5 Juices that Deserve Your Attention
|By Michael Angelo, Senior Editor on Saturday, July 23, 2011|
|Sure, Grandma used to rant and rave about the benefits of prune juice but was there any truth to what she was saying? Here's the dish on five different juices and how they can benefit you.||
For the record, these five well known juices are not be the trendiest health drinks on the market. However these tried-and-true options offer a host of benefits, from supporting your immune system and making your skin more resilient to curbing your appetite before a meal. High in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, these healthy juices are as refreshing and rejuvenating as ever. Modern marketing has many consumers looking to exotic fruits and berries for their fill of naturally beneficial juices but there's no need to forget about the classic juices that your grandma used to spoon down your throat. As you experiment with new and exotic blends, don’t forget the nutritious classics.
Prune juice may not be the first drink that comes to mind when you think of energizing, beautifying beverages, but this healthy juice deserves a second glance. Prune juice is a source of vitamin B6, which contributes to red blood cell production and nerve function. Prune juice is also a source of iron, an essential mineral that allows your red blood cells to deliver oxygen throughout your body and facilitates your body’s production of energy. Although prune juice is packed with nutrients, this old-school juice may be best known for its efficiency as a natural laxative. If you’re feeling sluggish and heavy, starting the day with a glass of prune juice may help restore healthy bowel patterns and leave you feeling light and trim.
The vibrant orange hue of carrot juice comes from beta-carotene, an antioxidant pigment found in orange, yellow, red and dark green fruits and vegetables. During digestion, your body converts the beta-carotene in carrot juice into vitamin A, which supports healthy skin, hair and eyes. Vitamin A boosts your natural immunity by protecting the integrity of the membranes that line your respiratory, digestive and genitourinary tracts. If crunching a raw carrot first thing in the morning doesn’t appeal to you, try a glass of fresh carrot juice. Mix with pineapple juice and a splash of cranberry juice for a colorful and refreshing breakfast beverage.
Tomato juice offers vitamin C, potassium and lycopene, an antioxidant pigment that may help prevent certain forms of cancer, including cancers of the prostate, stomach or lungs. Tomato juice is a concentrated source of this pigment, which is found in red and pink fruits and vegetables. Lycopene may protect the health of your heart and eyes and lower your levels of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol. Although more clinical research is required to verify the preventive benefits of lycopene, the vitamins and minerals in tomato juice make this beverage a valuable addition to your diet. Add a stalk of celery to your glass and a twist of lime juice for extra fiber and a dash of flavor.
Sipping a glass of tart, chilled grapefruit juice before a meal may take the edge off your appetite while giving you a healthy dose of potassium and vitamin C. Potassium, an essential mineral and electrolyte, regulates blood pressure and promotes healthy heart function. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant vitamin that defends your body against the cellular damage caused by environmental toxins and other harmful substances. Ruby grapefruit juice is a nutritious variation for those who prefer more sweetness and less acidity.
If the taste of carrot juice can’t tempt you to increase your intake of vitamin A, apricot nectar is a sweet, refreshing beverage that’s gentle on the stomach and rich in beta-carotene. This healthy juice contributes to your daily requirements for potassium, iron and vitamin C. Apricot nectar with added ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is a soothing alternative to citrus juices if your stomach can’t tolerate acidic foods or beverages.
Acai berries, pomegranates and mangosteen all make for great sources of vitamins and nutrients, and even some tasty juices, but don't forget about the classic juices from bygone eras. Healthy juices provide a nutrient-dense source of vitamins A, C, B vitamins, potassium, iron and many other nutrients. A single cup serving of juice can provide a shot of vitamins and minerals without breaking your caloric budget. Alternate juice with fresh, whole produce to reap the health benefits of the fiber in raw fruits and vegetables.
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