According to the International Food and Information Council (IFIC) 2023 Food Trends, healthful beverages are one of the top emerging food trends in 2023. This is a result of consumers searching for added benefits like energy and stress management/reduction, in liquid form. While IFIC research shows more energy is sought across all adult populations, supporting emotional/mental health ranks at the top of the list, particularly for Gen Z populations. This generation is also driving the growing interest in mocktails and nonalcoholic options at restaurants as well as in retail.
One hundred percent juice is the perfect “wellness” drink for all ages – adults and children — and especially the Gen Z population. Research shows drinking 100% juice on a daily basis can help you reap both physical and mental rewards. That’s because juice is a healthy beverage that supplies essential nutrients that contribute to health as well as plays a role in maintaining energy levels. Juice has also been shown to improve diet quality and increase fruit and vegetable intake. Studies show higher consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of depression. This data prompted the Produce for Better Health Foundation to launch a campaign called Food Rooted in A Better Mood. Drinking juice may help with mental health too, as a recent study shows juice drinking is associated with lower anxiety levels.
Here is the research supporting the physical and mental health benefits of juice:
Study: Intake of 100% fruit juice is associated with improved diet quality of adults: NHANES 2013–2016 analysis
Authors: Sanjiv Agarwal et. al.
Nutrients, October 2019
NHANES analysis of adults (19+ years) which assessed diet quality and isocalorically replaced 100% fruit juice intakes with whole fruit equivalents in a modeling analysis. Found 100% fruit juice consumption was associated with better nutrient intake and better diet quality than nonconsumption. Consumers had higher diet quality (10% higher Healthy Eating Index, HEI 2015 score), and higher intakes of energy, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin D than non-consumers. Consumption of 100% fruit juice was also associated with lower risk of being overweight/obese (−22%) and having metabolic syndrome (−27%).
Study: A longitudinal study of fruit juice consumption during preschool years and subsequent diet quality and BMI
Li Wan, et. al.
BMC Nutrition, May 2020
Longitudinal study, where researchers tracked diet records as well as height and weight data from 100 children 3-6 years of age enrolled in the Framingham Children’s Study and followed them for 10 years. They found drinking 100% fruit juice early in life is associated with healthier dietary patterns in later childhood/adolescence without adversely impacting weight gain. Those preschoolers who drank juice had higher intakes of whole fruit and total fruit and were more likely to meet Dietary Guideline recommendations than non-juice drinkers.
Study: Potential health benefits of (poly)phenols derived from fruit and 100% fruit juice
Authors: Kacie K.H.Y. Ho, Mario G. Ferruzzi, and JoLynne D. Wightman
Nutrition Reviews, September 2019
This narrative review provides an overview of fruit (poly)phenols and their potential health benefits. It looks at polyphenols derived from fruit and 100% fruit juice. While the specific focus is on those polyphenols derived from dark-colored whole fruit and 100% fruit juice (eg, grapes, berries, pomegranate, and cranberry). Orange and apple are also discussed because these are commonly consumed fruits/100% fruit juices in the United States.
Results showed that similar to coffee and tea, fruit and fruit juices have been identified as major (poly)phenol contributors in the US diet. This research suggests bioactives found in fruit and fruit juice may have the potential to positively impact human health. Some of the health benefits associated with fruit polyphenols found in this study include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, which is also supported by a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published in August 2019 by Gowri Ramen, and benefits to neurocognitive function and exercise performance.
Study: Perspective: the role of beverages as a source of nutrients and phytonutrients
Authors: Mario G Ferruzzi, et. Al
Advances in Nutrition, November 2019
Review article which uses scientific evidence to provide a better understanding of the role of beverages in the diet. Nutrient density related to macronutrients, micronutrients and bioactives (phytonutrients) are discussed for several beverages including 100% juices. Modeling food intake patterns showed that without 100% fruit juice diets would be substantially lower in vitamin C and potassium than for patterns including fruits plus 100% fruit juice. Data shows 100% juice is considered a key source of phytonutrients including carotenoids (e.g., orange, carrot, and tomato juice) and phenolic acids (e.g., purple grape, cranberry, and apple juice). Fortified juices are important for intake of key nutrients like vitamins C and D and calcium.
Study: Association of 100% fruit juice consumption with cognitive measures, anxiety, and depression in US adults
Authors: Sanjiv Agarwal, Victor L. Fulgoni III and Paul F. Jacques
Nutrients, November 2022
This study used 24-hour dietary recall data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1988–1994, 1999–2018 for adults 20+ years (N = 62,606) to assess 100% fruit juice intake, and an NHANES questionnaire data were used for the assessment of neurocognition. Association of usual intake of 100% fruit juice with neurocognitive outcomes were assessed by regression analysis after adjusting for demographic, lifestyle, dietary, and health-related covariates. The study explored the potential associations between fruit juice consumption and neurocognitive markers. The present regression analysis of cross-sectional data from NHANES shows that the adults who consume 100% fruit juice had a 16–19% lower frequency of anxiety than those non-consumer adults. This is approximately a 20% lower number of days experiencing anxiety. While only about 1 day per month, this would be 12 days per year. Nutrition has been previously shown to play a role in prevention and treatment of anxiety.
One hundred percent juice is a convenient, affordable and widely available beverage that, when consumed in appropriate amounts, can and should be part of a healthy diet.