The Importance Of Fruit And Vegetable Juices In Nutrition
A man’s health is a very important aspect of his life. To say that “health is wealth” is not only to utter an old, used up mantra, but to mean that for most human beings, staying fit and healthy is parallel to being wealthy, for a person’s everyday life is influenced mainly by the state of his mind and body, especially by the presence and absence of certain diseases.
Many people go through various efforts to stay fit, maintain good health, and ensure their longevity. Examples of these practices include engaging in rigorous physical fitness training, eating a balanced and healthy diet, maintaining ideal weight, and employing an effective stress management procedure. It is also important to stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake, and avoid the use of prohibited substances.
Poor health can be caused by a host of different factors, such as poor eating habits, lack of exercise, stress, and excessive smoking and alcohol intake. Unbalanced intake of nutrients, for one, may cause excessive or deficient nutrient intake, which will definitely affect the body’s normal functions. These nutrients are necessary for a person’s growth, metabolism, and other functions. There are about six nutrients, which are needed by the human body in different amounts to perform its various processes. These are: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, or nutrients that are known to provide energy to the body; and minerals, vitamins, and water, or those nutrients that support the body’s metabolism.
Water, the last nutrient in the list, is sometimes called the forgotten nutrient, but it is considered as the most important. Water is necessary for the body’s growth and metabolic processes. It runs through the blood and lymphatic system, carries oxygen and distributes nutrients to the cells, and rids the body of toxins and wastes in the form of urine and sweat. If water and its other liquid substitutes are not present in the human diet, food digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste excretion would be impossible.
The human body is made up of two-thirds water. It needs eight to ten glasses of water or caffeine- and alcohol-free liquids to replace the water it loses during the day. The body’s need for water is satisfied by the intake of other drinking liquids free from caffeine and alcohol, such as juices; fruits and vegetables, which are made of 80 to 95% water; meat products, which are made of 50% water; and cereals like rice and oats, which can contain as much as 35% water.
Fruit juices, on the other hand, have been scientifically proven to give certain health benefits, provided that they are taken in moderation. Nutritionists also suggest that fruit juices should be taken in their pure state, and people should only drink 100% fruit juice. Cranberry juice is believed to prevent urinary tract infections; grape juice is believed to lower the chances of blood clots in the heart; and orange juice is believed to prevent stroke and reduce the risk of heart attacks.
Though these popular beliefs have no scientific basis to their therapeutic claims, most scientists say that many fruit juices are indeed healthy to drink. Pure orange juice, for example, is very rich in Vitamin C, potassium, and folic acid. Other fruit juices that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and anthocynanins (water soluble pigments found in plants which act as antioxidants) include grape juice (purple), pomegranate juice, and cranberry juice. It is believed that juices that are made from fruits with rich colors such as grapes, pomegranates, cranberries, and blueberries are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. New juices from black currants and Tahitian noni have also found their way in the international market.
Recent scientific studies have also claimed that the antioxidants found in most fruits and vegetable juices can help lower a person’s risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants are naturally occurring substances found in most plants and have the potential to help combat heart diseases and fight cancer.
Freshly squeezed juices from fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of minerals and vitamins which catalyze chemical reactions occurring in the body. These enzymes also produce the energy needed for digestion, absorption, and conversion of food into body tissues. An increased intake of fruit and vegetable juices ensures that the body will efficiently absorb more minerals and vitamins.
Another helpful benefit of fruits and fruit juices is their ability to promote detoxification in the human body. Fruits help to cleanse the body, especially those with high acid levels. Tomatoes, pineapples, and citruses such as oranges, red grapefruits, and lemons are known for their detoxifying properties. While these fruits promote cleansing, they still provide the body with a high boost of Vitamin C!