Healthy Living Makes a Difference

Fruits and Veggies Can Fight Father Time

  • Erika Geisheimer, Blog Coordinator
  • Communications, Good n' Natural Health Food Store

“The Father of Medicine” Hippocrates stated “Let food be thy medicine”. Modern research has learned that fruits and vegetables hold many of the most powerful and health-influencing nutrients – strong enough to fight cancer, and promote overall everyday well-being to potentially prevent early death. When juices have been chosen based on their measures of nutrients, then taste, not the other way around, we can gain the full benefit of these powerful foods provided by nature.

Research has found that 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily can reduce the risk of some cancers, heart attack, stroke, and early death. This is the only food group able to make this claim, truly showing the importance to emphasize consumption in our daily diet. Juices can provide a convenient, yet healthy means to help reach the necessary daily servings. According to researchers at Imperial College London, a meta-analysis of all available research around the world that included up to 2 million people, which took several factors into account, such as a person’s weight, smoking habits, physical activity and overall diet, estimated that approximately 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide may be prevented every year if people eat 10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Eating up to 800g of produce a day also decreased the risk of heart disease by 24 per cent; stroke by 33 per cent; cardiovascular disease by 28 per cent; cancer by 13 per cent; and premature death by 31 per cent.

Fruitful (and Veggie) Benefits

The Heart Health Research Review concluded that daily consumption of purple grape juice as part of a balanced diet promotes cardiovascular health. It is also known, along with its other “purple-ish cousin” blueberry, to support brain health and mental function. Cranberry is well documented for its ability to support urinary tract health. More recently, research has shown it helpful to manage cholesterol and subsequently heart health. Pomegranate has been another champion in the fight against heart disease, plus it can support prostate function. Another antioxidant-rich fruit, cherry, can reduce inflammation to fight joint pain and gout. Tart cherry is also naturally rich in melatonin, a well-researched sleep aid nutrient. Other fruits such as pear and pineapple can support digestive function. Beet juice is rich in iron and can help manage blood pressure. Carrots are well known for their ability to support eye health and night vision, plus promote healthy skin, and stronger bones and teeth.

Quality First

Only the best organic fruit used from just the right region, and harvested at the right time can make a world of difference in the final colour, nutrient value, mouth feel, and taste of a juice. Choosing organic can add to quality, but certain crops are harder to ensure organic supply all year-round due to many uncontrollable factors. An organic fruit is not genetically modified and has been grown in an environment devoid of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers. This means that the plant has to try harder to survive. In this struggle to survive, plants produce more antioxidants. Antioxidants are the good things in fruits that help prevent disease. Scientific studies have shown that organically grown fruits have up to 50% more antioxidants than conventionally grown produce. Thus, choose organic for optimal healthy benefits from your fruits.

Pesticide Testing – Exceeding Standards

Even though use of synthetic pesticides is not allowed on organic crops, “drift” from neighbouring conventional crops can infiltrate organic crops. To prevent choosing “tainted” crops, a juice company must rely on the advanced detection capabilities from leading testing facilities. These facilities test for a wider range of pesticides, and to greater detection limits. Testing standards can exceed the typical standards and can be up to 50 times more sensitive! One such example of these testing standards is the highly respected BNN Orientation Value/IFOAM Pesticide Guidelines, which test for over 595 pesticides that are approved for use in conventional agriculture – an astounding amount!

Choose NOT from Concentrate Juice

To concentrate a juice, the juice is processed to remove a significant portion of the water, taking with it some of the important and essential water-soluble vitamins and antioxidants. NOT from concentrate juice is generally fresher, has more nutritional value, and is less processed. Some juices are unclarified and unfiltered. This means you get all the nutrition found in the pulp and flesh of the fruit. So, when you find sediment in the bottom of your glass juice container, shake it well then pour to get the full health benefits in every glass.

So, here’s to lowering your risk factors by raising a glass of juice to your better health!