Juice – the healthy alternative

Glass of beet juice
Glass of beet juice
via Twitter

Along with vegetables, fruit is our most important source of carotene and vitamin C.

Vitamin C helps boost the immune system and helps make collagen, a protein that is essential for building healthy bones, teeth and connective tissue. It assists in the absorption of iron from plant foods into the bloodstream. As an antioxidant, it also helps prevent damage to cells.

Interestingly, the body doesn’t manufacture vitamin C naturally, so we rely solely on our diet for this essential vitamin. The best sources of vitamin C are vegetables, fruit and fruit juices.

Juice better than supplements

Fruit juices contain a large number of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and plant phytochemicals that are essential for maintaining good health. It has been proved that drinking fruit juice is a better alternative to gaining complete health benefits than taking supplements that provide each nutrient separately.

Pure squeezed fruit is as beneficial as eating a piece of raw fruit, and one glass of fruit juice can count as one of your necessary recommended daily servings of fruit.

Low in protein and fat, fruit juice provides an excellent source of energy from natural fruit sugars. Although the presence of sugar in food or drinks is often regarded as a bad thing, one must remember that sugars are carbohydrates, and that these are our primary energy source. It is not a case of avoiding sugars, it is a case of having a balanced diet which draws from all the major food groups.

Low glycamaemic index

A major benefit of drinking fruit juice for energy is that the natural sugars, predominantly fructose, have a low glycaemic index. Food and drinks with a low glycaemic index are beneficial in weight control and for people with diabetes, as the sugars are more slowly released into the body.

Fruit juice is also an economical and convenient source of useful plant antioxidants – substances which counter the harmful effect of oxidants and free radicals.

Some antioxidants are produced in the body and others come from foods, e.g vitamin C. In general, highly coloured fruits such as blackcurrants, red grapes, blueberries, cranberries and green leafy vegetables contain high quantities of these antioxidants. Apples are also a very good source of antioxidants.

Source: Pacmar – Wilde Fruit Juices

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