When it comes to its healthiness, many people are divided. Some argue that it's too high in sugar, while others champion its high nutrient content.
This article reviews the 9 healthiest juices and discusses whether juice is a healthy choice in general.
Tart and bright red, cranberry juice offers many benefits.
- Calories: 116
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 31 grams
- Fiber: 0.25 grams
- Sugar: 31 grams
- Potassium: 4% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 11% of the DV
Cranberry juice is known for its ability to protect against urinary tract infections (UTIs). Though research on this effect has been mixed, a recent review found that drinking cranberry juice lowered the risk of getting a UTI by 32.5% (2Trusted Source).
This juice is also high in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, flavonols, procyanidins, and vitamins C and E, which may help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals (3Trusted Source, 4).
Cranberry juice is high in potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins C and E. It may also help prevent UTIs, though research on this effect is mixed.
Tomato juice is not only a key ingredient in Bloody Marys but also enjoyed on its own as a delicious and healthy drink.
While many people consider the tomato to be a vegetable due to its culinary uses, it's biologically a fruit. Still, many companies classify tomato juice as a vegetable juice due to its flavor and low sugar content.
One cup (240 ml) of tomato juice provides (5):
- Calories: 41
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugar: 6 grams
- Folate: 12% of the DV
- Potassium: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 6% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 189% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 5% of the DV
It's also a good source of lycopene, a carotenoid and antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color. In fact, 80% of dietary lycopene is reported to come from tomato juice, spaghetti sauce, or pizza sauce (9Trusted Source).
Lycopene may lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. For example, one review linked increased intake of lycopene to a 13% lower risk of heart disease (10Trusted Source).
However, tomato juice can be very high in salt, a mineral that can increase blood pressure when consumed in excess. Considering that most people consume too much salt, try to select low-sodium options when possible (11Trusted Source).
Tomato juice is very high in lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant and may lower your risk of heart disease. Furthermore, 1 cup (250 ml) provides almost twice your daily vitamin C needs. Choose low-sodium tomato juice whenever possible.
Beet juice has gained popularity in recent years due to its associated health benefits.
This colorful juice is made by blending beets and water.
One cup (240 ml) of beet juice provides (12):
- Calories: 70
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 18 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugar: 13 grams
It's relatively low in sugar, as most vegetables are naturally lower in sugar than fruits (13Trusted Source).
What's more, beets are a great source of betalains, which are pigments that give the vegetable its deep-red color. They act as potent antioxidants, potentially lowering your risk of heart disease, inflammation, and certain types of cancer (14Trusted Source, 15).
Beet juice is also high in inorganic nitrates, which have been shown to increase athletic performance and decrease blood pressure and heart disease risk (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
Still, keep in mind that the inorganic nitrate content of beet juice depends on the variety and growing conditions of the vegetable, as well as the processing method (17Trusted Source).
Beet juice is rich in dietary nitrates and betalains, both of which are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. Furthermore, it's much lower in sugar than other juices.
There are two main types — cloudy and clear. Cloudy apple juice contains pulp, while clear apple juice has had the pulp removed (20).
A 1-cup (240-ml) serving of apple juice provides (21):
- Calories: 114
- Protein: less than 1 gram
- Carbs: 28 grams
- Fiber: 0.5 grams
- Sugar: 24 grams
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 3% of the DV
Although it's naturally low in vitamin C, many commercial varieties are enriched with vitamin C, providing up to 106% of the DV per cup (240 ml) (25).
Apple juice comes in both clear and cloudy varieties. Though both contain antioxidants, cloudy juice provides up to 2–5 times more. Most apple juices are enriched with vitamin C, furthering its antioxidant content.
Prunes are dried plums. They're often enjoyed as a snack, but prune juice is another popular option.
One cup (240 ml) of prune juice provides (29):
- Calories: 182
- Protein: 1.5 grams
- Carbs: 45 grams
- Fiber: 2.5 grams
- Sugar: 42 grams
- Iron: 17% of the DV
- Magnesium: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 17% of the DV
- Potassium: 15% of the DV
- Vitamin B2: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B3: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 12% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 8% of the DV
Furthermore, it's widely used as a remedy for constipation, especially in older populations. Its fiber content appears to help soften stool and acts as a mild laxative (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).
It's also a good source of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and phenolic compounds (34Trusted Source).
Though prune juice is a natural source of sugar, it's best to limit your intake to a small glass per day or dilute it with water.
Prune juice provides a rich source of iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins. It's commonly used as a remedy for constipation due to its stool-softening effect.
Pomegranate juice has gained popularity in recent years due to its nutritional benefits. Plus, it adds a vibrant splash of color to your day.
- Calories: 134
- Protein: less than 1 gram
- Carbs: 33 grams
- Fiber: 0.25 grams
- Sugar: 32 grams
- Potassium: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin C: less than 1% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 22% of the DV
It's also high in the antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives pomegranates their characteristic dark-red color (37Trusted Source).
Pomegranate juice is rich in anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that give pomegranates their rich, dark-red color. The juice is also high in vitamin K, which is important for heart and bone health.
7. Acai Berry
Acai berries are small, circular berries that come from the acai palm tree.
Their delicious juice has an enticing, deep-purple color.
A single cup (240 ml) of acai berry juice provides (39):
- Calories: 91
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 13 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugar: 9 grams
Given that it has only gained popularity recently, nutritional data for this juice is limited. Still, the fruit's antioxidant content has been widely studied.
Acai juice is rich in various antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, ferulic acid, and chlorogenic acid. A diet rich in these compounds has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and mental decline (40, 41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
In fact, acai berries contain significantly more antioxidants than blueberries, which are well known for their disease-fighting compounds (43Trusted Source).
Finally, a study in 14 participants with osteoarthritis found that drinking an acai-based fruit juice for 12 weeks significantly lowered perceived pain. However, larger studies are needed to better understand this relationship (44Trusted Source).
Acai juice is rich in potent antioxidants, such as flavonoids, ferulic acid, and chlorogenic acid. A diet high in these compounds has been linked to a lower risk of chronic disease.
Orange juice is a classic breakfast staple around the world and well known for its nutritional properties.
A single cup (240 ml) of orange juice provides (45):
- Calories: 112
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbs: 26 grams
- Fiber: 0.5 grams
- Sugar: 21 grams
- Folate: 19% of the DV
- Potassium: 11% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 138% of the DV
It's also high in phenolic compounds, such as cinnamic, ferulic, and chlorogenic acids. These antioxidant compounds help fight free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to disease (46).
A study in 30 people found that drinking orange juice after a high-fat, carb-rich meal led to significantly lower inflammation levels, compared with drinking water or glucose-water. The researchers attributed this to the antioxidants in orange juice (47Trusted Source).
You can purchase orange juice with or without the pulp. The pulp adds a bit of fiber, though not a significant amount.
Plus, many orange juice varieties have added calcium to support bone health.
Orange juice is naturally high in vitamin C and other antioxidants. In one study, drinking orange juice after a high-fat, carb-rich meal reduced inflammation.
Grapefruit juice is a tart drink that many people enjoy.
One cup (240 ml) of grapefruit juice provides (48):
- Calories: 95
- Protein: 1.5 grams
- Carbs: 19 grams
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
- Sugar: 20 grams
- Folate: 9% of the DV
- Potassium: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 96% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 4% of the DV
This is due to compounds in grapefruit known as furanocoumarins, which interact with your liver's ability to process medications. Therefore, it's crucial to speak with a healthcare professional before eating grapefruit and its derivatives (52Trusted Source).
Grapefruit juice is rich in antioxidants, such as naringin and vitamin C. However, grapefruit and its products interact with numerous medications. Consult a healthcare professional if you're taking any medications that may interact with grapefruit.
Potential Downsides to Juice
Though juice contains many important nutrients, there are some downsides to drinking it.
Low in Fiber
Unlike whole fruit, fruit juice is low in fiber. During processing, the juices are extracted from the fruit, and the remaining flesh and fiber are discarded.
Fiber helps manage your blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. Without fiber, sugar can easily enter your blood and lead to a rapid spike in blood sugar and insulin (53Trusted Source, 54Trusted Source).
High in Sugar
Both whole fruit and fruit juices are high in sugar, but they differ in the type of sugar they contain.
The sugar in whole fruits is intrinsic sugar that exists within the cellular structure of a fruit or vegetable. These sugars aren't absorbed as quickly as free sugars (55Trusted Source).
Free sugars are simple sugars that have either been added to food or exist naturally in some foods and beverages, including fruit juices and honey. Unlike intrinsic sugars, they're absorbed quickly, as they're not bound within a cell (55Trusted Source).
A diet high in free sugars — especially sugar-sweetened beverages — is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity (56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source, 58Trusted Source).
However, most free sugars in the diet come from sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and energy drinks. In fact, a 2017 study found that fruit juice only accounts for an average of 2.9% of total sugar intake (55Trusted Source).
Unlike other sugar-sweetened beverages, 100% fruit juice is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Therefore, many experts argue that it's a much better alternative (59Trusted Source).
Nonetheless, focus on getting your daily nutrients from whole fruits and vegetables, which often boast high fiber contents. Aim to not drink more than 1–2 cups (240–480 ml) of juice per day (59Trusted Source).
Finally, if you decide to drink juice, try to purchase 100% real fruit juice. Many people mistake fruit cocktails or fruit beverages as real juice. Yet, these drinks usually contain added sugar, colorings, and flavors.
Unlike whole fruits and veggies, fruit juice is a poor source of fiber and can spike blood sugar levels. While juice can be a great source of nutrition, limit your intake to 1–2 cups (240–480 ml) per day, and try to opt for whole fruits and vegetables more often.
The Bottom Line
Juice can be an excellent source of nutrients, especially antioxidants.
While there is controversy surrounding the sugar content of juice, it's a much healthier option than other sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda or energy drinks.
Try to limit your intake to 1–2 cups (240–480 ml) per day, and opt for whole fruits and vegetables instead whenever possible.
If you're looking for a quick, convenient source of nutrients, juice can be a part of a healthy diet — as long as you enjoy it in moderation.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Coronavirus Shines Light on Zoos as Danger Zones for Deadly Disease Transmission Between Humans and Animals
By Marilyn Kroplick
The term "zoonotic disease" wasn't a hot topic of conversation before the novel coronavirus started spreading across the globe and upending lives. Now, people are discovering how devastating viruses that transfer from animals to humans can be. But the threat can go both ways — animals can also get sick from humans. There is no better time to reconsider the repercussions of keeping animals captive at zoos, for the sake of everyone's health.
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By Kate Whiting
Bernice Dapaah calls bamboo "a miracle plant," because it grows so fast and absorbs carbon. But it can also work wonders for children's education and women's employment – as she's discovered.
These are the world's most bicycle-friendly cities. Statista<p>"The reason we use bamboo to manufacture bicycles is because it's found abundantly in Ghana and this is not a material we're going to import," says Dapaah, one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders.</p><p>"It's a new innovation. There were no existing bamboo bike builders in our country, so we were the first people trying to see how best we could utilize the abundant bamboo in Ghana."</p>
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a335b5dffdd806bd6bb4debea90c2045"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dxsb9c4HMn0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Supporting Students<p>Besides encouraging Ghanaians to swap vehicles for affordable bikes, Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative is helping students save time on walking to school so they have more time to learn.</p><p>Each time they sell a bike, they donate a bike to a schoolchild in a rural community, who might otherwise have to walk for hours to get to school.</p><p>Dapaah knows how transformative a shorter journey to school can be to academic performance. She grew up living with her <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb3joGYmx9A&feature=emb_logo" target="_blank">grandpa, a forester in a rural part of the country</a>.</p><p>"We had to walk three and a half hours every day before I could go to school. He later bought me a bike, so I finished senior high and wanted to go to university."</p><p>The experience inspired her to launch Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative with two other students at college.</p><p>"When we started this initiative, I looked back and said, when I was young, I had to walk miles before I could get to school, and sometimes if I was late, I was punished.</p><p>"Why don't we donate bikes for students to encourage them to study and so they can have enough time to be on books."</p><p>To date, they have sold more than 3,000 road, mountain and children's bikes – and Dapaah says they plan to donate <a href="https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/350343" target="_blank">10,000 bikes to schoolchildren over five years</a>.</p>
Empowering Women<p>The enterprise is also providing local jobs. It teaches young people to build bikes, particularly women and those in rural communities, where jobs can be scarce. More than 50% of people they have trained are women.</p><p>Dapaah says they want to boost the number of people they employ to 250 over the next five years and they are looking to partner with NGOs to build a childcare facility so mothers can continue to work.</p>
Reducing Emissions<p>By promoting a cycling culture in Ghana, Dapaah says they're also committed to reducing emissions in the transport sector and contributing to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.</p><p>"I love the idea of reusing bamboo to promote sustainable cycling. People want to go green, low-carbon, lean-energy efficient," she says.</p>
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By Kristen Pope
Melting and crumbling glaciers are largely responsible for rising sea levels, so learning more about how glaciers shrink is vital to those who hope to save coastal cities and preserve wildlife.
Groans, Creaks, Icebergs’ Calving Splashes<p>Oskar Glowacki already knew that melting glacial ice sounds like frying bacon. As ice bubbles burst, anyone nearby can hear crackling and popping, said Glowacki, a postdoctoral scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Using hydrophones, he and other scientists now can make more nuanced measurements of how a changing climate sounds underwater, from the groans, creaks and splashes of a calving iceberg to the changes in whale songs as the ocean warms.</p><p>Glowacki recently used a pair of hydrophones to study the underwater world of glaciers, publishing his findings in <a href="https://www.the-cryosphere.net/14/1025/2020/" target="_blank">The Cryosphere</a>. He and co-author Grant B. Deane measured glacier retreat by <a href="https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/07/melting-glaciers-sound-like-frying-bacon/" target="_blank">recording the sounds of ice</a> – from small chunks to enormous slabs – falling off the glacier and splashing into the water.</p><p>During the summer of 2016, Glowacki's team placed two hydrophones near Hansbreen Glacier in Hornsund Fjord, Svalbard. For a month and a half, they recorded sounds, also using three time-lapse cameras to collect images – including the "drop height" (how far the ice fell into the water) – so they could compare photos to the recordings. The team created a formula to represent the relationship between the size of a piece of ice falling from a glacier and the sound it makes underwater, also accounting for the pieces of ice falling from varying heights. (Hear an example of the sound an iceberg makes while calving <a href="https://soundcloud.com/user-248456662/iceberg-calving-hansbreen-glacier" target="_blank">here</a>.)</p>
Unlocking Information About Antarctic Ice Shelf<p>Other researchers also are using hydrophones to learn more about crumbling glaciers. Bob Dziak, research oceanographer with the NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory <a href="https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/acoustics" target="_blank">acoustics research group</a>, captured a massive calving event of the Nansen Ice Shelf in Antarctica with a hydrophone. He published the results with colleagues in <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2019.00183/full" target="_blank">Frontiers in Earth Science</a></p><p>On April 7, 2016, satellite images showed a massive calving event had occurred on the ice shelf. The paper described it as the "first large scale calving event in >30 years."</p><p>However, once Dziak and colleagues delved into the data from three hydrophones deployed 60 kilometers east of the ice shelf, they uncovered a series of "icequakes" from January to early March 2016. He and other researchers believe that much of the ice actually broke free in mid-January to February, but it remained in the same location until an April storm – which their paper described as the "largest low-pressure storm recorded in the previous seven months" – broke the ice free.</p><p>"We suspected that the icebergs broke apart but remained in place – kind of pinned in place – until a major storm with high winds passed through the area and, finally, it was that last push that pushed the icebergs out to sea," Dziak says.</p><p>He and his co-authors wrote that "fortuitous timing and proximity of the hydrophone deployment presented a rare opportunity to study cryogenic signals and ocean ambient sounds of a large-scale ice shelf calving and iceberg formation event."</p>
Listening to Songs of Humpback Whales<p><a href="https://www.mbari.org/" target="_blank">Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute</a> studies the ocean, including its acoustics. One of the institute's projects involves examining the soundscape of California's Monterey Bay, including sounds from animals, humans, weather, and geologic processes like earthquakes. The researchers once even recorded an under-sea landslide. They also focus on recording and analyzing the <a href="http://www.mbari.org/humpback-song/" target="_blank">songs of humpback whales</a>. Male humpback whales' songs can be over 15 minutes in length, and they can be repeated for long periods of time – even hours. Listening to these songs and analyzing them can provide unique insights into the lives of these complex animals.</p><p>"Any time we want to study marine mammals, sound gives us a window into their lives because they use sound for all of their essential life activities, really," says institute biological oceanographer John Ryan. "Communication, foraging, reproduction, navigation – depending on the species, of course."</p><p>Previously, scientists had thought singing occurred only during courtship and mating, but now they think whales may also use song while migrating and hunting. They know song has a crucial role in the whales' lives.</p><p>"There's a whole other dimension to humpback whale song," Ryan says. "It is a mode of cultural transmission in this species. They learn songs from each other. They share songs as a population, and when populations mix and mingle, they learn new ideas, they explore with their song, improvise, and it's a real essential part of their culture."</p>
By William S. Lynn, Arian Wallach and Francisco J. Santiago-Ávila
A number of conservationists claim cats are a zombie apocalypse for biodiversity that need to be removed from the outdoors by "any means necessary" – coded language for shooting, trapping and poisoning. Various media outlets have portrayed cats as murderous superpredators. Australia has even declared an official "war" against cats.
Faulty Scientific Reasoning<p>In our <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13527" target="_blank">most recent publication</a> in the journal Conservation Biology, we examine an error of reasoning that props up the moral panic over cats.</p><p>Scientists do not simply collect data and analyze the results. They also establish a logical argument to explain what they observe. Thus, the reasoning behind a factual claim is equally important to the observations used to make that claim. And it is this reasoning about cats where claims about their threat to global biodiversity founder. In our analysis, we found it happens because many scientists take specific, local studies and overgeneralize those findings to the world at large.</p><p>Even when specific studies are good overall, projecting the combined "results" onto the world at large can cause unscientific overgeneralizations, particularly when <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2015.01.003" target="_blank">ecological context is ignored</a>. It is akin to pulling a quote out of context and then assuming you understand its meaning.</p>
Ways Forward<p>So how might citizens and scientists chart a way forward to a more nuanced understanding of cat ecology and conservation?</p><p>First, those examining this issue on all sides can acknowledge that both the well-being of cats and the survival of threatened species are legitimate concerns.</p><p>Second, cats, like any other predator, affect their ecological communities. Whether that impact is good or bad is a complex value judgment, not a scientific fact.</p><p>Third, there is a need for a more rigorous approach to the study of cats. Such an approach must be mindful of the importance of ecological context and avoid the pitfalls of faulty reasoning. It also means resisting <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13126" target="_blank">the siren call of a silver (lethal) bullet</a>.</p>
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