Clinical nutritionist Samantha Heller talks about what
makes the juices healthy. The study took into account
the antioxidant levels of the juices.
Basically, Heller says, anything with a vivid color,
like most berries, will be high in antioxidants, so
it's no surprise berry juices landed in most of the
top 10 slots.
Oxidants, she explains, are naturally-occurring substances
that derive from oxygen. Chemically speaking, oxygen
always wants to "mate," and if it can't find a mate,
it will latch onto anything. As it's latching onto substances
in our body, it can overwhelm them, and cause disease.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, voluntarily bond with
molecules of oxygen, preventing them from glomming onto
any other substance in our body, and that helps keep
And these juices have high levels of antioxidants.
Still, Heller cautions that doesn't mean you should
go overboard with any of them.
There's always the danger, she points out, that when
we tell people something is healthy for them, they'll
go out and drink it by the gallon.
The truth is, you consume a lot of calories with juice.
No-sugar-added doesn't necessarily mean no sugar at
all. And sugar, even though it's naturally-occurring
sugar, can really pack on the pounds if you consume
Also, bear in mind that juices sometimes interact with
medications in an undesirable way. For example, grapefruit
juice interacts with some medications, so you have to
Another Heller suggestion: Eat the fruit itself if you
can, rather than drinking the juice. The fruit has far
fewer calories. Remember: It takes ten oranges to make
a glass of orange juice, but one orange will be relatively
low in calories. Also, the fruit will give you the fiber
you need, but the juice won't. So the fruit is always
a better choice than the juice.
If you're a big juice-lover, and you're not much of
a fruit-eater, Heller says it would be better to get
the nutrients the juice has to offer. But to avoid calorie
overload, mix it with club soda. You'll get the taste,
with half the calories.
Among the top ten juices:
Pomegranate is the healthiest of them all because it
contains the most of every type of antioxidant. It wins
in all categories. And it's thought that it might do
some very good things; it may protect against some cancers,
such as prostate cancer. It might also modify heart
disease risk factors, and it could be healthy for your
heart. So pomegranate was the clear winner.
Concord Grape Juice
Concord grape juice is a source of very potent antioxidants.
And there's some research indicating it may be good
for our hearts and also help reduce blood pressure.
Grapes are also high in fiber, but much of their goodness
is in the seed, so you need to consider whether grape
juice is the way to go.
The color alone indicates a lot of antioxidants. But
blueberry juice also contains tons of fiber, and is
also very high in Vitamin C. One of the qualities of
antioxidants is that they can lower inflammation, and
so there's some indication that blueberries may have
some effect on age-related cognitive abilities. And
don't forget that blueberries are very low in calories.
Black Cherry Juice
This one actually has scientists a bit excited. Not
only is it high in antioxidants, but there is evidence
that black cherry juice can actually diminish exercise-induced
Like all of these juices, it's high in antioxidants.
But cranberry juice is also high in Vitamin C. And there's
always been a sort of wives' tale that cranberry juice
helps prevent urinary tract infections. Well, it turns
out researchers are finding evidence that it actually
can decrease the number of urinary tract infections.
The thinking is, it helps stop bacteria from sticking
to the bladder wall, protecting against infections.