Can I drink homemade apple juice everyday?

Drinking homemade apple juice daily can be a healthy habit with some caveats. Freshly pressed apple juice retains many of the nutrients found in whole apples, making it nutritious. However, it lacks the fiber found in apples and is high in natural sugars. Moderation is key to enjoying homemade apple juice as part of a balanced diet.

Nutritional Benefits of Homemade Apple Juice

Fresh apple juice retains many of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in whole apples. A 1-cup serving provides (1):

  • Vitamin C: 24% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI
  • Small amounts of vitamin A, iron, magnesium, calcium and vitamin E
  • Antioxidants like quercetin, catechin and chlorogenic acid

The antioxidant content gives apple juice an ORAC value of 300, which measures antioxidant strength. Drinking apple juice provides antioxidants that can help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation in your body (2).

Downsides of Juicing Apples

Juicing apples removes the skin and fiber. This lowers some of the benefits of eating whole apples:

  • Less fiber: A medium apple provides 4.4 grams of fiber, while apple juice has none (3, 4). Fiber helps lower cholesterol, improves gut health and slows digestion to keep you feeling fuller for longer (5).
  • Higher sugar content: Whole apples have a glycemic index (GI) of 38, while apple juice’s GI is 44 (6). The juicing process removes fiber that helps slow sugar absorption, meaning the sugars in juice enter your bloodstream faster.
  • Potential tooth decay: The sugars in apple juice can linger on your teeth, promoting decay. Chewing whole apples produces saliva which rinses your teeth (7).
  • Higher calorie intake: It’s easy to consume a lot of calories drinking apple juice. A glass provides 112 calories, and it’s absorbed quickly due to the lack of fiber (1).

Daily Apple Juice Limits

Enjoying a glass of homemade apple juice each day can be healthy as part of a fiber-rich diet. But limits are still important:

  • 4–8 ounces (118–237 ml) per day is a moderate amount for adults. For young children ages 1–6 years, 4 ounces (118 ml) or less is appropriate.
  • Keep it to a maximum of 8–12 ounces (237–355 ml) daily, and have it alongside fiber-rich foods like oatmeal or fruit to help control blood sugar.
  • Drink only 100% juice, avoiding added sugars. Look for labels stating “100% apple juice” rather than “juice drink” or other phrases.
  • Have it with meals, not on its own between meals when it can spike blood sugar more.

If you have diabetes or are watching your weight, keep portions small – 4 ounces (118 ml) or less per day. Always account for the carbohydrate content from apple juice when planning meals.

Potential Benefits of Daily Apple Juice

Research shows links between drinking apple juice daily and several health benefits. However, more studies are needed to confirm that apple juice directly causes these positive effects.

May Support Heart Health

Compounds in apple juice like polyphenols and vitamin C act as antioxidants to protect heart health in several ways, including (8, 9):

  • Reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Increasing HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving blood vessel function

One study had people with mild hypertension drink two 8-ounce (237-ml) servings of apple juice or cider daily. After 4 weeks, their systolic blood pressure decreased by 6 points on average (10).

Another study found that men who drank at least 4 ounces (118 ml) of antioxidant-rich apple juice daily for one year had decreased LDL oxidation, which can protect against plaque buildup in your arteries (11).

More research is needed, but drinking a moderate amount of apple juice per day may benefit heart health.

Could Help Manage Diabetes

While apple juice is high in natural sugar, some studies suggest it may still benefit blood sugar control in people with diabetes. However, more research is warranted (12).

In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who drank 8 ounces (237 ml) of apple juice for 12 weeks experienced significant reductions in fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c and LDL cholesterol, compared to a control drink. However, there was no reduction in post-meal blood sugar peaks (13).

Animal studies also demonstrate apple juice’s potential to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, possibly due to compounds like polyphenols (14, 15).

If you have diabetes, check with your doctor before adding apple juice to your diet. Moderation is key, and be sure to monitor blood sugar levels.

May Promote Gut Health

Pectin is a prebiotic fiber found in apples that helps promote gut health. Apple juice contains some pectin, providing 1.5 grams of fiber per cup (118 ml) (4).

Pectin from apples may act as food for your good gut bacteria. Test-tube studies show apple pectin enhances growth of bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (16, 17).

In animal studies, apple pectin acts as a prebiotic to increase short-chain fatty acid production, which benefits gut health (18).

While apple juice has less fiber than whole apples, its pectin content may still benefit your gut microbiome when consumed regularly.

May Have Anti-Cancer Effects

Results are mixed, but some studies link apple juice to potential cancer-fighting benefits (19, 20):

  • Apple juice reduced colon cancer risk in an animal study. Anthocyanins, quercetin and chlorogenic acid in the juice likely contributed to these effects (21).
  • Test-tube studies show apple extracts inhibit growth of certain cancer cells and drive cancer cell death (22, 23).
  • A review of several studies found a link between apple juice intake and reduced lung cancer risk, possibly due to antioxidants (24).

That said, human research is limited, and more studies are needed.

Juicing Tips

Follow these tips to maximize nutrition and freshness when juicing apples at home:

  • Wash apples and scrub under running water before juicing.
  • Leave peels on for maximum fiber and nutrients.
  • Remove apple seeds, as they contain a small amount of cyanide compounds (25).
  • Use a combination of sweet and tart apples, such as Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, McIntosh or Honeycrisp.
  • Drink juice right away, as nutrients degrade over time after exposure to air and light.
  • Store any leftover juice tightly sealed in your refrigerator and finish within 1–2 days.

Potential Drawbacks to Daily Apple Juice

While apple juice has benefits, consider potential downsides before drinking it daily:

High in Sugar

There are around 24 grams of sugar in 8 ounces (237 ml) of apple juice, almost all in the form of fructose (4).

While moderate intake is fine for most healthy people, those with diabetes or fructose intolerance should limit intake or avoid drinking it daily without speaking to a healthcare provider.

May Affect Dental Health

Sipping apple juice throughout the day bathes teeth in sugar, promoting tooth decay. One study found that apple juice resulted in significantly greater enamel erosion when teeth were immersed for 24 hours compared to water or milk (26).

To protect dental health, avoid sipping apple juice over long periods, rinse your mouth after drinking it and drink through a straw to minimize contact with teeth.

Could Trigger GERD Symptoms

The high acidity of apple juice may worsen symptoms in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Research shows apple juice has a pH of 3.4, more acidic than orange juice or grapefruit juice (27).

The acidity can irritate the esophagus for those with reflux issues. If you have GERD, monitor symptoms when drinking apple juice.

May Contain Added Sugars

Watch for added sugars in store-bought juice, like high fructose corn syrup. Read labels and select 100% juice blends without unnecessary sugars or syrups added.

Could Contain Contaminants

Non-organic apples may contain traces of pesticides, chemicals and heavy metals. Washing apples helps reduce residues, but peeling is most effective for removing surface contaminants (28).

When possible, use organic apples when juicing to minimize exposure to potentially harmful compounds.

The Bottom Line

Drinking small amounts of freshly pressed apple juice daily can provide antioxidants, vitamin C and benefits for heart health, blood sugar control and gut health. However, apple juice lacks fiber and is high in sugar compared to whole apples.

Aim for 4–8 ounces (118–237 ml) per day of homemade juice. Limit portions and follow a diet rich in whole foods, including fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This ensures you receive the wide range of nutrients needed for good health.

Moderating your intake and being mindful of proper dental hygiene, digestion issues and added sugars can help you enjoy homemade apple juice as part of a healthy diet.

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