No, really. It has to do with juice and specifically fruits and vegetables. We all enjoy a chilled tall glass of juice to refresh ourselves. Not only does it look pleasing, it also satisfies thirst while tasting great and delivering health benefits in the form of vitamins.
So what is in your glass? Are you going for vegetable juices, fruit juices or those quickie cocktails? Here’s the lowdown on which juice to choose.
Drink your vegetables
I meant that. It is the best way to add powerful plant-based nutrients to your diet. Tomato has lycopene to lower the risk of prostate cancer while beet juice is known to reduce blood pressure. If you’d rather pulp it up, you can load up on fiber to satisfy your hunger. And guess what the catch is? None. Nada. Nix. You’re looking at the perfect juice that’s low on sugar and low on calories.
Some good juice options are:
If you, like me prefer to stick to one glass of juice per day (I am a coffee person, folks) pick one that packs in the best nutrition. Pomegranate ranks number one here with its high sugar and calories, but balances it with a solid dose of antioxidants which protect brain function and help prevent cancer.
Cranberry juice is rich in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system. Unsweetened cranberry juice relieves urinary tract infections.
Blueberries improve memory and prevent age-related memory loss.
Acai Berry Juice
This hot berry is all the rage now. It is supposed to be rich in antioxidants.
This one is also rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking cherry juice before and after your work-out can reduce muscle pain that relates to exercise.
Red Grape Juice
Red grape juice is good for the heart (oh, hush – am not talking about wine!). Red grape juice has flavonoids and resveratrol, which are powerful antioxidants. Ok, ok, red wine is good for the heart, in moderation. The point is, red grape juice is made from the whole fruit, but when you eat the grape you spit out the seed which is nutritious.
Prune juice is reputed to relieve constipation because it is rich in fiber and has a natural laxative called sorbitol. But hey, it is not just to get the s**t out. Prunes are packed with antioxidants, iron, and potassium.
Now for the worst juice choice – cocktails
You’ve seen the words juice cocktail and juice-flavored beverage. These only have minimal amounts of the real thing because they’re typically made of water and a form of sugar such as high fructose corn syrup with flavoring. Nutrition wise, these are like soft drinks – heavy on sugar and high on calories and almost zero nutrition. These kinds of “juices” can usher in obesity in children along with all the related health problems.
How about 100% Fruit Juice ?
One might assume that pure fruit juice with no added sweeteners is the ideal thing to imbibe. While this is loaded with vitamins and powerful antioxidants, the issue with 100% fruit juice is this: it is also high in sugar. Hence, don’t freak out on more than one serving per day.
Orange Juice is healthy, right?
The standard choice for breakfast, orange juice is loaded with vitamin C, a great immune booster. Orange juice also has added calcium and vitamin D which means stronger bones. Unsweetened orange juice is low on calories, but you’ll have to sacrifice some antioxidants.
What about kids?
Kids love juice – but for the young ‘uns below six, limit it to one cup a day. If they bug you for more, water it down.
Go for the whole fruit
The best thing, according to dieticians is to go for the actual fruit, rather than always opt for the juice. Eating the fruit fills you with fiber and gives you the enjoyment of biting into the pulp – I swear it is a sensory experience and also a great way to stave off hunger.
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Vidya Sury gets her juice as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She’s mom to a teenager who loves mango, lychee, orange and pineapple juice.