7 Fruit Juices That Are Healthier Than You Thought
Not all juices are a nutritional no-no. In fact, we found several types of healthy juices that are packed with benefits. (Just don't guzzle them down by the gallon.)
The best fruit juices to drink in moderation
Your favorite fruit juice could be part of a healthy diet in moderation, but you might want to swap out your go-to for another flavor since many are tied to different health benefits. Some of the healthiest fruits for your body are also some of the healthiest juices, too. Here are some of the healthiest options you can drink.
Orange juice: May prevent inflammation
Orange juice not only has anti-inflammatory properties, but long-term consumption is also associated with low LDL cholesterol, some research shows. Other research also shows that drinking a couple of glasses of orange juice prevents the inflammation that can be triggered by a high-fat meal, per 2017 research in the journal Food & Function. Fifty-five women ate a fatty meal and drank either orange juice or water. A few hours later, the levels of inflammatory cytokines were lower in the juice drinkers than water drinkers. Sip a few ounces along with these healthy breakfast ideas.
Lemonade: Thwarts kidney stones
Lemonade can help ward off kidney stones, a painful problem that’s on the rise, notes the National Kidney Foundation. If you’ve had kidney stones, cut your risk of a recurrence by as much as 90 percent with a daily dose of lemonade: Mix four ounces of lemon juice with two liters of water; drink straight up, says Roger L. Sur, MD, director of the University of California, San Diego, Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center.
Grape juice: May boost brain function
Grape juice is a good source of anthocyanins, antioxidants that may help to enhance brain function. In a 2017 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers analyzed older adults who drank Concord grape juice. The subjects who drank the grape juice daily for 12 weeks showed improvement on memory tests. Not a grape juice drinker? These weird brain exercises can also help you get smarter.
Cranberry juice: Keeps your digestive system healthy
Cranberry juice may or may not prevent UTIs (the evidence has been mixed) but there is evidence that the phytochemicals contained in cranberries can improve digestive health. A 2018 study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture noted that inhibiting the production of H. pylori in the stomach may promote digestive health. Just make sure you're drinking 100 percent cranberry juice and not "cranberry juice cocktail." Juices with that on the label may be loaded with unnecessary sugar and calories.
Vegetable juice: May help reduce cancer risk
Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which may reduce risk of prostate and other cancers. But vegetable juice contains many more healthy veggies than just tomatoes. That means it is rich in vitamins and minerals, and the fiber it contains will help keep you feeling full for longer. Choose a variety that contains 100 percent vegetable juice and that's low in sodium. Check the label to ensure the type you buy contains fiber since not all do. Here are some other foods that may help prevent cancer.
Prune juice: Helps with digestion
Prune juice (also called plum juice) is packed with antioxidants, potassium, and fiber. Plus, it contains a healthy dose of a natural laxative, the sugar alcohol sorbitol, that can help regulate your digestive system. If prunes put you off, try one of these other natural remedies for constipation.
Pomegranate juice: Packed with disease-fighting antioxidants
Pomegranate juice is naturally rich in important nutrients called antioxidants. In fact, pomegranate juice actually has more antioxidants than green tea or red wine. Those antioxidants help protect cells from damage by molecules called free radicals. Its high antioxidant content is also what gives pomegranate juice its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to possibly help protect against heart disease.
- Food & Function: "Orange juice modulates proinflammatory cytokines after high-fat saturated meal consumption"
- Springer Link: "Anti-inflammatory Properties of Orange Juice: Possible Favorable Molecular and Metabolic Effects"
- Lipids in Health and Disease: "Long-term orange juice consumption is associated with low LDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein B in normal and moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects"
- Roger L. Sur, MD, director, the University of California, San Diego, Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center
- National Kidney Foundation: "6 Easy Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones"
- European Journal of Nutrition: "Cognitive and mood improvements following acute supplementation with purple grape juice in healthy young adults"
- Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture: "American cranberries and health benefits—an evolving story of 25 years"