East Jefferson General Hospital

I am always looking for the latest research, and I saw an interesting study topic in the September issue of Wellbella Magazine. In it, they cite a study review by author Diane Hyson, Ph.D., M.S., R.D. who reviewed 60 studies examining the health benefits of 100 percent fruit juice. She presented her review at the 2011 Experimental Biology meeting. Although I would like to see the list of studies she based her review on, her conclusions are interesting.

She determines that the 60 studies collectively show that drinking 100 percent fruit juice may retain the same disease fighting properties as the whole fruits. She does, however, point out that it is juices without "sugars, colors or preservative." In addition, Dr. Hyson also reports that the juice does lose the important fiber component that fresh, whole fruit contains.

I agree with her overall takeaway point. The best way to add these disease-preventing antioxidants is still to eat the whole fruit, but drinking the 100 percent fruit juice is a good option. Her advice, and mine, is to eat whole fruits when those are available, but for the fruits that are harder to eat in whole form, try it in juice form. Always look at the label to make sure the juices do not contain the additives that takes away from its health benefits. If weight loss is the objective, you might want to dilute the juice with water or sparkling water to reduce sugar and calorie content.

Based on the study review, Dr. Hyson says the following top five fruit juices all have disease preventing qualities and high antioxidant activity:

Cranberry – research tends to support that cranberries help to fight urinary tract infections.

Pomegranate – this fruit may help men prevent the development of prostate cancer.

Grape – supports brain function by protecting against cognitive decline.

Orange – extremely important fruit for your immune system and for fighting cancer.

Grapefruit – may help to lower the chance of developing respiratory and digestive cancers.