7 Fruit Juices That Are Healthier Than You Thought
Think juice is full of sugar and a nutrition no-no? These healthy juices pack some powerful health perks (just don’t guzzle them down by the gallon).
Orange juice: Prevents inflammation
Drinking a couple of glasses of orange juice prevents the inflammation that can be triggered by a high-fat meal, notes 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 every day 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 or sweetened, says Roger L. Sur, MD, director of the University of California, San Diego, Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center.
Grape juice: Boosts 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 significant 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 not prevent UTIs (as the old wive’s tale would have you believe) 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 are guaranteed to be loaded with unnecessary sugar and calories.
Vegetable juice: Slashes 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. Here are some other foods that may help prevent cancer.
Prune juice: Helps with digestion
Prune 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 help protect against heart disease.
- Food & Function: “Orange juice modulates proinflammatory cytokines after high-fat saturated meal consumption”
- 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”