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Fresh juices are an excellent way of obtaining valuable nutrients but not all juices are created equal.  Read on to learn more about juices, and how to choose the best type.

Why Juice?

Fresh juice is perfect for today’s busy lifestyle as it contains all of the goodness of fresh fruits and vegetables in a condensed form.  For example, 10 carrots can provide you with lots of calcium and protein but you wouldn’t want to eat 10 carrots at once.  Juicing concentrates it down into one easy to drink glass.

The Best Juices

Freshly squeezed juices are the best juices of all.  The ones available in the supermarket need to be drunk within 24 to 36 hours and are not pasteurised, so they retain many of the benefits of freshly made juice.  Fruit and vegetables juices that are made and then drunk immediately are the best of the juices as oxidation does not destroy the nutritional value of the juice.

Fresh juice is raw and not treated by heat in any way.  Heat destroys or reduces the effectiveness of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins. 

If you are making your own juice, it is best to drink it as soon as possible to gain the most nutritional benefit.  This is because some of the beneficial nutrients in juice can start to dissipate just minutes after it is made.  The length of time that you can store juice depends on the type of juicer you use, what you are juicing, and how you are storing the juice.  Always store juice in an air free environment.

Juices to Avoid

Juice drinks are normally found in the soft drinks section of the supermarket and are not 100 percent juice.  Sometimes they are only 5 percent actual juice!  These drinks contain water, as well as a lot of sugar, additives and flavourings, and have few nutritional benefits.  Long life and short life juices make up the majority of juices that you see both in the aisles and in the refrigerated section of the supermarket.  Both of these types of juices have been pasteurised, with the long life juices being more heavily pasteurised so that they can last for up to 9 months without refrigeration.  Short life juices are able to be kept for 2 to 6 weeks if chilled.  Neither of these types of juices is freshly squeezed.  Rather, they are made from concentrate, or the juice has been extracted in the country of origin before being pasteurised and shipped.  The pasteurisation and packaging process means that a lot of the nutrients have been lost.

Health Benefits of Juice

Fresh juice contains the vitamins and minerals that the body needs.  Drinking fresh juice immediately will give you the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals from the juice and the body will be able to absorb them better than it would from other forms such as supplements.  Fresh juice is also high in antioxidants, which fight aging chemicals in the body and help to defend against heart disease and certain cancers.

Strong tasting vegetable juices such as beet and spinach are high in compounds that should be consumed in small quantities.  It is a good idea to dilute these with milder juices such as carrot or celery.  Fibre is extremely important to the body and fresh juices can help to supplement the amount that you get.  However, you should remember that juices are intended to be a supplement and not the main source of fibre. 

Fruits and vegetables contain lots of carbohydrates which is vital for energy.  The vitamins in fresh juice help to regulate the metabolism and help in the conversion of fats and carbohydrates to energy.  Juice also contains minerals that are necessary for nerve and muscle function, as well as being important for building body tissue.  Fruits and vegetables in juice form can also have a medicinal effect. For example, blueberries are effective against diarrhea, ginger is well known for its use to combat motion sickness, and pineapple can help with sore throats.


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