction to existing.
If you are allergic or highly sensitive to apples or arsenic, you will want to avoid apple juice. It’s just safer. Otherwise, don’t worry. There isn’t enough arsenic for you to become sick.
So, if you drink enough apple juice and eat enough apples, apple juice can make you sick in other ways. It’s a great laxative and can wreak havoc on your sugars. Keep apple juice as a treat, not as a staple.
Types of Apple Juice
There are many different types of apple juice out there. Like we said before, stick to the organic varieties. The commercial stuff just isn’t up to snuff when it comes to being healthy.
Apple Juice Concentrate
Most apple juice comes in ready to go containers, but it may not be the original juice. It’s common practice to concentrate the juice and then rehydrate it. It’s the same process used at home when you buy the concentrates *.
Most people avoid concentrates of juices because they have a very thin and watery taste. If you follow the directions and take care with how you incorporate the water, you can have as fine of apple juice as what you get in the boxes.
And, sometime you can find the organic apple juice only in the concentrates. So, good hunting!
Apple Juice Cocktail
This form of juice often is not pure juice. It’s adulterated with other juices, extra sugars, and other ingredients.
While mixing with other juices is often delicious, if you are looking for the pure benefits of apple juice, this isn’t for you.
Also, most cocktails add in extra sugars. This is something you really don’t want. There are plenty of sugars in the apple juice as it is. Adding more sugars can trick your body and taste buds into craving more and more sugar throughout the day.
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This is the juice before it is clarified. Cider * is highly sought after, especially in its unpasteurized form. Many people prefer cider because it has a very sharp, distinct taste. It is similar to apple juice, just with more tang.
Pasteurized apple cider can be found in most stores in the fall. But, only in areas where there are abundant apple groves will you find unpasteurized cider. The unpasteurized cider contains bacteria that could cause digestive problems, but it also contains various healthy probiotics.
Hard apple cider is just apple cider that has been left to naturally ferment and produce alcohol. Regular apple juice will not naturally ferment.
Mulled Apple Juice
The mulling process is one where heat is applied and spices added to the juice. You can also mull cider and wine.
This is also another fall favorite and has many different varieties. The most common mulling spices are cinnamon and allspice. Clove and peppermint are also used.
Mulled juice is a nice treat. It’s a pleasant dessert and brings back the feeling of contentment and happiness.
Fresh Raw Apple Juice
Processing fresh organic apples in a juicer will produce a fresh raw apple juice. It is best to consume the juice, right after it was prepared to enjoy more nutrients and avoid oxidization.
Carrot Apple Juice
This is a very healthy combo. The carrots provide much vitamin A and it is combined with the vitamin C from the apples. Usually, it is a thicker juice.
It is also very sweet. Carrot and apples have a large number of sugars and can be too much for some people.
Cranberry Apple Juice
Another popular combination. This one is a very good one for helping to clear out the kidneys and bladder.
Just be careful. Most of the commercial juice combos are cocktails, with added sugars, and not pure juices.
How to Make Apple Juice at Home
Fresh is best, and you don’t get much fresher than your own juicer.
It’s actually easy to make fresh, organic apple juice at home. The biggest issue is where to keep all the apples in order to make the juice fresh.
It takes about 3 to 6 apples to produce 8oz of juice. If you drink one 8oz glass per day, you’ll need about 1 bushel of apples per week. Prices vary depending on the time of year, location, and type of apple. Just know that a bushel of apples will take up about the same space as normal chair in height, width, and length.
In a juicer, it’s really easy to get the juice. Just slice the apples, remove the seeds, and put in your juicer.
If you or your juicer filters the pulp then you have juice. This is the clear, amber colored liquid most people know. It does have reduced vitamin and mineral content.
If you keep the pulp in the juice, then technically, this is considered cider, not juice. Cider is the pure, unaltered pressed juice from an apple. It contains fibers, lots of nutrients, and the natural bacterial colonies from the skin. It’s why apple cider ferments in 1-2 days producing apple cider vinegar. Cider is definitely healthier than juice.
Filtering the cider at home to make juice does not remove the bacteria. So, you’ll want to boil the juice for at least 10 minutes to kill the bacteria. But, you don’t need to do that if you make the juice fresh every day. Those bacteria are probiotics that are actually good for our gut.
How to Make Apple Juice at Home Without a Juicer
Here’s a really simple recipe for you to make apple juice at home the traditional way.
There are also many juicers on the market that will make good juice. Here are the most popular juicers:
Types of Apples
There are over 1,200 different types of apples across the world. Unfortunately, a standardization of the market has made over 5,000 unique varieties extinct.
And still worse, most people only have access to less than 10 of these varieties! How awful!
And to make matters worse, a GMO apple was just introduced that prevents the flesh from browning. In order to do this, they also greatly reduced the nutritional content, increased the sugars, and destroyed many of the healthy enzymes.
Apples need a cold winter to grow and are available freshest in the fall. Many of the varieties ripen between August and November.
The best juicing apples come from sweeter apples, like the Macintosh. This is the typical apple to make fresh apple cider.
We recommend you taste apples until you find one that you like. Tastes vary so much from person to person, we want to make sure you get the best flavors.
Type of apples desired varies with location. Where I live in the northeast, Macintosh is preferred, but I have a friend from the south that thinks they are disgustingly sweet. Friends from the west prefer tart apples. So, we really can’t say which tastes the best.
Also, try combining varieties of apples. A few Macintosh apples mixed with a few Granny Smith Apples produces a sweet and sour effect. This is one of the best combination for pies, according to the bakers in my area.
Once you know your preferred combination, we suggest seeking out local apple trees with unusual apples. Many of them are smaller, tarter apples of a mixed variety. They are often found on old farms or in backyards. These apples can add a delicious spike to your juice.
And do eat the skins. While they can be tough, nearly 90% of all the healthy vitamins and nutrients are in the skin. This is why you want to go organic, organic apples don’t have pesticides on the skin.
On the Color of Skin
Many people like the perfect shine on a Red Delicious apple. Unfortunately, this is the rare case where color does not equal nutrition.
All apples are nutritious. Their nutrition is dependent on growth time, pesticide use, and storage time. Within a particular variety, the redder the skin, the more nutrition. A dark red Fuji apple is much more nutritious than a pale red one. But, a pale red Fuji is still more nutritious than a dark red Delicious apple.
This is why you should only patronize local orchards. That way, you know the apples were left to ripen on the trees and you can ask the orchard workers when the trees were sprayed. In my area, there is a local orchard that chooses not to spray at all and has found their crop increasing in size every year. While not organic, they practice the principles.
If you don’t live within easy distance of an orchard, go organic and as local as possible. If you get an apple that has to travel across the country or across national borders, it’s already old by the time you get it. A 100-mile travel distance equals 1 week of travel time. A Washington state apple traveling to Georgia travels over 4,000 miles, has been traveling over 1 month and was probably picked before it turned red, so it didn’t rot on the truck. Then, they used gases and other chemicals to color the apple just so you buy something pretty.
And while we talk about color, apples are far from perfect. They have bumps, divots, and often are lopsided. Older trees and smaller orchards allow trees to grow more naturally and this produces apples that are not picture perfect. Large commercial operations artificially straighten branches, use lots of chemicals, and pick the apples mechanically. They throw away many apples because they are not perfect. Inside, the local, imperfect apples taste better.
Apple Juice Cleanse
Including apple juice in a cleanse can be part of a good mix. It can provide sugars and good taste. However, you have to be careful not to overload yourself on the sugars.
As for just drinking apple juice to cleanse, we do not feel it is a good idea. First, there are too many sugars to be healthy. Also, there is not enough nutrition to sustain a person.
Finally, since apple juice is a good laxative, you could lose too much water and dehydrate yourself.
Just as a note, children who are sick should not have apple juice, especially if they have stopped eating. They dehydrate much faster and react more intensely to the juice. A few sips are OK to help get their sugars back up, but shouldn't be their regular drink.
Apple Juice & Young Children
A 2013 study from the British Medical Journal and republished by the Harvard School of Public Health showed children may love apple juice (it is the #1 preferred fruit) however is can raise your child’s risk of diabetes nearly 21%. However, eating the whole fruit actually reduces the risk 23%. That’s a 44% total difference just from eating whole foods.
In addition, reports from child psychologists show that children who are frequently exposed to sugary juices and foods develop a preference for these foods and shun whole fruits and vegetables. These children are also the highest risk for obesity and heart disease later in life.
We don’t recommend your child drinks apple juice, but we greatly support eating whole apples.
Apple Juice & Your Health
Does Apple Juice Help You Lose Weight?
The juice can help you to lose weight if you use it to replace a higher sugar drink, such as soda. However, there is nothing in the apple juice that will encourage you to lose weight without applying exercise and a healthy diet.
Can Apple Juice Help You Sleep?
Some people do experience a better night sleep with a little bit of apple juice before bed. However, most people will find the sugars in the juice will provide energy and this will keep you up longer.
Used earlier in the day, and with the proper diet, you can achieve a better night sleep than if you had soda.
Does Apple Juice Give You Good or Vivid Dreams?
There is no evidence that apple juice will provide any type of dream. It can be extrapolated that the sugars in the apple juice can cause vivid dreams because of the excess energy in your system that has nowhere else to go. However, the apple juice does not cause any dream that is not already in your mind beforehand.
Does Apple Juice Help with Nausea?
Yes and no. Directly, apple juice will not reduce your stomach’s irritation. Apples as a whole food are able to settle the stomach through the large amounts of fibers and acidic flesh. Commercial juices are devoid of fiber and the pH is adjusted to be less acidic.
If you are experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, apple juice can provide a good source of sugars and nutrients that will help your system return to normal. It can also help hydrate you if you thin the juice with at least the same amount of water. If you drink too much juice while experiencing these two symptoms, you risk dehydration from too much sugar and the laxative effect of the juice.
The vinegars of apple juice and apple cider are strong anti-nausea agents. Doctors recommend taking 1 tsp of vinegar in a large glass of water to help settle your stomach. Of course, they also warn if your body truly needs to purge stomach contents, the vinegar will make that happen all the sooner.
Does Apple Juice Help Bowel Movements? Can Apple Juice Help with Constipation? Can Apple Juice Give You Diarrhea?
This is a big yes. Apple juice is a laxative. It will help you go. But, it’s not a drug, so don’t expect it to make you go right now. It will also provide some of the liquid you may be missing in order to soften the BM and make evacuation easier.
If you aren’t constipated, apple juice can have a stronger and faster effect. As a laxative, it can cause you to forcefully and quickly have a bowel movement. Many people experience the gurgling sounds after drinking apple juice that signals the intestine are quickly pushing any and all foods through quickly. This can lead to diarrhea.
It takes more than one glass of juice to cause this in most people, so don’t worry too much. We recommend you take not more than 1 glass of apple juice per day. This way, you avoid the trips to the bathroom and you don’t risk diabetes with all the sugars.
Does Apple Juice Help UTI?
Directly, no, apple juice does not help UTIs. There is nothing in the juice that is beneficial or detrimental to the kidneys (except the sugars).
What apple juice can help with is the taste of cranberry juice, which is quite tart. Simply mix the two juices and sip.
Apple cider vinegar * is very good at helping many issues. According to Western Journal of Medicine, January 2002, apple cider vinegar helps lower the pH of your urine. This means the bladder and kidneys become a very hostile place for bacteria and your body can naturally flush out the infection. You actually do want your urine to be acidic and processed foods do the opposite.
Can Apple Juice Cause Acid Reflux?
Yes, apple juice can cause acid reflux. This is because your stomach can’t handle all the sugary liquids. But, it won’t do it alone. You would already need to be predisposed to having acid reflux and be experiencing symptoms.
Apple juice will not cure acid reflux. But, apple cider vinegar is known for helping.
In many, many news stories, especially on social media, apple cider vinegar is shared for helping to reduce and eliminate acid reflux and indigestion.
It works by increasing the acid in the stomach and helping to tonify the lower esophageal sphincter, according to Dr. Barry Marshall. By keeping the acid in the stomach and making sure the acid is in the proper amount for digesting foods, you reduce your acid reflux.
One of the biggest things you do to avoid acid reflux and indigestion is to eat only until you are content, not full.
Can Apple Juice Cause Gas?
Here is another yes and no answer. Although many websites will state apples are one of the highest gas producing foods, they don’t explain it is actually the rest of the bad diet reacting to a suddenly healthy food that causes the problems. For people eating a healthy diet, apples do not cause gas.
There is nothing specifically in apple juice that will cause gas. Even the sorbitol, a natural type of sugar alcohol, does not cause gas.
It is the many types of bacteria in the gut of someone with a poor diet that will react to apple juice and produce gas. Fortunately, with a healthier diet, the bad bacteria count goes down to the point where they do not cause enough gas to be noticeable.
The best way to know if you will have gas with apple juice is to try it. And if you do have gas, try changing your diet to one that is healthy and filled with lots of fruits and vegetables. Then, you’ll find many issues disappearing.
Can Your Pet Drink Apple Juice?
It is not recommended for any pets to drink apple juice or any juice at all.
Cats, in particular, have poor abilities to digest sugars. If your cat will drink apple juice at all, they gain no benefit and may become sick. Fortunately, cats can sense when a liquid has too much sugar and they avoid it.
Dogs, on the other hand, love sweet foods. They will drink apple juice, but vets do not recommend this. The laxative effect of apple juice works very well on dogs and could create messes and possibly dehydrate your dog in the smallest amounts.
Birds are not recommended to have juice but are able to tolerate some. Tropical birds, like parakeets and parrots, normally feast on fruits. The juice can be tolerated, but since it provides little nutrition besides sugars, it is not a good liquid for birds all the time.
That being said, all of the same reasons for not feeding your pet juice goes for you, too. Juice is a treat, not a drink for all day.
Can You Drink Apple Juice While Pregnant?
Yes, you can drink apple juice while pregnant, so long as your doctor is OK with it. There are a few conditions where the juice can cause problems, but your doctor will cover that.
Apple juice is good for pregnancy. It contains nutrients, healthy sugars and there is lots of vitamin C in apple juice.
You want to use caution with babies. Apple juice can contain too many sugars that could harm your baby. It can also trigger bouts of diarrhea in babies much faster. Follow your pediatrician’s recommendation for when you can give your baby apple juice *.
Apple Cider, a Variation on a Theme
There is a huge difference between Apple Cider vs Apple Juice. Most of it comes from the fact apple juice is strained and filtered, where cider is pure juice and apple bits. There is also a slight taste difference.
You can’t make apple cider from apple juice. But you can make apple juice from apple cider. There are more health benefits from apple cider, although unpasteurized cider is not shelf stable and can be hard to find.
You also can’t make apple cider vinegar from apple juice, but you can make apple vinegar from apple juice. What’s the difference? Very little.
As with apple cider, the vinegar is slightly healthier. But, even I don’t worry about that. Fresh, homemade apple vinegar is easy to make and tastes fabulous.
24 apple skins and cores (minus seeds) – from previous recipe
Water to cover
Apple vinegar mother (the bacteria and yeast mat)
Place all the cores and skins into a large jar with at least 2” of room at the top.
Cover with enough water so that everything is under the water.
Place mother on top of cores.
Cover with a fermentation top or thick paper towel.
Allow to ferment 1-2 weeks . When mixture smells like vinegar, it is done. If the mixture smells rotten or develops mold, discard.
Do not use vinegar for recipes that require a specific percent of acetic acid, such as pickles.
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