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Juice: The Beverage with Benefits

If you’re a juicer, you’re familiar with the benefits of getting fruits and vegetables in liquid fashion: drinking juice can be a fun, easy way to get your daily servings of fruits and veggies, as well as a way to incorporate some you might otherwise not eat.

At the same time, juice contains calories, and its name has been sullied by its link to obesity, especially in children. Too much juice, like too much anything, can contribute to weight gain, and juice is so drinkable it’s easy to consume a lot. However, recent studies have confirmed that drinking moderate amounts of 100% fruit juice doesn’t affect a child’s weight. And, if you are careful about differentiating between 100% juice and those cocktails and concoctions that contain additives, juice can triumph in the health arena because it provides more vitamins and nutrients per calorie than a lot of other things that might enter small (or big) mouths.

There are other reasons to love juice. While consuming the fruit of the juice and not the fruit itself means missing out on some fiber, researchers continue to look into the ways in which fruit offers particular advantages. For instance, pomegranate juice may lower cholesterol and even slow prostate cancer. Blueberry juice is popularly known to enhance brain health – a fantastic advantage, especially from such a naturally sweet package. The key to incorporating healthful juices comes down to avoiding fructose and the empty calories in juice “concoctions” that can take the bite out of its benefits.

Brain Boost from Juice?

While different types of juices promise targeted benefits, research indicates blueberry juice specifically excels in its potential to combat brain diseases. A study into the effects of blueberry juice published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry tested blueberry juice on people with age-related memory disease. After drinking 16 to 20 ounces of blueberry juice every day for two months, the group showed significant improvements in learning and memory over the control group.

What’s happening in the brain that leads to this remarkable brain benefit? Here’s the rundown: blueberries contain polyphenols that we know as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins provide the important antioxidant effect (which is why blueberries are known as a top antioxidant superfruit). Antioxidants in turn provide an anti-inflammatory effect, which is responsible for aging and disease in all parts of the body, including the blood vessels, eyes and the brain. Also, anthocyanins have been associated with increased neuronal signaling in brain centers. That improves memory function, and improves glucose disposal, which can prevent neurodegeneration—neuron death in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

What’s most exciting is that wild blueberry juice may provide more than just a memory boost – it could be responsible for a breakthrough in understanding how to prevent these devastating brain diseases. The sample in this study was small, but it marks an advance because the testing occurred on humans, not animals. Scientists concluded that the preliminary findings were encouraging and that “consistent supplementation with blueberries might offer an approach to forestall or mitigate neurodegeneration,” – definitely a juicy endorsement.

Juices & Health

You may have heard that cranberry juice is good for urinary infections, and grapefruit juice is a weight loss sensation, but what’s apple juice good for? Here’s UK’s Daily Mail list of juices that provide benefits from beets to carrots. (Concerning apple juice, the research says it’s also good for brain health—and digestion).

TrueBlue® Provides a New Chance to Get Your Juice

Get ready to welcome some new blues to store shelves. A new product out of Vancouver called TrueBlue™ offers up some sensational superfruit flavors including Wild Blueberry, Wild Blueberry and Pomegranate, and Wild Blueberry and Blackberry juice. They all feature 100% juice, not to mention a they’re a great way to nourish your brain with wild blueberries in a whole different way. Currently found primarily in health foods stores, TrueBlue™ has appeared on the West Coast, and its availability is expected across the U.S.

The company is also making efforts to educate consumers about ingredients and competitive labels in a program called “Learn the Truth” where polysyllables are simply not welcome. (The TrueBlue™ label makes for easy reading: there’s no filler or apple or pear juice, which can sometimes pose as filler, in their product.)

Start channeling Jack Lalanne! Discover great 100% juice recipes, including recipes that use juice as their sweet secret and integrate those important fruit and veggie servings into some unlikely places such as breads and desserts.

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