Lindsay Watts, RD
What we drink is as important to our bodies as what we eat. In recent years, Americans are rethinking what is in their glasses, bottles and cans. Regular soda (or pop) consumption has dropped 25% over the past twenty years as bottled water sales continue to climb.1 Cutting back on empty calories is good, but there is more to consider when choosing your drink. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the majority of the US population falls short of the recommendations for a variety of nutrients and food groups including veggies.2 While the dietary guidelines recommend that at least half of your fruit and vegetables come from whole foods, up to one cup of 100% juice and juice with no added sugar per day can help you meet recommendations. From fruit and vegetable juices, to smoothies, beverages can pack a powerful nutritional punch that can help you reach your dietary goals, especially for these food groups.
Fruit & Veggie Up
Juicing is trendy among many consumers and fresh juice bars are so ubiquitous, you likely have one in a nearby neighborhood or even within your local supermarket. Despite this, overall juice consumption has declined 21% from 2004-20141, a concern when most Americans aren’t meeting their fruit and vegetable recommendations2-4. Whole fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients and dietary fiber that can be lost in the juicing process. However, juice can be an excellent source of many important nutrients and a refreshing way to fit more fruit and veggies into your diet. Look in the aisles of your grocery store for 100% juice like V8®100% Vegetable Juice and juice with no added sugar like V8® Vegetable Juice Blends.
As a Main Ingredient
Juice is great on the go or as thirst-quencher, but can also be added to your breakfast for a tasty, nutritional boost. Blend juice with low-fat yogurt, fruit, and vegetables for a delicious smoothie you can enjoy on the go. Need something a little more substantial? Try out a smoothie bowl like this Fruit and Granola Topped Smoothie Bowl made with V8® Healthy Greens Veggie Blends. Top with your favorite fruit, nuts, seeds, and other ingredients for a dish made just for you.
When the weather heats up, we often crave something cool and refreshing. Instead of hitting up the ice cream stand, try making juice pops with 100% juice.
Pour juice into pop molds and add your own fresh cut fruits for a sweet and healthy treat. In addition to staying cool through the warmer weather, it is also important to stay hydrated. Flavor your water by adding your favorite fruits, vegetables, and herbs into your water bottle. Try lemon and a bit of thyme, sliced ginger and orange slices, or cucumber and mint for refreshing infusions.
We have all heard the adage “Knowledge is Power”. Be mindful of made-to-order beverages from your favorite coffee shops, quick marts, and juice bars. While fruity smoothies, fresh juice drinks, and premium coffees can be tempting, they may also provide extra calories from added fats and sugars. Keep nutrition in mind by checking out the nutrition facts and ingredients in your favorite drink on the company’s website. If your go-to turns out to be a little decadent, be mindful of your portion size.
We often think of food as the main way to get our nutrition, but what we drink matters just as much. Drinks can help us reach fruit and veggie goals, stay hydrated, or be used in delicious recipes. Make smart beverage choices as a part of an overall healthy diet to help you meet your wellness goals.
Lindsay is a nutrition communications analyst at the Campbell Soup Company where she coordinates health professional and consumer communications. She also works with internal and external partners on retail health and wellness programs. Prior to her role at Campbell, Lindsay worked as an in-store retail dietitian. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from West Chester University and completed her dietetic internship with Pennsylvania State University.
- The Decline of ‘Big Soda’
- 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- State of the Plate: 2015 Study on America’s Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables
- Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations