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

People can drink juice as part of a healthy diet and count it toward their daily calorie intake. The best type to choose is 100% pure juice, as it avoids any added sugars, sweeteners, or colorings.

All fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. People can experiment with making fresh juices from single fruits or combinations of fruits and vegetables such as spinach, kale, or celery. They can also purchase fruit and vegetable combinations from 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 may support a healthy microbiome. Clear apple juice has a small polyphenol content because the clarification process causes oxidation. Cloudy apple juice has a higher polyphenol content.

One cup of unsweetened apple juice provides:

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

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

Beet juice may also interact with some drugs, so it is important that a person on medication seek medical advice before consuming the juice.

A 240 milliliter (ml) serving of pure, fresh-pressed beet juice provides:

  • Calories: 101
  • Carbohydrate: 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 blueberries’ active compounds may protect against oxidative stress, DNA damage, and cancer cell proliferation. Blueberries may also be neuroprotective, but scientists need to perform more studies to confirm this.

A 180 ml serving of blueberry juice provides:

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

Research suggests that cranberry juice can reduce urinary tract infections, particularly in individuals with recurrent infections.

One cup of unsweetened cranberry juice provides:

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

Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, which research suggests is beneficial for cardiovascular health.

One cup of canned tomato juice provides:

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

People can purchase juice in cans, bottles, and cartons. A person can also use a hand juicer for citrus fruits or an electric centrifugal or masticating machine for other fresh fruit and vegetables.

It is preferable to consume fresh juice immediately after preparing to avoid oxidation and deterioration of vitamins.

There may be several benefits associated with drinking juice.

A 2019 review suggests that consuming 1 portion of fruit juice per day may 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 per day. It advises that one-quarter cup of pure, 100% fruit juice can fulfill one of the daily servings.

A systematic review and meta-analysis identified that fruit juice may be protective against hypertension, but only with moderate intake. The researchers indicated that drinking below 200 ml of 100% fruit juice a 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 might be due to nutrients and bioactive compounds in juice. The harmful associations at higher doses may be attributable to consuming excess calories, which outweighs the positive effects, according to the reviewers.

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

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

Fiber

For example, while fresh fruit juice has some dietary fiber, the amounts are not as high as those in raw vegetables or fruit. Daily dietary recommendations from the Department of Agriculture are for females to consume at least 28 g of dietary fiber per day, and for males to consume 34 g per day.

Learn more about daily fiber recommendations here.

Sugars

Although pure fruit juice does not contain added sugars such as those in sweetened drinks, it does have fructose, which is a naturally occurring sugar.

Weight gain

A 2019 review suggested that when fructose replaces other carbohydrates with similar calories, people do not put on weight. The authors suggest that fructose itself is not responsible for the people in studies gaining weight. Rather, the culprit is taking in too many overall calories. The same review also notes that sweetened juices with added sugars may contribute to weight gain in children and diabetes in adults.

Therefore, people must look at ingredients to make sure that 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 serving of juice might contribute to a person’s recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

Many fruits and vegetables have health benefits, and someone can choose specific juices to complement their health. However, juices with added sugars may contribute to weight gain.

Juices should not replace whole fruits and vegetables.