Drinking fruit juice is an easy way to sneak vitamins and minerals into your body.
Go ahead: put the squeeze on fruit. Health experts agree that increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables cuts the risk of stroke, cancer, and heart disease. Yet many people don't eat the recommended amounts.
Boosting your daily intake to at least five servings of fruits and vegetables may reduce your cancer risk by 20 percent, says Melanie Polk, registered dietitian, and spokesperson for the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). "It would be great if you could eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables. The more the better," Polk says.
Juice typically lacks the fiber of whole fruit, but drinking your fruit is better than going without. Polk recommends blending your own juice by combining whole fruits, such as berries and melons, with orange juice. A citrus juicer does the trick for juicing oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. To go beyond citrus, consider a juice extractor. A whirling disk chops food into tiny pieces, which are then spun rapidly to separate juice from pulp. It works well on fruit and vegetables, including apples and carrots.
Cranberry Juice -- Drinking 10 ounces of cranberry juice each day reduces the chance of getting a urinary tract infection, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. New lab studies indicate cranberry components -- flavonoids -- may be useful in battling cancer and gum disease.
Orange Juice -- One 8-ounce glass of OJ provides 25 percent of the recommended daily level of folic acid, which women need to prevent certain birth defects. That same amount of juice supplies 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. Some fortified juices boost vitamin C levels even more. Others contain calcium.
Grape juice -- Beverages from red grapes contain resveratrol, a cancer-fighting substance that seems to work as an anti-inflammatory agent and may also keep early cancer cells from growing. Like red wine, grape juice has some heart-protecting benefits.