Apple juice is a nutritious source of natural energy and several important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C and the minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium. As with all fresh juices, issues of food freshness and safety should be taken into consideration before drinking fresh apple juice, including questions of pasteurization and pesticide use. Freshly juiced apple juice might contain slight variations in nutrient content from processed apple juice, generally in the favor of greater nutrient availability, as some are lost when apples are processed for canning or bottling, and even more might be lost during storage, according to a 2002 study in the "Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand."
While the USDA does not have a nutritional listing for fresh apple juice, it does list the nutrition facts for canned or bottled apple juice, unsweetened, without added vitamin C. According to the National Nutrient Database, one cup of apple juice contains 114 calories, only 3 of which come from fat and less than 1 of which comes from protein. The rest of the calories in apple juice come from carbohydrates. Apple juice contains 28 g of carbohydrates per cup, 24 g of which are in the form of the natural sugars sucrose, glucose and fructose. Another half gram per cup is dietary fiber. One cup of apple juice contains 7.7 ounces of water.
A cup of apple juice contains 2.48 IU of vitamin A and 2.232 mg of vitamin C. It also contains trace amounts of several B vitamins and vitamin E as well as 4.464 mg of choline. As for minerals, the same amount of apple juice contains 250 mg of potassium, 20 mg of calcium, 17 mg of phosphorus, 12 mg of magnesium and 10 mg of sodium, as well as trace amounts of other essential minerals.
Apple juice contains numerous phytonutrients that have been extensively studied for their beneficial effects on risk of age-related and chronic conditions, including asthma, Alzheimer's disease, cancer and heart disease. For example, a 2006 study in the "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease" found that apple juice helped prevent cognitive decline related to age, genetics and diet in mice. A 2008 study in "Molecular Nutrition and Food Research" found that the phenolic compounds in apples and apple juice helped prevent the early onset of atherosclerosis in hamsters. Furthermore, the study found that these antioxidants seemed to be even more beneficial in apple juice than in the original fruit.
As the FDA points out in its consumer warning on produce safety, freshly juiced apple juice might not be pasteurized, meaning it still might contain bacteria and other possibly hazardous microorganisms. The best way to guard against this and still drink freshly juiced apple juice is to use only the freshest apples. Organic apples, ironically enough, might not be the best apples to use for fresh unpasteurized juice, as they are more likely than apples treated with pesticides to contain the microorganisms that could cause illness. Also, the USDA advises that if you squeeze your own juice and plan to store any that you follow proper, sanitary canning procedures.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
- "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease"; "Apple Juice Concentrate Maintains Acetylcholine Levels Following Dietary Compromise"; A. Chan et al; August 2006
- "Molecular Nutrition and Food Research"; "Phenolics From Purple, Grape, Apple, Purple Grape Juice and Apple Juice Prevents Early Atherosclerosis Induced by an Atherogenic Diet in Hamsters"; K. Decorde et al.; April 2008
- "Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand"; "Comparison of the Nutrient Content of Fresh Fruit Juices vs Commercial Fruit Juices"; N. Densupsoontorn et al.; August 2002
- FDA; "Produce Safety: Safe Handling of Raw Produce and Fresh-Squeezed Fruit and Vegetable Juices"; May 2011
- NDSU Extension Service; "Fresh Squeezed Facts: A Parent's Guide to Juice"; Jocey Mathern; February 2000
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.