Saturday, July 13, 2024

How to Choose Healthy Juices

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How to Choose Healthy Juices

Want to incorporate fruit or veggie juice in your diet but don’t know how to choose the healthiest options? Read on!

When choosing juice for your family, remember that not all juices are created nutritionally equal.

Juice checklist

Keep the following suggestions in mind the next time you stroll down the juice aisle.

  • Look for juices labelled “100 percent juice.” Juices labelled “beverage,” “drink,” or “cocktail” often contain added sugars (such as high-fructose corn syrup), sodium, and artificial colours.
  • Opt for cloudy juices with visible sediment at the bottom of the bottle. The cloudier the juice, the more skin, pulp, and seeds it contains. For example, a glass of pulpy orange juice packs a stronger nutritional punch than a glass of clear apple juice.
  • When possible, choose organic juices to avoid pesticide and chemical contamination.
  • Look for juices that are pasteurized, as unpasteurized juices may contain pathogens that may cause illness.

Best juice choices

When in doubt, try one of the following nutritious and antioxidant-rich juices.

Orange juice

When it comes to vitamin C content, orange juice is one of the best. Just 1 cup (250 mL) provides 207 percent of the daily recommended value of this immune-boosting vitamin. Vitamin C protects the body from damaging free radicals, promotes healthy growth and repair of tissues, is essential in wound healing, and, when eaten with a meal, even aids in iron absorption.

Commercially available orange juice is also commonly fortified with bone-building calcium and vitamin D.

Powerful purple juices

Grape, cranberry, and pomegranate juices get their deep red and purple hues from a flavonoid pigment called anthocyanin and contain disease-fighting flavonoids called proanthocyanidins. One study found proanthocyanidins to possess 50 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin C and 20 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin E. The proanthocyanidins in cranberry juice, in particular, are thought to ward off bacterial and viral infections.

Another purple superstar, prune juice, is proving to be more than just a digestive aid. Prune juice is high in iron, zinc, and dietary fibre. It also contains neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids, two unique plant phenols that may protect the fat in cell membranes from oxidative damage.

Veggie concoctions

Tomato juice is packed full of heart-healthy lycopene, while kid-friendly carrot juice is high in the antioxidant beta carotene. When needed, our bodies convert beta carotene into vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining a strong immune system, healthy skin, and good vision. One cup (250 mL) of carrot juice provides a whopping 903 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A.

Vegetable juices also often contain more dietary fibre than fruit juices.

Moderation is key

Although there are many positive health benefits associated with drinking 100 percent juice, because of its tendency to be high in calories and natural sugars, drinking too much of it can lead to weight gain, tooth decay, and even malnutrition.

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