Before you pour a fresh glass of your favorite fruit juice at the breakfast table, you might want to pay attention to this report! Just how healthy is the juice you're drinking? Well, you might be picking a bottle that has been stripped of it's nutritional value...just for looks.
Walk down any grocery store aisle and there is no shortage of fruit juice options. But what many consumers don't know is that the sparkling clear juice they put into their shopping carts is not the "clear winner" when it comes to nutrition. Director of Nutrition Services at West Cal-Cam Hospital, Francine Landry, says, "There's a clarifying process to remove the cloudiness from the fruit juice, which removes a lot of the fiber, the antioxidants, polyphenols and C-properties of the fruit."
Just looking at a clear versus cloudy glass of apple juice, one might be turned off, simply by the appearance. "The clear juice certainly looks more appealing," says Landry, "more appetizing, more palatable up against the cloudy juice - just looking at it, the cloudy looks perhaps outdated, expired or spoiled."
But the health benefits of picking the cloudier juice range from improved brain function to a reduction of heart disease and cancer, thanks to the antioxidants and polyphenols that haven't been processed out. "When it was a cloudy juice," says Landry, "there were 50-80 percent more antioxidants in that juice than in a clear juice."
So...the big question: What about the taste? We put clear and cloudy versions to the test with a couple of employees at West Cal-Cam Hospital. Landry handed both Tess Dimas and Debby Nabours two concealed cups of apple juice - one clear, one cloudy. For Dimas, her choice was cloudy. "I like the cloudier version," says Dimas, "to me it wasn't as sweet."
Nabours liked the clear, sweeter version, but says she is ready to make the switch to better benefits. "I would chose the cloudy even though the taste is a little bit different," says Nabours, "because the benefits are so great."
100 percent fruit juice, whether it's clear or cloudy, can be a good source of nutrition - but the cloudy choice - even though it might not look as tasty, can be up to four times healthier.
*Other foods with health-packed polyphenols are cantaloupe, berries, pears, grapes, broccoli, olive oil...and even chocolate! Yum!
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