The health benefits of juice
Fresh juice is packed with nutrients. As fruits and vegetables are juiced, the liquids are separated from the fibre, resulting in a concentrated blend of flavour and colour, as well as phytochemicals (protective compounds) and minerals that "are better absorbed from juice than from food that is raw but not juiced," says Vancouver-based registered dietitian Vesanto Melina, co-author of raw-food nutrition guidebook Becoming Raw.
Vegetable juices are so rich in nutrients, in fact, that while they’re no substitute for an overall balanced diet, they can help offset less-healthy diets, or even less healthy days. "When I’ve looked at how important the phytochemicals and vitamins are in protecting from chronic disease and how many people’s diets have little or none of those components, juices could help that way," says Melina.
1) Watermelon Juice. Made up of over 90% water, this juice is one of the most hydrating options you can find and contains antioxidants that help decrease chances of heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure. Drink it while working out—the citrulline helps to reduce muscle soreness and lower chances of inflammation (bonus: the amino acid is also a natural libido booster for men).
2) Pomegranate Juice. An antioxidant bomb, pomegranate juice is filled with vitamins E and C to help reduce wrinkles and protect against sun damage. Pomegranate juice also helps to minimize inflammation and the phytochemicals in the fruit stop the growth of aromatase, one of the major enzymes responsible for breast cancer growth.
3) Blueberry Juice. The high amounts of flavonoids and disease-fighting antioxidants in blueberry juice may help reduce the chances of Alzheimer's Disease and other mental health disorders. A study done at the University of Cincinnati found a link between blueberry juice and cognitive aging—results concluded that those who consumed blueberry juice scored higher on memory tests as opposed to those who consumed placebo drinks. Consumption may also prevent diabetes and increases the amount of nitric oxide in the body, which helps lower blood pressure.
4) Grapefruit Juice. Perfect for beach season, grapefruit juice aids in releasing excess water retention, boosting metabolism and strengthening the immune system. Stick to the ruby reds to manage your weight and control blood sugar.
5) Cranberry Juice. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, cranberry juice is considered an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. It's known to help prevent kidney stones, cavities and fend off urinary tract infections.
6) Orange Juice. Orange juice is best for providing the body with tons of vitamin C. Drink it for a healthy immune system and to fight off damage-causing free radicals. Consuming an eight-ounce glass may also help decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
7) Beet Juice. Beet juice plays a huge role as a liver detoxifier, thanks to betalain, which also gives it its deep red pigment. You don't need very much to reap the benefits—just a small amount each week is enough to stimulate detoxifying enzymes and flush out your system.