A new paper published in Nutrition Reviews (1) reports that including a daily glass of 100% fruit juice in the diet can help people move closer towards achieving the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables.
In Europe, just 14% of adults on average consume five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, while 34% don’t eat these on a daily basis. (2) Reasons for poor compliance include negative perceptions about convenience, effort and low availability out of the home.
A research review by Professor David Benton and Dr Hayley Young has now considered which factors can make consuming fruit and vegetables challenging, and what role 100% fruit juice could play in encouraging increased compliance.
When considering psychosocial factors that influence whether we eat fruit and vegetables, self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation are both important.
Self-efficacy is a belief in one’s ability to accomplish a task or succeed in specific situations. Research shows that improving self-efficacy increases the intention to eat more fruit and vegetables, which results in improved consumption.
Intrinsic motivation is when we freely choose our behaviour, as opposed to extrinsic motivation, which describes something done for social approval. Intrinsic motivation occurs when there is: competence; autonomy and relatedness/support from others.
It was reported that 100% fruit juice is convenient and requires little effort as it is easily transportable, requires no preparation, has a reasonable shelf-life, is inexpensive and can be consumed on the move. This suggests that 100% fruit juice has a role in helping to improve compliance with fruit and vegetable recommendations.
Evidence from observational studies suggests that regular fruit juice consumers tend to eat more whole fruit and vegetables and have diets that rank higher in nutritional quality measures.
The authors concluded that: “Those arguing against consuming fruit juice emphasise that it is a source of sugar lacking fibre, yet juice provides nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids, and polyphenols that offer health-related benefits. Actively encouraging the daily consumption of fruit juice in public health policy could help populations achieve the 5-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake.” As per EU authorised health claims, vitamin C helps the immune system to work normally, and helps protect cells from oxidative stress.
Read more on the study here
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE:
(1) Benton D & Young HA (2019) Role of fruit juice in achieving the 5-a-day recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake. Nutr Rev Sep 4. pii: nuz031. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuz031. [Epub ahead of print]
(2) Eurostat https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Fruit_and_vegetable_consumption_statistics