THE HEALTH AND FITNESS BLOG
By Dr. Haider Khalid
How Juices Can Improve Your Overall Health in Various Ailments?
The Best Juices to Drink are filled with essential vitamins and minerals. It is a fact that fruits and vegetables contain nutrients essential to your health. Studies even reported a reduced incidence of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease in people who regularly consume juices (1).
According to the Dietary Guidelines of America, everyone must consume 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables every day (2). But most people aren’t getting this recommended amount. That’s where the juicing comes in. It makes adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet easier without including any bulk.
Juicing has gained significant popularity among health-conscious people in recent years. Supporters claim that regardless of the decreased proportion of fibers, juices are a way to provide essential nutrients in concentrated form. Moreover, you can also use juices to detox your body of harmful chemicals.
In this article, you will learn almost everything about juicing and its health effects. It aims to explain the types and purposes of juices and their health benefits that can help you treat various ailments.
What are the Different Methods of Juicing?
Juicing involves extracting the juice from whole fruits and vegetables. After stripping away all the solid materials, including seeds, pulp, and fiber, the juice comprises a concentrated mixture of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Therefore, the health benefits of raw fruits and vegetables are usually retained in juices.
Depending upon the extracting mechanisms, juicers are segmented into two groups, including centrifugal and cold-press. Centrifugal juicers rotate the content at high speed along with the blade’s cutting action. Spinning and cutting are both responsible for separating solid content from the juice.
In contrast, cold press juicers masticate the fruits and vegetables while extracting the liquid content from them. Regardless of the method used, both cases’ results remain the same. Because, according to the clinical study, the nutritional value of both types is similar (3).
What Purposes Do Juices Serve?
Presently, processed foods make a significant part of our diet. Moreover, delivering food from the fields takes a lot of time for the consumers. All this reduces the quality of the food (4). Therefore, most of us do not receive the recommended nutrients. This deficiency of nutrients can be supplemented by consuming fresh juices of fruits and vegetables (5).
Moreover, juices also help clear the body of any toxins that may have entered the body. Most of the detoxifying effects of juices are through the action of antioxidants. Fluids increase the levels of B-carotene, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and selenium which are potent antioxidants (6).
Should You Add Fiber to Your Juice?
Juicing strips away the fiber content of the fruits and vegetables, leaving only the liquid content behind. Fibers slow down the digestion of vitamins and minerals, leading to the loss of their significant amounts. Therefore, removing fibers through juicing assists in the absorption of the nutrients in the body.
However, some antioxidants remain attached to the fibers and are excluded while juicing. But adding fibers to the juice would not solve the problem. According to a study, re-adding fibers to the juice doesn’t provide health benefits for whole fruits and vegetables (7).
Can Juices Replace Meals?
To understand this question, you first need to have a comprehensive idea about the role of different meals throughout the day. Meals are the source of various food components, including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and fibers. Juices cannot compensate for the requirements of the entire meal, as they do not contain these components.
Like other nutrients, proteins are essential for maintaining muscle growth and the body’s overall health. Moreover, fat, in addition to the source of energy, also helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K. Therefore, juicing once per day is good for health as long as other meals of your diet are perfectly balanced.
Juicing vs. Blending: Which One is Better?
Juicing and blending are differentiated based on the product. For example, the juicing product only contains liquids of fruits and vegetables without any fibrous material. In comparison, blending includes a bulk product containing fibers and liquid content.
Here is a detailed account of the different features of both types, which will help you decide which one is better.
Concentration of Nutrients
Regarding the concentration of nutrients, juicing is a far more effective process than blending. This is because most of the nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are present in the juice of the fruits and vegetables and not in the pulp and fiber. Therefore, if you want to get more concentrated and more easily absorbed nutrients, you should go for juicing.
Amount of Fiber
Two types of fibers are present in fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber slows down digestion and helps prevent a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Such fibers are present in a small amount within the juices. However, juices don’t contain insoluble fiber, which promotes intestinal functioning and add bulks to stools. Therefore, in addition to juices, you must include a separate meal in your diet to promote digestion.
A sudden rise in blood sugar levels is the major downside of the juicing process. According to a clinical study, fruit juices have sugar levels similar to sodas (8). Moreover, you wouldn’t have to face this problem with vegetable juices. However, while incorporating juices into your daily dietary routine, you must check your carbohydrate intake.
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants both in their juice and pulp. As juicing removes the major bulk of pulp, it also removes a significant content of antioxidants. Therefore blended smoothies are far more favorable in terms of the supply of antioxidants.
This statement is also supported by scientific evidence. For example, according to a study, blended fruit contains more amounts of phytochemicals than fruit juice (9).
Ease of Digestion
The most striking quality of juices is that they help better digestion of nutrients. According to an analysis, juices are reported to provide blood with greater concentrations of B-carotene, a powerful antioxidant (10). It is also associated with a reduced risk of cancer.
However, there is limited research related to this area. Most arguments are based on anecdotal evidence from people’s experiences. Hence more research is required to develop definitive statements.
Here are The Best Juices to Drink for
The wait is finally over! In this portion, you will learn about eight vegetables whose juice is responsible for the maintenance of overall health. Moreover, they have also been reported to help various ailments.
While juicing, you wouldn’t have considered cabbage as an active ingredient. But let me tell you that it is a component that can make juices delicious and nutritious. Cabbage juice is a significant source of vitamins like Vitamin B6, K, and C and minerals like folate and manganese (11).
Cabbage juice helps improve health in various ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Moreover, its juice also helps to relieve inflammation in the body (12).
Cabbage juice is the Best Juice to Drink for stomach ulcers.
Beets are a versatile type of vegetable, mainly known for their vibrant color and significant health benefits. It is a source of essential minerals such as manganese, potassium, and folate. Nitrates – a potential health-promoting substance – are also present in beet juice.
Nitrates are natural plant compounds. They have been found to help conditions like high blood pressure (13). Moreover, nitrate-rich beets are also crucial for improving the athletic and mental performance of the body (14).
Carrots have always been a favorite choice of vegetable juicing all around the globe. It is because of its healthy nutrient profile and sweet flavor. In addition, carrots contain a significant amount of vitamin A. Healthcare providers usually prescribe carrots and their juice for children with night blindness due to the deficiency of vitamin A in their blood (15).
In addition to vitamin A, carrot juice contains many plant compounds called carotenoids. Carotenoids include compounds like B-carotene, which are potent antioxidants (16). Significant scientific data indicates a reduced incidence of certain diseases after recommended ingestion of carotenoids.
Some common health problems that can benefit from carrot juice include eye diseases, heart diseases, and cancers, most commonly prostate cancer (17). The sweet flavor and vibrant color of carrots combined with other fruits and vegetables would make the perfect juice for your optimum health.
Carrot juice is also very beneficial for fighting cancer. One would need to consume at least three eight-ounce glasses per day to help to restore health. It would take about one pound of carrots for one eight-ounce glass of juice.
The health benefits of bitter melon are much versatile. It has been a part of medicinal practices like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries (18). The juice of bitter melon, more commonly known as karela juice, has been found to improve different health conditions. Some of these conditions are discussed here.
It contains unique compounds like charantin and vicine, which reduce blood sugar levels in the human body. Hence, they can be helpful for the health management of people with diabetes (19). However, the exact mechanism of this process is not adequately understood, and more research is required to develop a better scientific understanding.
Karela juice is also a potent beauty-enhancing agent owing to its flourishing effects on the skin. It contains nutrients like vitamin C and provitamin A, which are effective for healthy skin growth and better wound healing (20).
Regardless of the significant health benefits, karela juice also helps combat cancer-causing chemicals. Moreover, this juice is also the first choice for people trying to lose body weight. It helps in weight loss by its positive effects on the fat levels in the blood.
String beans are one of those vegetables that are easy to juice. Surprisingly, its juice also has a slightly sweet flavor. It is a rich source of many nutrients such as vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and a significant amount of carotenoids. All of these nutrients promote the healthy growth of people. Specifically, compounds present in string bean juice help in the protection of the eyes against UV radiation, hence It is the Best Juice to Drink for it.
The most remarkable feature of the cucumber that makes them the best choice for juicing is their high water content. As a result, cucumber juice is low in calories and high in supplying essential nutrients to the body, especially potassium, which is helpful for the proper functioning of the muscles.
Moreover, high water content and potassium concentrations also promote the health of the digestive system and kidneys and its beneficial effects on physical performance (21). Cucumber also helps to reduce signs of inflammation in the skin. Therefore, it can be an option to treat sunburns. It is the Best Juice to Drink for inflammation of the skin.
Spinach is a green vegetable that offers flavor and color for juices. Additionally, it also contains certain compounds that help promote health. Most importantly, spinach has a large number of nitrates.
As discussed previously, nitrates are helpful for patients with high blood pressure. According to research, people who consume spinach juice for seven days reported a significant reduction in their blood pressure (22). Reducing blood pressure helps mitigate the risks of heart disease, which is one of the most common causes of mortality all around the globe. It is the Best Juice to Drink for reducing the chances of developing heart disease.
Tomatoes are kitchen staples that are low in calories and high in nutrients like folate, vitamin C, and potassium. They also contain significant water content. Therefore, tomato juice is an excellent option to keep the body hydrated.
Tomatoes also contain lycopene. Intake of lycopene is associated with a reduced risk of specific ailments like cancers, heart disease, and stroke. Most importantly, tomato juice will likely enhance male fertility (23). Moreover, the high potassium concentration also helps reduce exercise-induced inflammation in athletes and to improve their performance. It is the Best Juice to Drink for inflammation.
Join our growing community of family and friends on our FaceBook page, Something Better Today!
- Bazzano LA. The high cost of not consuming fruits and vegetables. Journal of the American Dietetic Association [Internet]. 2006 Sep 1 [cited 2022 Aug 5];106(9):1364–8. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16963341/
- Gov D. DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS EIGHTH EDITION [Internet]. 2015. Available from: https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf
- Khaksar G, Assatarakul K, Sirikantaramas S. Effect of cold-pressed and normal centrifugal juicing on quality attributes of fresh juices: do cold-pressed juices harbor a superior nutritional quality and antioxidant capacity? Heliyon. 2019 Jun;5(6):e01917.
- Hunter KJ, Fletcher JM. The antioxidant activity and composition of fresh, frozen, jarred and canned vegetables. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies. 2002 Dec;3(4):399–406.
- Kiefer I, Prock P, Lawrence C, Wise J, Bieger W, Bayer P, et al. Supplementation with Mixed Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrates Increased Serum Antioxidants and Folate in Healthy Adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2004 Jun;23(3):205–11.
- Esfahani A, Wong JMW, Truan J, Villa CR, Mirrahimi A, Srichaikul K, et al. Health effects of mixed fruit and vegetable concentrates: a systematic review of the clinical interventions. Journal of the American College of Nutrition [Internet]. 2011 Oct 1;30(5):285–94. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22081614/
- Wojcicki JM, Heyman MB. Reducing Childhood Obesity by Eliminating 100% Fruit Juice. American Journal of Public Health [Internet]. 2012 Sep;102(9):1630–3. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3482038/
- Nutrition | Journal | ScienceDirect.com by Elsevier [Internet]. www.sciencedirect.com. [cited 2022 Aug 6]. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/nutrition
- Uckoo RM, Jayaprakasha GK, Balasubramaniam VM, Patil BS. Grapefruit (Citrus paradisiMacfad) Phytochemicals Composition Is Modulated by Household Processing Techniques. Journal of Food Science. 2012 Sep;77(9):C921–6.
- Kolodziejczyk JK, Flatt SW, Natarajan L, Patterson R, Pierce JP, Norman GJ. Associations of Soluble Fiber, Whole Fruits/Vegetables, and Juice with Plasma Beta-Carotene Concentrations in a Free-Living Population of Breast Cancer Survivors. Women & Health. 2012 Nov;52(8):731–43.
- FoodData Central [Internet]. Usda.gov. 2020 [cited 2022 Aug 6]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169975/nutrients
- Jia X, Zhong L, Song Y, Hu Y, Wang G, Sun S. Consumption of citrus and cruciferous vegetables with incident type 2 diabetes mellitus based on a meta-analysis of prospective study. Primary Care Diabetes. 2016 Aug;10(4):272–80.
- Coles LT, Clifton PM. Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition Journal [Internet]. 2012 Dec [cited 2020 Jan 22];11(1). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3545899/
- Muggeridge DJ, Howe CCF, Spendiff O, Pedlar C, James PE, Easton C. A Single Dose of Beetroot Juice Enhances Cycling Performance in Simulated Altitude. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2014 Jan;46(1):143–50.
- Moeller SM, Parekh N, Tinker L, Ritenbaugh C, Blodi B, Wallace RB, et al. Associations between intermediate age-related macular degeneration and lutein and zeaxanthin in the Carotenoids in Age-related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS): ancillary study of the Women’s Health Initiative. Archives of ophthalmology (Chicago, Ill : 1960) [Internet]. 2006; 124(8):1151–62. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16908818
- Jourdan M, Gagné S, Dubois-Laurent C, Maghraoui M, Huet S, Suel A, et al. Carotenoid Content and Root Color of Cultivated Carrot: A Candidate-Gene Association Study Using an Original Broad Unstructured Population. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2015 Jan 23 [cited 2022 Aug 6];10(1):e0116674. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4304819/
- Wu K. Plasma and Dietary Carotenoids, and the Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Nested Case-Control Study. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 2004 Feb 1;13(2):260–9.
- Tiwari AK. Karela: A promising antidiabetic vegetable therapy. Current Science [Internet]. 2007 [cited 2022 Aug 6];92(12):1697–701. Available from: https://www.jstor.org/stable/24107618?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
- Joseph B, Jini D. Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease [Internet]. 2013 Apr;3(2):93–102. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027280/
- Jia S, Shen M, Zhang F, Xie J. Recent Advances in Momordica charantia: Functional Components and Biological Activities. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017 Nov 28;18(12):2555.
- Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, Hydration, and Health. Nutrition Reviews [Internet]. 2010 Jul 20;68(8):439–58. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
- Jovanovski E, Bosco L, Khan K, Au-Yeung F, Ho H, Zurbau A, et al. Effect of Spinach, a High Dietary Nitrate Source, on Arterial Stiffness and Related Hemodynamic Measures: A Randomized, Controlled Trial in Healthy Adults. Clinical Nutrition Research [Internet]. 2015 Jul 1;4(3):160–7. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4525132/
- Yamamoto Y, Aizawa K, Mieno M, et al. The effects of tomato juice on male infertility. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2017;26(1):65-71. doi:10.6133/apjcn.102015.17