Antioxidant-packed fruit juices
Fruit juice is an excellent source for your daily dose of antioxidants, but only if you choose the right fruit and preparation method. Rich in Vitamin A, C and E, fruits are brimming with health benefits.
Our body produces free radicals naturally and they are a part of our natural defence system. However, at the same time these free radicals accelerate ageing and can at times provoke illness if they are too plentiful. Antioxidants are essential to preserve health and help fight against those somewhat troublesome extra free radicals.
So, to ward off the negative effects of your free radicals, you need to keep topped up on antioxidants, from fruit and vegetables in particular. So why not get into fresh seasonal fruit juice?
Some fruit’s nutrients are stored in the flesh, so by pressing them into a pure liquid form, you are actually releasing these nutrients and getting more goodness that simply eating the fruit itself. And the extra you get compared to shop-bought freshly pressed fruit juices is that yours will really be ‘freshly-pressed’, guaranteeing the maximum amount of nutrients and antioxidants that you can get, not to mention being cheaper if you stick to in-season fruits.
Follow our guide to making your own delicious fresh fruit juices.
Choosing antioxidant-rich fruits
A well-known source of antioxidants is the berry family. And what better news with summer just around the corner… Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and sweet cherries are delicious and make a mean fruit cocktail. Also high in antioxidants are exotic fruits from warmer climates, such as pomegranate, mango, papaya and kiwi, and not forgetting our very own Granny and Red Delicious apples.
You should choose fully ripened fruits, as they are particularly rich in nutrients. Take care not to choose damaged fruits, as this is usually a sign that they’ve been around for more than a few days. And if your purse allows it, do try and buy organic so that you get your antioxidants without the side order of pesticide and fertiliser residue!
Calorie Alert: You should consider your fruit juice as a alicament - meaning that you drink it in medicinal proportions. A freshly made fruit juice is a great starter for the day, but if you are watching your calorie intake, limit yourself to one glass a day. Fruits are high in natural sugar, and whatever food it may be (except perhaps broccoli!), if you eat a lot of it, then you are eating too much. This is a common problem with fruit juice, as many people consider it 'healthy' and so guzzle it down in the same way as water.
Make your own antioxidant-rich fruit juices
To make a good fruit juice, you need a good juicer. Using a juicer, as opposed to a blender has two main benefits: you get more of the nutrients that are pressed out of the fruit’s fibres and you get a smoother quality juice.
As a general rule, remove the pips or seeds from of the fruit before putting them into the juicer or you could get a bitter flavoured juice. This is obviously not possible for fruits such as pomegranates, which is why its juice has a slightly bitter taste that you don’t get when you eat the fresh fruit.
Experiment with mixing and matching fruits to suit your taste, but in the meantime, here are a few summery suggestions:
- Melon and strawberry antiviral juice: Wash 250g of strawberries, cut a quarter of a melon, remove the seeds and peel it. Cut the fruit, put it through the juicer and drink immediately.
- Berry and apple blend: Take small a handful of each of your 3 of your favourite berries. Wash them, take off the stems, remove the stones if you're using cherries. Peel, core and seed an apple. Put it all through the juicer and drink immediately.
- Pineapple, papaya and mango juice: Peel and remove the skin, stone and seeds of a papaya, a mango and half a fresh pineapple. Cut it all in to pieces, put it through the juicer and drink immediately.
- Mango, pineapple and kiwi juice: Peel and stone a mango, two kiwis and a thick slice of fresh pineapple. Put in through the juicer drink immediately.
- In winter, go for citrus fruits: Squeeze the juice out of two oranges and a grapefruit. Mix the two together and drink.
If you’re into dairy based fruit smoothies, then you would usually use a blender, putting in the fruits, adding milk or yoghurt and other ingredients such as nuts, spices or honey, and perhaps a banana to bind it all together. See our smoothie recipes
And if you don’t have the time or motivation to make your own fresh juices, go for the freshly pressed juices found in your supermarket’s refrigerated section.
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