Breakfast is supposedly the most important meal of the day. Do you start your day off right with a good breakfast? What do you like to drink? Water? Milk? If you're like a lot of kids, there's nothing quite like a delicious glass of fresh orange juice to get your day started off right.
Fresh fruits are healthy sources of all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Many of the juices of fruits also make tasty drinks. But do all fruits have juices?
Some fruits are filled with natural juices. Oranges spring to mind instantly, of course. There's nothing quite like slicing open a fresh orange and squeezing its juices into a glass to drink.
Many other fruits are naturally juicy. Pineapples, apples, grapes, and cherries come to mind. Of course, other fruits aren't always so juicy. Have you ever had a big glass of fresh banana juice? Probably not…
Just about any fruit — or vegetable, for that matter — can be mashed up to create juice. Even though store shelves aren't filled with bottled banana juice, you can still throw fresh bananas into a blender to create a juicy puree that makes a fantastic smoothie!
Some people drink fresh fruit juice instead of eating a certain number of fresh fruits every day. While fruit juice can contain many of the same vitamins and minerals contained in fresh fruit, it's not always an exact substitute.
When fresh fruits are juiced, their skins are often strained out. Unfortunately, many vitamins and minerals, including valuable fiber, can be lost when the skins are thrown out. That's why it's important to include fresh fruits in your diet on a regular basis.
Children should also be careful to limit the amount of fruit juices they consume daily. Some fruit juices contain lots of carbohydrates. These usually take the form of added sugar from high-fructose corn syrup. These products can be high in calories and not very nutritious at all. Some can even contain more sugar than most sodas!
Even if a juice is 100% fruit juice, you must be careful to monitor the amount of natural sugars in the fruit juice. Some fruits have juices that are extremely high in natural sugars. That's why they're so sweet and tasty! Grape juice, for example, can contain more sugars than most sodas even in its purest state.
Before buying fruit juice, be sure to look at its nutritional label. Compare the amount of calories and sugars contained in it to other drinks, such as sodas. Be sure to keep an eye on the amount of sugars and calories you're including in your diet, as drinking too much of the wrong kinds of fruit juice can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Drinking moderate amounts of 100% fruit juice can provide loads of necessary vitamins and minerals and be part of a well-balanced diet.