100 Percent Juice Consumption Provides Essential Nutrients and Maintain a Healthy Weight

100 Percent Juice Consumption Provides Essential Nutrients and Maintain a Health

Popular belief that just because something is "all natural" or "pure" doesn't necessarily mean that it's nutritious. For example, "all natural" juice drinks or sodas can be filled with sugar (which is, after all, a natural ingredient) but all that sugar means they'll be high in calories and give you little nutrition.


Nature offers many sweet choices for eating well: juicy red cherries, plump purple plums, and orange, luscious tangerines, just to name a few. In fact, all fruits fit into a colorful and healthy diet.Juicing can help meet the nine servings per day. However, it is best to eat your fruits and vegetables in their "whole" forms since juicing separate the fruit juice from the fruit pulp, which contains most of the fiber that may be beneficial for your health. Also, juicing fruits will increase the glycemic index of the food since the fruit sugars are more readily available.When you are thirsty, reach for water. Drinking juice or sugared soda can give you several hundred calories a day without even realizing it.

Throughout our lives we need adequate iron in our diets to prevent anemia.Adequate iron is also found in iron-enriched cereals, beans of all types, peanut butter, raisins, prune juice, sweet potatoes, spinach, and egg yolks. The iron in these foods is better absorbed if the meal also contains fruit juice or meat.A variety of calcium-fortified foods, such as orange juice, are now on the market.

Cranberry juice and supplements are generally considered safe with no serious side effects, even for pregnant women.Cranberry fruit is high in antioxidants, partly from substances called proanthocyanidins (which give cranberries their rich color). Antioxidants scavenge damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Although all fruits and vegetables likely contribute to this benefit, green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens; cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale; and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (and their juices) make important contributions.

Fruits are a great-tasting way to get vitamins, minerals and fiber and to satisfy your sweet tooth without loading up on calories. And except for a few, such as avocado, coconut and olives, fruits are virtually fat-free.

Fruits contain phytochemicals — a group of compounds that may reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Many are also good sources of antioxidants — substances that slow down oxidation, a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage.

Give fruit juices (such as apple or pear juice) twice a day to babies over 2 months old. Switching to soy formula may also result in looser stools. If your baby is over 4 months old, add strained foods with a high fiber content such as cereals, apricots, prunes, peaches, pears, plums, beans, peas, or spinach twice a day. Strained bananas and apples are also helpful.Increase the amount of pure fruit juice your child drinks. (Orange juice will not help constipation as well as other juices).

Excellent food sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits or citrus juices, berries, green and red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with vitamin C.This is easy to hit with a good diet and a standard multivitamin.

Popular juices include but are not limited to apple, orange, prune, lemon, cranberry, grapefruit, pineapple, tomato, blackcurrant, grape, banana, cherry and pomegranate. It has become increasingly popular to combine a variety of fruits into single juice drinks. One of the most popular examples is Carrot, Orange and Ginger.The fruit wines are fermented from fruit juice, including plums, tangerines, lychees, crabapples, and cherry.They have an alcoholic content of 10% to 20%.

Contrary to popular belief, drinking pure 100 percent fruit juice does not make young children overweight or at risk for becoming overweight, new research shows. Pure fruit juice provides essential nutrients and, in moderation, may actually help children maintain a healthy weight.

Inconsistent research findings have led to continued debate over the potential associations between drinking 100 percent fruit juice, nutrient intake, and overweight in children.

In the their study, researchers analyzed the juice consumption of 3,618 children ages 2 to 11 using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

"The bottom line is that 100 percent juice consumption is a valuable contributor of nutrients in children's diet and it does not have an association with being overweight," study chief Dr. Theresa Nicklas, a child nutrition specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told Reuters Health. She presented the new data at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual convention in Toronto this week.

"If you look at the weight of the evidence there are at least 7 studies plus the one I presented (this week) that show no association between 100 percent juice and overweight among children," Nicklas added. Even among the children who consumed the most juice, there was no association with the children being overweight or at risk for overweight, she said.

The results also indicate that juice consumption "is not excessive among 2- to 11-year-olds," Nicklas said. In fact, 57 percent of the children did not consume 100 percent juice at all, "which is much higher than I expected," she said.

The average daily consumption of pure fruit juice in the study population was 4.1 ounces (about half a cup) -- an amount in line with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

And while there were a few children (13 percent) who consumed larger amounts of juice (12 ounces or more), their increased intake was not associated with overweight or at risk for being overweight. In fact, children in the 2 to 3-year-old category who drank the most juice were nearly three times less likely to be overweight or at risk for overweight than children who drank no juice at all.

Nicklas and her colleagues also found that children who drank any amount of 100 percent juice ate less total fat, saturated fat, sodium, added sugars and added fats. Pure juice drinkers also had higher intakes of a number of key nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin B6 and iron. They also ate more whole fruits, like apples.

Nicklas encourages parents who are concerned about their child being overweight to look beyond their juice consumption. "My advice would be to look at the total number of calories that child is taking in and look at where the bulk of those calories are coming from and equally important look at the activity level of the child."

So,go easy on fruits that are higher in carbohydrate, such as oranges, bananas, apricots, cherries, grapes, mangoes, pineapple and pears. Also, avoid fruit juices, since they contain a lot of sugary calories; choose whole fruit instead, since it has more fiber and will make you feel more full.

Fruit juices count toward your toddler's daily fruit intake, but be careful about the kind of juice you choose and the amount you offer. Serve your toddler only 100 percent fruit juice. If he won't drink milk, you may want to find juices fortified with calcium and vitamin D, but don't offer fruit "drinks" because they may contain as little as 10 percent juice and an array of flavorings and sweeteners.

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