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Juicy News for Fruit Lovers

Fruit juices provide health benefits, but drink them in moderation.
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Choose Colorful Juices

Juices made from deep purple, red, and blue fruits (such as grapes, cranberries, pomegranates, and blueberries) are high in anthocyanins, says Kulze, which have been shown in lab and animal studies to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

"Richly colored juices are your best choice," Kulze says, and advises that when selecting a juice, you choose one where you can see sediment at the bottom of the bottle. "That means the skin has been used in making the juice," she explains. "The skin of any fruit is where you find the highest concentration of beneficial properties." (Make sure you shake the bottle vigorously before pouring so you get some of that sediment in your serving, says Kulze.)

Don't be thrown off by labels that say juice "beverage," "drink," or "cocktail," says nutrition consultant Carla McGill, RD. "Look for a label that says 100% juice," she advises, which means that it is not a sweetened beverage. The exception to this is cranberry juice, which is much too tart to drink unsweetened, but even in this case, there are degrees of sweetened cranberry juice from which to choose.

New Juices on Market

One of the newer fruit juices that is capturing our attention is black currant juice. For 100 years it was illegal to commercially grow black currants in the U.S, but that law has now been overturned, thanks to the efforts of Greg H. Quinn, president of The Currant Company, which is the first, and at the moment, the only domestic producer of a currant product in the U.S., a nectar known as CurrantC. (Growing black currant was banned in the early 1900s because it was found to promote the spread of white pine blister rust, which threatened the booming timber industry.)

Research conducted in countries such as New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, and Finland has shown that black currants have many benefits. They have been shown to have twice the antioxidants of blueberries, four times the vitamin C of oranges, and twice the potassium of bananas. These overseas studies have also reported that black currants can lower blood pressure, improve skin disorders such as dermatitis and psoriasis, and improve eye function.

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