Juicing for Health

Friday December 18, 2015

Carrot juice

It is said that the daily consumption of nutrient dense juice can be a contributing factor in the recovery from illness and disease.  It is also a very effective practice for maintaining health and vitality. Unfortunately, most individuals do not have the time to prepare fresh-pressed juice on a daily basis, so the solution lies in purchasing premade juices from the local grocer. The majority of commercially-made juice is prepared from juice concentrates.  To concentrate a juice, the juice is processed to remove a significant portion of the water, taking with it some of the important and essential water-soluble vitamins and antioxidants. These natural nutrients are not replenished when the juice concentrate is reconstituted by adding back water before it is packaged. Juices made from concentrate are often blended with other juices, sweeteners and flavours to try and provide a consistent flavour between batches. The resulting juice is often subjected to further nutrient loss due to additional processing. Luckily, juice that is NOT from concentrate is generally fresher, has more nutritional value, is less processed, and is more representative of the natural juice of a particular growing area or growing season.  Juice that is NOT from concentrate is manufactured by using the whole food.  Juice from concentrate uses the end by-product of the food after the food’s natural liquids have been removed.

 

Considering the health benefits that fruits and vegetables have to offer, purchasing juice products that are made from the whole fruit or vegetable and NOT from concentrate is a sound decision. Good quality whole food juices that are NOT from concentrate, offer a wide range of health benefits. Here are some examples.

  • Pomegranate Juice - Taken daily, pomegranate juice has been shown to prevent the thickening of arteries, slow cholesterol oxidation by almost half and increase blood flow to the heart.  It also has a higher polyphenol content than red wine, and has three times more antioxidants than an equivalent amount of green tea. A glass of pomegranate juice offers 100% of the recommended daily requirements of folic acid and, 50% of the daily recommended dosage of vit.C, A and E.
  • Tart Cherry Juice – A worthy super fruit, a substantial and growing body of scientific research has linked tart cherries to cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory benefits, and reduced pain from gout, arthritis and intensive exercise. A unique array of antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients, including anthocyanins 1 and 2, give cherries their bright red colour and have been shown to block the enzymes associated with inflammation. Tart cherries also have the highest concentration of natural melatonin of any food; the perfect night cap!
  • Wild Blueberry Juice - Beautifully blue and extremely healthy for you, blueberries are now one of the most researched fruits. As one of the highest ranking anti-oxidant rich foods available, blueberries have been found to help support brain health and night vision, and provide many unique antioxidants to fight aging.
  • Beet Juice – Beet (root) juice has long been recommended in India and parts of South Asia as a tonic for expectant mothers. North American nutritionists are now making similar recommendations for Canadian women during pregnancy, in part because of the high iron content of beet juice.  The deep, ruby red colour means that it is loaded with antioxidants. So, whether beet juice represents part of a healthy start in life or part of a plan for life-long health maintenance, the delicious and refreshing taste is a welcome addition to any healthy diet.
  • Pear Juice - Due to the hypoallergenic nutrient profile, pears are often the first foods offered to babies. Rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin K, bone health can benefit from these two nutrients provided by pears. Pear juice can help re-hydrate and quench the thirst of even the most food sensitive individuals.
  • Concord Grape Juice - This gorgeously purple juice is rich in antioxidants called proanthocyanins that have been found to protect brain health and support memory function. Proanthocyanins are also known for their ability to support cardiovascular health and keep arteries working properly.
  • Pure Cranberry Juice – Pure cranberry juice is deliciously tart and healthy for the body!   Pure, unsweetened cranberry juice is the perfect balance between function and form. Cranberry juice helps to prevent and ease urinary tract infections, soothes heartburn and is an excellent source of anti-oxidants which help protect our bodies from aging.

To ensure nutrient density in the juice that you purchase, look for juices that are “NOT from concentrate”, unfiltered and organic where possible.

 

by Marva Ward, CNP