Health magazine has reported on a UCLA study listing the 10 healthiest fruit juices.
Pomegranate is the healthiest of them all because it contains the most of every type of antioxidant. It wins in all categories. And it's thought that it might do some very good things; it may protect against some cancers, such as prostate cancer. It might also modify heart disease risk factors, and it could be healthy for your heart.
On The Early Show Saturday, Health magazine contributor and clinical nutritionist Samantha Heller talked about what makes the juices healthy.
"Basically, anything with a vivid color, like most berries, will be high in antioxidants, so it's no surprise berry juices landed in most of the top 10 slots." Heller says.
"Oxidants," she explains, "are naturally-occurring substances that derive from oxygen. Chemically speaking, oxygen always wants to "mate," and if it can't find a mate, it will latch onto anything. As it's latching onto substances in our body, it can overwhelm them, and cause disease.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, voluntarily bond with molecules of oxygen, preventing them from glomming onto any other substance in our body, and that helps keep us healthy."
Still, Heller cautions that doesn't mean you should go overboard with any of them. "There's always the danger," she points out, "that when we tell people something is healthy for them, they'll go out and drink it by the gallon. The truth is, you consume a lot of calories with juice. No-sugar-added doesn't necessarily mean no sugar at all. And sugar, even though it's naturally-occurring sugar, can really pack on the pounds if you consume too much."
Another Heller suggestion: Eat the fruit itself if you can, rather than drinking the juice. The fruit has far fewer calories. Remember: It takes ten oranges to make a glass of orange juice, but one orange will be relatively low in calories. Also, the fruit will give you the fiber you need, but the juice won't. So the fruit is always a better choice than the juice.
If you're a big juice-lover, and you're not much of a fruit-eater, Heller says it would be better to get the nutrients the juice has to offer. But to avoid calorie overload, mix it with club soda. You'll get the taste, with half the calories.
To see the list of the 10 healthiest juices, click here.
Here's a video, "Drinking Healthy Juices", with Samantha Heller on The Early Show.
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