Juice is packed with nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals — all essential components for optimal human health. But did you know that many juices have more than just fruit juice? A recent study found that the antioxidant levels in orange juice are comparable to those of red wine!
What makes a juice “good”? The USDA defines fresh squeezed juice as 100% pure fruit juice obtained by pressing whole fruits without heat or chemicals. Juices that contain added sugar, flavorings, or preservatives aren’t considered fresh squeezed.
Here are 10 best-selling juices according to market research firm Nielsen:
Apple Juice – Apple juice contains high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and dietary fiber.
Orange Juice – Orange juice is loaded with vitamin C and potassium. However, orange juice doesn’t contain much vitamin A, calcium, iron, or magnesium.
Cranberry Juice – Cranberries are rich in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that gives cranberry juice its bright pink color. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that protect against heart disease and cancer.
Grapefruit Juice – Grapefruits are filled with vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A, and folate. They also contain lycopene, a carotenoid pigment that protects cells from damage.
Carrot Juice – Carrots are packed with beta-carotene, a nutrient that converts into vitamin A in our bodies. Beta-carotene helps protect us against lung, skin, and eye cancers.
Tomato Juice – Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, a compound that fights prostate cancer and lowers cholesterol. Lycopene also boosts immunity and reduces inflammation.
Kiwi Fruit – Kiwis are full of vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate. Vitamin C helps build strong bones and teeth while vitamin E protects cell membranes from oxidative damage. Folate helps convert homocysteine into methionine, which is needed for proper DNA synthesis.
Mango Juice – Mangoes are loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. Vitamins C and K support bone growth and immune function. Folate promotes fertility and prevents birth defects.
Pear Juice – Pears are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K1, and folate. These three compounds work together to promote blood clotting, strengthen bones, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Watermelon Juice – Watermelons are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C supports collagen production, which keeps skin elastic and smooth. Vitamin A strengthens eyesight, improves night vision, and aids digestion.
The Best Juicing Tips
If you’re new to juicing, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
• Start slow. Juicing isn’t a quick fix, but it does take time to reap the benefits. Begin slowly with half a cup of freshly extracted juice each day. Gradually increase your daily consumption until you find yourself drinking two cups per day.
• Drink plenty of water. Juicing releases toxins stored in the body, so be sure to drink eight glasses of water every day. This will flush your system and dilute the concentrated flavors of your juice.
• Use organic ingredients when possible. Organic produce is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. It’s also free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
• Don’t overdo it. Drinking too much juice could lead to indigestion and diarrhea. Aim for no more than four ounces of juice per serving.
• Keep it simple. While adding spices and herbs to juices adds flavor, they also add calories. Stick to citrus fruits, apples, pears, carrots, celery, cucumbers, spinach, kale, parsley, mint, ginger root, garlic, lemon, lime, cilantro, basil, dill, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla bean, and cocoa powder.
How Does Fresh Squeezed Juice Compare To Other Beverages?
Freshly made juice is far superior to store-bought juice because it retains higher concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. In addition, fresh juice tastes great and provides immediate energy. On top of that, fresh juice is less expensive than bottled juice. Bottled juice often contains artificial sweeteners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and preservatives.
Is Juice Good For You?
Yes! According to the American Heart Association, drinking up to six 8-ounce servings of fruit and vegetable juice each week may lower the risk of stroke. Research shows that consuming 200 milligrams of soluble fiber each day may decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. And drinking five to seven cups of green tea each week may improve memory retention.
Why Should You Buy Fresh Juice Instead Of Store Bought?
Store-bought juice comes from concentrate. Concentrate is a mixture of water, pulp, and solids that has been processed through centrifuges. As a result, concentrate is low in nutritional value and lacks the enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants found in fresh fruit and vegetables.
Which Type Of Juice Is Most Nutritious?
When choosing between fresh juice and concentrate, choose fresh juice. It contains more nutrients and fewer calories. Plus, it’s cheaper than buying juice in bottles.
Can I Freeze Juice?
Freezing juice doesn’t affect the quality of the product. Simply pour juice into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. Then transfer frozen cubes to freezer bags. Once frozen, place the bag of juice inside another freezer bag and label it with the date. Frozen juice will keep for several months.
Where Can I Get Fresh Juice?
You can buy fresh juice at grocery stores, juice bars, farmer’s markets, natural food stores, and online retailers. Look for brands that use only certified organic ingredients.
Do You Need A Blender Or Juicer To Make Fresh Juice?
A blender is fine for blending small quantities of juice. However, if you plan on making large batches of juice, a juicer is recommended. Juicers extract juice from fruits and veggies using mechanical pressure.
What Are Some Healthy Juicing Recipes?
Try this recipe for a healthy start to your morning:
- 2 oranges
- 4 stalks of celery
- ½ head of romaine lettuce
- 1 apple
Cut the rind off the oranges. Cut the peel and white part of the apple into pieces. Slice the celery and remove the leaves. Wash the lettuce and cut into bite sized pieces. Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glass jars and refrigerate. Enjoy within 24 hours.
For an easy afternoon snack try this recipe:
- 3 medium tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Serve chilled.
For a tasty treat try these recipes:
- 6 strawberries
- 1 banana
- 1 pear
- ½ cup pineapple chunks
- ¾ cup blueberries
Chop the strawberries and put them in a bowl. Peel and chop the banana and add it to the bowl along with the pear and pineapple. Add the blueberries and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
It doesn’t matter what type of juice you drink, as long as you drink enough. The purpose of this article was to give you some basic information about juice so that you can make informed choices when shopping for your next bottle or carton of juice.