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Is it OK to mix fruit and vegetable juice?

Juicing fruits and vegetables is a popular way to get more nutrients into your diet. Some people enjoy making fruit juices, while others prefer vegetable juices. But is it okay to mix fruits and veggies together in one juice? There are pros and cons to mixing produce in your juicing recipes. Keep reading to learn more.

Potential Benefits of Mixed Juices

There are some potential advantages to mixing fruits and vegetables into one juice:

  • Greater variety of nutrients – Fruits and veggies each contain their own unique set of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Combining produce can lead to a more diverse phytonutrient and antioxidant intake.
  • Enhanced flavor – Some veggie-based juices have strong, earthy flavors. Adding fruits like apples, oranges, pineapple or mango can improve the taste.
  • Easier to drink – For people new to juicing, straight vegetable juice may be an acquired taste. Adding sweet fruit makes them more palatable and enjoyable to drink.
  • Convenient – Mixing fruits and veggies means you only have one juice to prepare rather than two separate ones.

The phytonutrient diversity gained from mixing fruits and vegetables may provide health advantages. Research shows that phytonutrients found in plant foods provide many protective effects, including cancer prevention, better blood sugar regulation, decreased inflammation and more.

Potential Downsides of Mixing Fruit and Veggie Juice

Although mixed produce juices have some benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider as well:

  • Lower veggie content – Adding fruit can significantly increase the sugar and calorie content of your juice. This may lead you to use less vegetable juice than you’d consume on its own.
  • Blood sugar spikes – Fruit juice contains simple sugars that can spike your blood sugar levels quickly. This is especially true if you have a juice that is fruit-focused rather than veggie-focused.
  • Change in effects – Vegetables and fruits have their own unique health properties. Mixing produce may diminish the full effects you’d get from straight veggie or fruit juices.
  • Dilution of nutrients – Juicing extracts a high concentration of nutrients from produce. Adding more fruit dilutes the nutrient density you’d get from a straight vegetable juice.

If you include a lot of fruit or focus mainly on low nutrient fruits like apples or pineapple, you may end up with a less nutritious juice overall.

Best Practices for Mixing Fruit and Vegetable Juices

Not all mixed produce juices are created equal. If you want to mix fruits and vegetables, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use mostly vegetables – The juice should be primarily composed of veggies like spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, carrots or beets. Vegetable juice provides more nutrients than fruit juice.
  • Add lemon or lime – Citrus fruits have a low glycemic index. Adding lemon or lime gives flavor without excess sugar.
  • Limit high-sugar fruits – It’s best to avoid too much apple, pineapple, mango, grapes or other high-sugar fruits.
  • Watch portion size – Stick to a 1 cup serving size of your mixed juices. Larger portions spike blood sugar and calories.
  • Pair with protein – Having a veggie-based mixed juice along with protein helps control blood sugar response. Good pairings include nuts, seeds, eggs or Greek yogurt.

Following these guidelines can allow you to get the perks of mixed juices without going overboard on sugar. Use fruits sparingly to lightly flavor primarily vegetable-based juices.

Nutrient Content in Common Fruits and Vegetables

To make a good mixed juice, it helps to understand the nutrient differences between produce options. Here is a comparison of key nutrients in common juicing ingredients:

Fruit or Veggie Calories Sugar Vitamin A Vitamin C Potassium
Apple 95 25 grams 54 IU 8.4 mg 195 mg
Orange 86 21 grams 71 IU 113 mg 263 mg
Pineapple 82 16 grams 58 IU 78.9 mg 195 mg
Kale 49 0.2 grams 10,302 IU 134 mg 491 mg
Carrot 52 12 grams 19,150 IU 9.3 mg 546 mg
Beets 58 13 grams 3 IU 4.9 mg 325 mg

As you can see, fruits tend to be higher in sugar and calories compared to vegetables. Veggies like kale and carrots contain more vitamin A, vitamin C and other nutrients per calorie.

Recipe Ideas for Mixed Juices

Here are some healthy ideas for mixed fruit and vegetable juices:

Green Tea Grapefruit Juice

  • 1 pink grapefruit, peeled
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 tbsp green tea powder
  • 1-inch ginger, peeled

Berry Beet Juice

  • 1 beet, trimmed
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 green apple
  • 1-inch ginger, peeled
  • 2 carrots, trimmed
  • 1 lemon, peeled

Tropical Green Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 kale leaves
  • 1/2 pineapple, cored
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1-inch ginger, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled

Each of these recipes uses fruit as a small component to add flavor and sweetness to vegetable-centric juices. This helps retain high nutrient levels from the veggies.

Should You Avoid Mixed Juices?

Some health advocates recommend avoiding fruit-veggie combos entirely. For example, here are two viewpoints against mixed produce juices:

  • Dr. Robert Young – This scientist believes fruits and veggies digest very differently, so they should not be combined. Proponents of his alkaline diet shun mixed produce juices.
  • Medical medium – Anthony William, the medical medium, teaches that fruits require different enzymes than vegetables. He says that combining them causes digestive stress.

However, there is limited evidence to support avoiding all mixed produce juices. Small amounts of fruit may not create major digestion issues for most people.

If you experience bloating, gas or indigestion from mixing fruits and veggies, it may be best to avoid it though. Pay attention to how your body responds when trying these juice combos.

The Bottom Line

Combining fruits and vegetables in juice can provide more diverse phytonutrients and enhanced flavor compared to just juicing veggies or fruits alone. However, juices heavy on fruit increase sugar, dilute nutrients and may cause energy crashes.

The healthiest approach is making juices composed primarily of low-sugar vegetables like spinach or kale. Adding small amounts of citrus, berries or other produce can provide flavor. But fruits should not make up the bulk of mixed juices.

Prioritize veggie-based combos and moderate portion sizes. This allows you to gain the benefits of produce mixing without drawbacks like blood sugar spikes. But as with any diet change, pay attention to how mixed juices make your body feel.