Fruit and Vegetable Health Benefits for Freshly Squeezed Juice Week

Mitch Denton   |   January 20, 2020
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Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables within a regular diet is a great way to stay healthy, yet drinking freshly squeezed juice can be an alternative to help you gain some of the health benefits of fresh produce in your diet.

This year for National Freshly Squeezed Juice Week, RipeTime want to take a look at some of the health benefits behind some of the most popular fruits and vegetables used in fresh juices.

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Apples contain various mineral nutrients including boron, which may promote healthy bones. Keep in mind that despite having health benefits, apple juice is high in sugar but lacks the same level of fibre content of regular apple consumption.

Apples contain many nutrients that can provide health benefits. When juicing apples try to juice them with the peel still on—as the peel contains chromium, a mineral that is important in assisting insulin action. Insulin is the hormone that helps to regulate blood sugars, enabling sugar to be utilised for energy. Also, the apple peel contains a greater percentage of phytonutrients when compared to the flesh of the apple. Lastly, the peels can aid in satiety because they contain fibre.

Apples are also an excellent source of fibre. About one-third of the fibre in apples is soluble, mainly pectin. Research has shown that foods rich in soluble fibre can help to lower cholesterol. A diet rich in soluble fibre can help to pull cholesterol out of the body. Aim to get in at least 25 to 38 grams daily.

Apples may also have positive effects on the bacteria in our colons. This is an area of research that is now receiving a great deal of attention. It appears that a healthy gut can help to prevent disease and maintain good health.

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Beets are one of the best sources of antioxidants, but don’t forget to juice the green leaves. Beetroot greens actually have even more iron within them than spinach as well as a higher nutritional value overall than the beetroot itself!

According to recent research, inorganic nitrates in beet juice are converted in the body to nitrite and nitric oxide, a molecule involved in blood vessel dilation. As a result, beet juice has been found to enhance blood flow to muscles and to the brain.

Some research shows that drinking beet juice may help bring your blood pressure down. In a 2015 study published in Hypertension, for instance, drinking 250 millilitres (about 8.4 ounces) of beet juice daily was found to lower high blood pressure. After four weeks of daily beetroot juice, participants with hypertension had a significant decrease in blood pressure compared to those who drank a placebo (a nitrate-free beet juice). What's more, researchers found an improvement in endothelial function (the functioning of the inner lining of blood vessels). 

Beetroots are often consumed by athletes to improve performance, this seems to be the case due to the results of certain studies that suggest that drinking beet juice may help boost stamina and improve exercise performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in athletes. Results have shown that beet juice improves endurance, increases time to exhaustion, and increases oxygen flow.

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Blueberries are repeatedly ranked as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities, regularly beating out other berry options such as raspberries and strawberries in fresh juice mixes.

There are multiple assertions surrounding the health benefits of drinking blueberry juice. Online claims of health benefits from Blueberries range from boosting weight loss, helping prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, boosting heart health and warding off other illnesses.

All that to say, there is limited information to support these claims. Blueberries and blueberry juice do provide vitamin C, but a full cup of the juice only provides two percent of your daily recommended intake. You'd have to drink a substantial amount of the juice to get the amount that experts advise.

Vitamin C must be consumed in the diet because our bodies are unable to make it. We know that vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is essential for good bone structure, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. It also aids in the absorption of iron and promotes wound healing. But claiming that it can prevent disease may be premature.

According to the National Institutes of Health, "ongoing research is examining whether vitamin C, by limiting the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant activity, might help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases in which oxidative stress plays a causal role."

You'll also get a healthy boost of manganese when you consume blueberry juice. Manganese is important for enzyme activation in the body, carbohydrate and protein production, sex hormone production and bone development.

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Cabbage is a smart juice ingredient due to its high water and vitamin C content. Its benefits are widely promoted on websites and in health magazines. But not all of the purported health benefits are supported by strong scientific evidence.

Foods, like cabbage and cabbage juice that are high in vitamin C may provide important medical benefits, but according the National Institutes of Health, "ongoing research is examining whether vitamin C, by limiting the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant activity, might help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases in which oxidative stress plays a causal role."

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Carotenoids are named after carrots and give plants their yellow, orange, and red colours. There are many different carotenoids and some provide the building blocks for vitamin A. Others, including lutein, are used by the eye to absorb blue light and maintain visual function. This is why your mother probably told you to eat your carrots to help you see better. Many carotenoids are antioxidants.

A diet high in carotenoids has been associated with decreasing your risk of heart disease and some cancers. Getting carotenoids from whole foods, such as carrots, is a better option than using dietary supplements, according to researchers.

Carrots are full of beta-carotene and because of their sweetness they make a good partner to ingredients like kale or wheatgrass.

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Celery has a high water content and is a good way to get extra potassium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene in your diet.

Celery juice provides a healthy dose of vitamin C. Our bodies do not synthesise vitamin C so eating foods with vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is essential for good bone structure, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron and promotes wound healing.

Vitamin C may also provide more important medical benefits although scientists are still exploring the extent of the benefits. According to the National Institutes of Health, "ongoing research is examining whether vitamin C, by limiting the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant activity, might help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases in which oxidative stress plays a causal role."

The fibre in celery and celery juice may boost your weight loss efforts. fibre helps your body feel full and satisfied so that you avoid mindless or unnecessary snacking. fibre also boosts digestive health and may promote healthier cholesterol levels. 

The greatest health benefit from celery juice comes from vitamin K, an important vitamin that helps with blood clotting. While everyone benefits from blood clotting functions, people who are on blood thinners are advised to get enough vitamin K. The vitamin is also important for healthy bones. People who don't get enough vitamin K are at a higher risk for osteoporosis.

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Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around and has exceptional nutrient richness.

Kale is a green leafy vegetable that packs a huge nutrition punch. Comparable salad greens like romaine, iceberg lettuce and mesclun or spring mixes do not provide the same impressive nutritional benefits.

For instance, in addition to the vitamins and minerals that kale provides, it is also an excellent source of fibre. Studies have shown that those people who eat high fibre diets (the daily requirements are 25-38g/day) tend to be at a healthier weight and have a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

In addition, kale is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. The experts at Harvard note that kale contains glucosinolates—compounds that are being researched for their potential ability to manage certain health conditions in humans including certain types of cancer and heart disease.

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Lemons are an alkalising fruit that help counteract the affects of acidity on the body. They also contain vitamin C and flavonoids.

To get a significant amount of nutrients from lemon juice, you'd have to use a very large quantity. Still, lemon juice contains many phytonutrients, which also can provide health benefits.

Studies indicate that higher intakes of vitamin C from either diet or supplements are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including coronary heart disease and stroke. Vitamin C is an important water-soluble vitamin that has been shown to boost immunity, prevent ageing, and aid in repairing cells and tissues.

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Oranges have a high concentration of vitamin C and also supplies flavonoids, potassium, thiamin, and folate.

The vitamin C found in orange is essential for healthy blood vessel walls and connective tissue that lies below your skin. It's also essential for normal immune system function. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that is thought to have health benefits by protecting your cells from free radical damage. More research is needed to determine all of the specific health-protective roles fruit juices may play in our bodies.

Orange juice is also a good source of folate that's necessary for red blood cell formation and to help prevent a birth defect called spina bifida. And it's high in two important minerals, potassium, and iron. Potassium is essential for nerve and muscle function, and it works against sodium to maintain body fluid balance and blood pressure.

Keep in mind that you'll gain many of the health benefits of orange juice if you simply consume an orange. By comparison, one average-sized orange has about 60 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fibre.

But it also only has 70 milligrams of vitamin C. That's still a substantial amount, but you'll get more vitamin C with a glass of orange juice.

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Pineapple is packed with vitamins and minerals and is good for maintaining strong and healthy bones due to presence of manganese.

study published in 2000 examined thiamin in 2,900 Australian men and women over the age of 49. It concluded that those who had the highest thiamin intake were 40 percent less likely to have nuclear cataracts than those in the lowest fifth of the study. A 2005 study of 408 American women backed up these findings.

Pineapple is also known to contain the anti-inflammatory substance bromelain. This mix of enzymes is thought to be most effective in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, sinusitis, and even muscle strains, sprains, and other injuries. Bromelain is said to aid digestion as well. Early evidence indicates it may be useful in cancer treatments, though more research is necessary.

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Tomatoes offer essential vitamins, such as A and K, and all of the B vitamins. They also contain iron, magnesium, and phosphorous.

Lycopene-rich tomato juice does more than improving athletic performance. Lycopene reduces chemical biomarkers like homocysteine for decreased risk of coronary heart disease.

Tomato juice contains lycopene and other carotenoids shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer.

Research suggests a daily glass of tomato juice to significantly reduce inflammatory chemicals for improved health and reduced risk of certain cancers. Tomato juice is a natural detoxifier indicated to flush harmful toxins from the body. Tomato juice is also a rich source of chlorine and sulfur compounds shown to improve liver and kidney function to better remove these toxins.

Tomato juice also contains beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These phytonutrients are shown to promote healthy eyes and reduce the risk of degeneration. Nutrient-rich tomato juice is also shown to improve liver function for better digestion, stimulate regular bowel movements, and promote a healthy colon.

 

So there you have it, just a handful of some of the most beneficial Fruits and Vegetables and the health benefits they provide by being in your glass during this National Freshly Squeezed Juice Week. If you’d like to know more about how RipeTime are contributing towards greater quality and quantity fresh produce in your local markets, click here.

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