Juice Nutrition 101

All fruit juice products provide two important nutrients: simple carbohydrates (sugars) and water. In addition to sugars and water, many - but not all - juices and juice drinks may contain other important nutrients like vitamin C, potassium and folic acid.

Nutrition 101: 5 A Day for Better Health

Many juices count toward the five servings of fruits and vegetables we should eat every day. The "5 A Day for Better Health" campaign, co-sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the Produce for Better Health Foundation, recommends consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. A 6-ounce glass of 100% juices or other OCEAN SPRAY® juice drinks (3/4 cup) is a quick and easy way to get one of your five daily servings.

Nutrition 101: Nutrients

Humans get six categories of nutrients from foods and beverages.

Four nutrients - CARBOHYDRATES, PROTEIN, FAT and WATER - are called MACRONUTRIENTS because they are needed in relatively large amounts. The other two essential nutrient groups — vitamins and minerals - are called micronutrients because they are needed in relatively small amounts.

Nutrition 101: Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are one of three classes of energy-providing nutrients (the other two classes are fat and protein). Experts recommend the majority of calories in the diet should come from carbohydrate-rich foods and beverages. Two broad categories of carbohydrates exist: simple and complex. These designations are based on the complexity of chemical structure. Table sugar (sucrose) is a simple carbohydrate and the sugars in fruit (fructose, sucrose and glucose) are simple carbohydrates, too. Complex carbohydrates are found in breads, pastas, rice, cereals and starchy vegetables such as potatoes.

Nutrition 101: Carbohydrate Metabolism

All carbohydrates are converted in our bodies into a sugar called glucose (often called "blood sugar"), which is used by the body for energy. Complex carbohydrates take a little longer to break down than simple carbohydrates, but both types of carbohydrates are converted to glucose, the sugar that supplies energy to all body cells.

Nutrition 101: Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is essential for maintaining collagen, a protein necessary for the formation of connective tissue in skin, ligaments and bones. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, aids in red blood cell formation, helps prevent hemorrhaging and bruising, and helps prevent viral infections such as the common cold. Vitamin C is an antioxidant nutrient. When vitamin C is added to fruit juice, it is listed as "ascorbic acid" on the ingredient list.

Nutrition 101: Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that helps: 1) regulate fluid balance; 2) maintain normal blood pressure; 3) transmit nerve impulses; and 4) aid in muscle contraction. Potassium is found in most fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits, citrus juices and bananas are especially rich sources of potassium.

Nutrition 101: Folic Acid (also known as folate and folacin)

Folic acid is a B vitamin essential for protein metabolism, cell division, the formation of red blood cells and nucleic acid, which is necessary for reproduction and growth of all body cells. Women of childbearing age should consume at least 400 milligrams of folic acid each day to help prevent birth defects, such as spina bifida, which are associated with inadequate folic acid intake before conception and during the first trimester. The American Heart Association recognizes recent research that points to folic acid as an essential nutrient that may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood levels of a substance called homocysteine. High blood levels of homocysteine damage blood vessels, which increases the potential of cholesterol buildup and subsequent artery clogging. Citrus fruits and their juices are good sources of folic acid. An 8-ounce glass of orange juice contains approximately 100 micrograms of folic acid. As of Jan. 1, 1998, all U.S. grain products are fortified with folic acid.

Nutrition 101: Phytochemicals

Many juices and juice drinks are loaded with phytochemicals. You won't see the term "phytochemicals" on a food label, but if you're savvy, you'll want to know where to find them. That's because phytochemicals - naturally occurring compounds plants may produce to protect themselves from diseases and insect damage - also benefit humans. Grapefruit juice, orange juice and other citrus fruits contain a class of phytochemicals called flavonoids. Flavonoids may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, as supported by research sponsored by the Florida Department of Citrus and conducted by the University of Western Ontario. Additionally, Harvard research published in 1994 in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests drinking Cranberry Juice Cocktail may help maintain urinary tract health. In vitro studies suggest that an unknown factor in Cranberry Juice Cocktail prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.

OceanSpray Used with permission from Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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