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Pomegranate Ranked Healthiest Fruit Juice

August 02, 2008 | 73,346 views
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fruit juiceResearchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have ranked 10 beverages according to their antioxidant levels.

Currently, claims of superior antioxidant activity on beverages can be misleading, as the testing is usually based on a limited spectrum of antioxidant activities.

To get to the bottom of which beverages are best, they used four tests of antioxidant potency, a test of antioxidant functionality, and an evaluation of the total polyphenol content of polyphenol-rich beverages in the marketplace. Here is how the rankings turned out:

1. Pomegranate juice
2. Red wine
3. Concord grape juice
4. Blueberry juice
5. Black cherry juice
6. Açaí juice
7. Cranberry juice
8. Orange juice
9. Tea
10. Apple juice

A Closer Look at Antioxidant-Rich Juices

Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate is the healthiest of them all, because it contains the most of every type of antioxidant. It may protect against some cancers, such as prostate cancer. It might also modify heart disease risk factors.

Concord Grape Juice
Concord grape juice is a source of very potent antioxidants. There‘s some research indicating it may be good for your heart and help reduce blood pressure.

Blueberry Juice
Blueberry juice contains lots of antioxidants and fiber, and is very high in vitamin C. There‘s some indication that blueberries may have a beneficial effect on age-related cognitive abilities.

Black Cherry Juice
Not only is it high in antioxidants, but there is evidence that black cherry juice can diminish exercise-induced muscle injuries.

Cranberry Juice
It‘s also high in antioxidants and vitamin C. There is evidence that it can decrease the incidence of urinary tract infections.

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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Fruits and vegetables that are brightly colored tend to be packed with antioxidants. This is why pomegranates, grapes, and berries yield such antioxidant-rich juices.

No doubt about it, these potent phytonutrients can do your body good. They work mostly, it’s thought, by mopping up the excess oxidants (which come from oxygen) floating around your system. If left untended, excess oxidants will wear out your body, just like rust on your car.

Antioxidants come in and latch onto oxidants, keeping them safely out of trouble.

I want to emphasize though that out of the many sources of antioxidants you have available to you -- fresh veggies and fruit, green tea, olive oil -- fruit juice is near the bottom of the list. Even if it’s “natural.”

Why Fruit Juice is Way Over Hyped

When you help yourself to a glass of fruit juice, it’s true that you get some antioxidants. But you also get a hefty serving of sugar -- even if the label says “no sugar added.” An eight-ounce glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice has about eight full teaspoons of sugar!

This sugar is typically a fruit sugar called fructose, which is every bit as dangerous as regular table sugar since it will also cause a major increase in your insulin levels. But even beyond that, fructose is not metabolized the same as other sugars. Instead of being converted to glucose, which your body uses, it is removed by your liver.

Because fructose is metabolized by your liver, it does not cause your pancreas to release insulin the way it normally does. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. This may be one of the reasons Americans continue to get fatter.

Children do Not Need Fruit Juice, and Neither do You

Every year, Americans drink more than 2 billion gallons of fruit juice. Those who drink the most of this allotment are children under 12, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

About 90 percent of U.S. infants drink fruit juice by the time they’re 1 year old! Part of the popularity is being carried over from past generations, when pediatricians would recommend children drink fruit juice to get vitamin C.

Nowadays we know there are far better ways to get your nutrients than in a sugary drink. Even the AAP says that infants less than 6 months old should not be given fruit juice. Honestly, I think this cut-off age is way too young, and personally would not give fruit juice to children at all.

At the very least, make sure you do not allow your infants to sip fruit juice throughout the day in a bottle or sippy cup. The steady stream of sugar is a green light for tooth decay.

Even as an adult you need to be careful.

A glass of fruit juice is a lot of calories and sugar, for very little satisfaction (it won’t make you feel full or satisfied). If you have any of the following problems it is highly likely you have insulin resistance syndrome, and should not drink fruit juice (or eat too much fruit):
  • Overweight
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Yeast Infections
Protein nutritional types also need to be careful about drinking fruit juice or eating too much fruit.

For You Fruit-Juice Junkies …

Ideally, switch your fruit juice to whole fruit. When the fruit is intact and whole, its fiber will moderate the release of fructose into your bloodstream and temper your insulin release. The fruit pulp and skin are actually two of the healthiest parts of most fruits, which you miss entirely if you only drink the juice.

Well fruit juice, especially freshly squeezed and organic, is far better than any soda, I strongly believe that most people are better off avoiding fruit juiceIf you don’t want to give up fruit juice entirely, cut back on it by mixing in some sparkling water. And always keep these tips in mind IF you choose to drink fruit juice:

1. Only buy 100-percent fruit juice (“fruit drinks,” “fruit beverages,” and “fruit cocktails” usually have added sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, coloring or artificial flavors)

2. Choose juices that are darkly colored (pomegranate or blueberry instead of apple or orange)

3. Opt for juices that are packaged in glass and have sediment on the bottom (this indicates the nutritious skins are included)

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