We all know that fruits and vegetables are a very basic part of the Mediterranean Diet and they should be consumed daily. One way of consuming fruits is by drinking their fruit juice. Mediterranean diet juices can and should be consumed daily and they fall in the Mediterranean diet drinks category that we have discussed in one of our previous articles.
The benefits from the consumption, drinking, of juices are many and it depends mainly on the type of juice we drink and the kind of need our body has. Juices ‘’hide’’ in them nutritional components which are needed by our body for its smooth and normal operation. The Mediterranean fruit juices are considered to be the dietary ally of our body since the benefits resulting from the juices are many and multidimensional!
Fruits and their juices stimulate the body and provide it with the extra energy needed for the daily activities, due to the fact that they contain natural sugars, otherwise known as carbohydrates. Juices provide the much needed, hydration to the body since water is their major constituent. Even though juices should be consumed as fresh as possible, it is worth noting that non-concentrated juices are also beneficial to our body since they do not undergo any kind of processing and water and sugar are neither removed nor added, thus keeping the juice as close to their original state as possible. Fruits like the ones belonging to the berry family, like raspberry, blueberry and strawberry, pomegranate and the citrus fruits have increased antioxidant properties; they contain Vitamin A, B, E and polyphenols, properties which fortify our body and make us stronger.
We will give a short list of Mediterranea diet juices which we believe are not only the most common but they are also the ones which will bring the most nutritional benefit to your body. Mediterranean diet juices are just a subset of the general group of the Mediterranean Drinks presented in a previous article.
Orange Juice: Orange juice, OJ, contains Vitamin C, which fortifies the body defence, contributes to the energy conversion within the body while at the same time improves the absorption of iron by the body and to the health of the skin. OJ contains magnesium, a trace element which is important for the bone health. The folic acid which can be found in the Orange Juice helps to the improvement of the vascular system resulting to the reduction of cardiovascular and brain incidents. Latest research about Orange juice has proved that it reduces the bad cholesterol levels.
Pomegranate Juice: Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants, provides an antiseptic protection to our body and it slows down the aging of the cells. It also helps in the reduction of the bad cholesterol level while at the same time it increases the levels of the good cholesterol. A mixed juice of pomegranate with raspberry juice provides to the body plenty of antioxidants.
Mango Juice: It is another juice which is rich in antioxidants which help the fight against the aging of the cells and gives us a healthy and shiny skin. Consumption of a mango juice fights the free radicals which cause the wrinkles on our face, while the carotene b which it contains contributes to the health of the eyes and the lungs!
Pear Juice: Pears are fruits which can be used in salads, Pear Salad with Walnuts and Feta cheese, they can be easily consumed on a daily basis and their juice is just the right juice for a healthy living. This specific juice it is a miracle juice on its own but it can be combined with other juices to make them tastier and healthier. Pear juice is not only rich in Calcium and Vitamin C but it also contains high levels of Potassium, Magnesium and Phosphorous which are necessary elements for our body
Grape Juice: The purple color of the grape juice is especially important for the protection of the brain cells. You can improve your memory with the consumption of a glass of grape juice on a frequent basis. Grape juice is also rich in antioxidants which enable the body to fight affectively any kind of disease.
Beet Juice! Have you ever drunk a glass of beet juice! It is not a popular juice in the western world and this kind of juice is probably one of the healthiest juices you will ever have. It not only helps your body to fight cancer but it is also helps to your weight loss, if you are in that stage. Beet juice helps in the growth and development of the red blood cells. This specific juice is rich in Potassium, Iron, Vitamin C and Magnesium. It also helps patients who suffer from memory loss to recover and achieve greatest attention and concentration levels. Beet juice is particularly important for the reduction of the impact caused due to menopause.
Grapefruit Juice: it is the ideal juice for a rich breakfast and this is the reason it is highly recommended by a great number of Dietitians, so as to achieve a balanced diet and a healthy way of living, like the Mediterranean diet. It contains Vitamins, citric acid, essential oils, flavonoids and lycopene which have intense antioxidant action.
Apple Juice: Most recent studies have shown that the apple juice which is not clear it is healthier than the clear apple juice, due to the polyphenols that it contains. It is a juice rich in Vitamin C and other elements which help in the creation a strong bone structure. It contains antioxidants something which refreshes the body without imposing any fats.
Pineapple juice: It is a juice with the light and exotic taste and aroma offering a unique tasting experience giving us all the nutritional components of the pineapple. The special enzyme bromelain that it is found on the pineapple juice has the property to break proteins and help the digestion process. Pineapple juice is rich in vitamin C.
Tomato juice: This is a good opportunity to clear out in our minds that tomato is not a vegetable but it is a fruit! It is a fruit rich in lycopene, an element which gives it the red color and reduces the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer. Tomato juice has few calories but it is rich in Vitamin C. One glass of tomato juice contains half of our daily needs in Vitamin C.
Peach juice: The Peach juice is a good source of soluble fiber thus contributing so the reduction of the LDL cholesterol. It has a few calories and a great number of vitamins. Due to the grouping of vitamins it has, especially Vitamins C and E, it protects our body from gastrointestinal disorders and it is especially recommended for the smooth operation of the colon. Consumption of peach juice helps in the relaxation of the body and helps in the suppression of the menopause syndromes.
Morello, Black cherry, Juice: This is another kind of juice you cannot find easily but in certain Mediterranean countries like Greece and Turkey, this kind of juice is well known. It has a particular and distinct taste and aroma and this is the reason it is used in many pharmaceutical preparations and syrups. It is a special kind of cherry which was used extensively during the medieval times for medicinal purposes. Every glass of this kind of juice offers to the body carbohydrates which refresh the body and give us energy!
Juices are a valuable and nutritional supplement of our everyday diet and it is up to us to decide the kind of juice we will have depending of the time of the day, if it will accompany our meal or if it will be taken before or after an exercise. Mediterranean diet promotes the use of fresh juices of any kind and juices are part of the ‘’daily consumption’’ step of the Mediterranean diet pyramid. Just follow your heart and desire for the juice you will have and you will enjoy the nutritional benefits moments later.