By CHIOMA OBINNA

Everybody enjoys a tall, cool glass of juice. The colour is usually vibrant, the taste is no doubt sweet, and everyone assumes is good too. But dieticians say don’t be too fast to jump to conclusion. Although the best kinds of juice deliver a bounty of vitamins, the worsts are hardly better than liquid candy. There has been various argument about pure fruit juice without sweeteners. Experts say such an innocent-sounding drink has sparked endless debate. No one disputes the fact that real fruit juice is loaded with vitamins and disease-fighting antioxidants. The problem is juice can also be naturally high in sugar and calories. According to dieticians, a cup of pure apple juice can have as much sugar as some candy bars. That is why many experts recommend sticking to one serving per day.

However, cocktail juice has been implicated to be the worst choice of juice for anybody. They warned that people should be wary of the terms, juice cocktail, juice-flavored beverage, or juice drink. This is because most of these products contain only small amounts of real juice. The main ingredients are usually water and some type of sugar, such as high-fructose corn syrup. Experts say nutritionally, these drinks are similar to most soft drinks — rich in sugar and calories, but low in nutrients. Research suggests that sugary fruit drinks put children at risk for obesity and related health problems.

For children, experts have recommended the ‘water it down’ method to reduce the calories in every serving. Instead of drinking one glass of pure juice, you can enjoy two or three cups of the water-juice mixture throughout the day.

Here are some recommended juices:

Vegetable Juice: Drinking your veggies is a convenient way to add powerful plant-based nutrients to your diet. The lycopene in tomato juice appears to lower the risk of prostate cancer. Beet juice may reduce blood pressure. Pulpy vegetable juice is also packed with fiber that can help control hunger. Vegetable juice has far less sugar and fewer calories than the typical fruit juice.

Pomegranate Juice: If you are only going to drink one glass of juice each day, you want to make it a good one. Pomegranate juice tops the list of juices that offer the biggest nutritional benefit. It is high in sugar and calories, but delivers an abundant dose of antioxidants. These substances appear to protect brain function and may ward off cancer. In a study, eight glasses of pomegranate juice daily reduced the recurrence of prostate cancer.

Cranberry Juice: Experts say cranberry juice is packed with vitamin C, which is vital to a healthy immune system. Unsweetened cranberry reduces your risk of urinary tract infections.

Blueberry Juice, is also a good choice. Substances in blueberries may help keep the brain healthy. Studies have shown improvement on memory in adults in their seventies who had age-related memory decline.

Acai Berry Juice: Researchers have only begun looking into the health benefits of acai juice, which is made from a berry found in South America. But early studies are promising. Acai pulp appears to have a higher concentration of antioxidants than cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries.

Cherry Juice: Besides delivering a wealth of antioxidants, some berry juices appear to have anti-inflammatory properties. According to one study, drinking cherry juice before and after your work-out can reduce exercise-induced muscle pain.

Red Grape Juice: We have all heard that red wine, in moderation, can be good for the heart. The same is true of red grape juice. Red grape juice contains potent antioxidants flavanoids and resveratrol. The key is that wine and juice are made with the entire grape seeds, skin, and all. When you eat fresh grapes, you miss out on nutrients hiding in the seeds.

Prune Juice: Prune juice has long been recommended to relieve constipation. It works because it is extremely high in fiber and contains a natural laxative called sorbitol. But the benefits of prune juice don’t stop there. The juice is also packed with antioxidants, iron, and potassium.

Orange Juice: It is a staple at breakfast, but does this popular juice carry its weight? The good news is orange juice is loaded with vitamin C, a star for its immune-boosting benefits. In addition, orange juice is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D, nutrients that strengthen the bones. Unsweetened orange juice has fewer calories than some berry juices or grape juice. The trade-off is that it also has fewer antioxidants overall.

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