Robert Odell Jr. believes that food is medicine and enjoys sharing and learning about the old and new wonders of natural remedies.
For years I've loved juices of all kinds, including both fruit and vegetable juices. Juice tastes great and has many health benefits. Consuming fruit and vegetable juice can help remove toxins from your body, boost your immune system, and aid digestion.
Apple juice and apple cider are two very similar juices, and I wondered if one was better than the other. Do they have the same health benefits? Do they taste the same? Watch what happens when apple cider goes head-to-head with unfiltered apple juice for three rounds.
Round 1: Health Benefits
Apple cider comes from apples, which are mostly water. Apple cider contains polyphenols, which are plant compounds that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants can be beneficial in terms of reducing inflammation, maintaining healthy brain function, and fighting against free radicals and cell damage. They may also help lower your risk of certain types of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
If you have ever placed an apple in a juicer, you know that it is mostly water. Because it is 88% water, apple juice is a great supporter of hydration. The polyphenols in apple juice help fight against inflammation in the body, heart disease, and cancer. Studies suggest that apple juice may support brain function and mental health as you age.
As far as health benefits are concerned, apple cider and unfiltered apple juice seem about tied. Round one is a draw.
Round 2: Calories and Sugar Content
Containing 120 calories, continually swigging down a large amount of apple cider can cause weight gain. One cup (8 ounces) of apple cider contains 24 grams of sugar. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than nine teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day for men. The number for women is lower at six teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day. With one glass of apple cider, your daily allowance of sugar is nearly reached. I don't know about you, but one glass of apple cider is never enough for me.
One cup of apple juice contains 114 calories. Apple juice has a tendency not to be very filling. For that reason, the average adult will consume a little over eight ounces (one cup). One cup of the delectable liquid places the average woman over her daily sugar intake. After one cup of juice, men only have 36 calories left of their daily sugar intake. Most guys will knock that out with the second cup of juice.
As far as calories and sugar content are concerned, apple cider and unfiltered apple juice are virtually the same. Round two of apple cider vs. unfiltered apple juice is a draw.
Round 3: Taste
Americans often describe apple cider as unfiltered apple juice. For that reason, they consider apple cider to have a more rigid and sharper taste than traditional, clearer looking apple juice. Some go so far as to call apple cider a more "grown-up" version of apple juice.
I have gone to the Whole Foods supermarket and purchased a jug of unfiltered, pure organic apple juice. From my experience, it tastes better than traditional filtered apple juice. The apple taste is more pronounced than the filtered, pasteurized product. It even smells like fresh apples. I feel that unfiltered apple juice is the real deal. Based on the description people have given of apple cider, I say unfiltered apple juice tastes identical and just as good as apple cider.
As far as taste is concerned, apple cider and unfiltered apple juice are no different. Round three of apple cider vs. unfiltered apple juice is a draw.
The Foreign Wild Card
The winner in the matchup between apple cider and unfiltered apple juice may be difficult to determine. You have to be careful with apple cider because it may hit apple juice below the belt.
Outside the United States, cider usually refers to a fermented, alcoholic beverage. It's what Americans call hard cider. So if you are outside of the United States, apple cider is the adult beverage, and unfiltered apple juice is for the kids. In the U.S., unfiltered apple juice is not only the same thing as apple cider, but it can also become apple cider. When unfiltered apple juice becomes mulled (heated) with citrus fruits and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, it becomes spiced apple cider.
In conclusion, I would say that apple cider and unfiltered apple juice are the same. When you pasteurize and filter apple juice, you get the clear, sweet, clean beverage commonly seen on most grocery store shelves. I like both filtered and unfiltered apple juice. I particularly enjoy the unfiltered drink. I notice that during the winter holiday season, the labels on the unfiltered apple juice bottles change to cider. Still, the stuff inside of the jars is the same. So, if a recipe calls for apple cider and all the store has is apple juice, grab the unfiltered apple juice, and you will have what you need.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Robert Odell Jr