A few weeks ago my significant other came home clutching a bottle of Açai (ah-sigh-ee) Juice.
An involuntary groan escaped my lips. A well-meaning marketer had foisted the ‘superjuice’ bottle upon her – claiming it would help with a multitude of health ailments.
I was deeply suspicious (as most people are when someone who recommends a product also happens to sell it).
However – I now have some facts to go with my suspicions – thanks to Australia’s largest consumer organization Choice.Choice compared a number of these so-called super-juices and found that:
- their health claims are exaggerated.
- the products are overpriced.
- most of the drinks are sold via a Network Marketing (or MLM) process.
Certainly the drinks contain a range of nutrients, but you may be surprised at the (often touted) antioxidant content.
For example (Note: TAC means Total Antioxidant Capacity)
- You’d need to drink almost five 30mL serves of Tahitian Noni Juice to match the TAC of a navel orange (2540).
- Three 30mL serves of Xanberry Mangosteen Juice Plus would still fall short of matching the TAC of a cup of strawberries (5938), raspberries (6058) or cultivated blueberries (9019).
- The TAC of the humble Red Delicious apple (5900) is roughly equivalent to ten 30mL serves of Himalayan Goji Juice.
What about the scientific evidence? Choice provides some examples of potential health benefits. However real clinical trials on humans are scarce.
The Bottom Line
Fruit contains a vast array of nutrients – and most of us are not consuming enough fruits or vegetables. However, no single fruit or food will ever be the solution for all of our ailments, and – if anything – a diverse diet is best.
These super-juices are pricey and come with a number of spurious and anecdotal health claims.
Be sensible and wise. It’s both sad and astonishing to see people with a diet consisting of pie and chips believing that a bottle of super-juice will make them well (via)