If you are like most Americans -- almost 70 percent -- you probably don’t get the recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. So it’s important to find new ways to add fruit into your diet. Drinking 100 percent fruit juice and watching your portion size are easy ways to do this. Be wary of fruit juices that contain sugars, as they increase the calorie content and reduce the health benefits.
Juices rich in vitamin C such as orange juice spur growth and repair tissue in your body by making skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Vitamin C can also help heal wounds faster and is important in maintaining bones, teeth and cartilage. Try a calcium-fortified orange juice for even more bone support.
Red and purple grape juice and pomegranate juice are just a few of the juices that offer a variety of heart-healthy benefits. Like red wine, dark grape juice contains antioxidants that can help reduce “bad” cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots and help your body maintain healthy blood pressure. Pomegranate juice also contains antioxidants and may block the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries when you have high levels of fat in your blood. Ruby red grapefruit juice is another option that is tied to lower cholesterol.
Cranberry juice can prevent bladder infections. The juice keeps some types of bacteria from sticking to the areas of the urinary tract. The same property may also protect against gum disease and ulcers. In both cases, a compound in the juice prevents bacteria from sticking to either the gums or the cells.
Low-sodium tomato juice may protect against cancer. Tomato juice contains lycopene, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of lung or stomach cancer. Choose a low-sodium tomato juice, as regular tomato juice contains more than a third of your daily sodium allowance. Vitamin C, found commonly in orange and grapefruit juices, is an antioxidant that can block free radicals that may cause cancer.
A study published in the “American Journal of Medicine” indicated that people who drank juices containing polyphenols, like grapefruit, cranberry and apple juices, had a 76-percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The simple addition of one of these juices to your breakfast each day can have lasting effects of your memory.
- Shape: Can Juice Really Make You Healthier?
- Eat Right: Does Grape Juice Have the Same Heart Benefits As Red Wine?
- Mayo Clinic: Can Drinking Pomegranate Juice Help Lower Cholesterol?
- New York Times Health: Vitamin C
- New York Times Health: The Claim: Can Cranberry Juice Cure Ulcers?
- Shape: Boost Your Health with Juice
Poppy Carpenter graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In addition to teaching journalism to junior high students, she also covers health and fitness for "PUSH Monthly" and Angie's List.