Drinking a freshly squeezed glass of juice is a delicious and nutritious way to start the day, and new research shows that it will also lower the risk factors for several chronic diseases and for obesity.
New research presented at the Experimental Biology (EB) 2009 meeting has found that people who drink 100% pure were leaner, had better insulin sensitivity and had lower risk for obesity and metabolic syndrome - a cluster of conditions that increases risk for stroke, heart disease and diabetes, when compared to non juice-drinkers.
The study looked at data from the National health and nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2004 - an ongoing data collection initiative through the Centers for disease Control and Promotion. Researchers found that, compared to non-consumers, 100% juice consumers had lower mean Body Mass Index (BMI), smaller waist circumference and lower insulin resistance. The researchers noted an inverse association between level of juice intake (oz/day) and these parameters.
Based on the analysis, risk for obesity was 22% lower among 100% juice drinkers, while risk for metabolic syndrome (defined as the presence of three or more of the following: central obesity, elevated blood glucose, elevated fasting triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, elevated blood pressure) was 15% lower compared to non-consumers.
"We know that maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is linked to decreased risk of some chronic diseases," noted one of the authors. "One-half cup of 100% fruit juice counts as a serving of fruit and, based on our analysis, 100% juice consumption is associated with some of these same benefits."
According to the researchers, intake of 100% juice was generally associated with other healthful behaviors. Among more than 14,000 participants in the survey, juice consumers had higher physical activity levels and more favorable dietary intake patterns (including: lower fat intakes, higher fiber intakes, lower added sugar intakes). After taking these lifestyle factors into account, the inverse relationship between 100% fruit juice consumption and metabolic syndrome was no longer statistically significant. However, risk for obesity remained 14% lower among juice consumers even after the adjustment.
Juicing your own fruits and vegetables can be a healthy and convenient way of getting vital nutrients from these foods every day. Try to drink the juice as quickly as possible after it has been juiced, as this will ensure that you get the maximum benefit.