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Super Juices: How Smart Are They?

Super Juices:
How Smart Are They?

What are super juices?
How much do I need to drink to get an effect?
What else is in super juices?
Can I drink too much?

What are super juices?
Walk down the juice aisle at your local supermarket, and you'll see a new breed of thirst-quenchers lining the shelves. The latest trend in fruit juices is not the fruit, but the herbs that are added to them. Whether it's mango-kiwi with a dash of gingko, or carrot-apple with St. John's wort, these super juices claim to do everything from improve your memory and lift your mood, to ward off colds and flu. But do they work? back to top

How much do I need to drink to get an effect?
The truth is, drinking one bottle of juice, which contains a very small amount of herbs, probably won't have much of an effect. While many juices advertise their herbal power, they often don't reveal how much of the herb they contain. In many cases, this can mean the difference between getting an herbal boost and just enjoying an ordinary glass of juice.

In fact, many super juices contain less than 1/10 the amount of herbs needed to get health benefits. For example, one popular "happy" juice contains apples, bananas, and blackberries. Its secret weapon is 50 milligrams of St. John's wort, which is added to help improve your mood. However, the suggested daily dose of St. John's wort is 900 milligrams. This means you'd have to drink 18 servings of the juice to achieve any effect. Unless you're planning on drinking more than 10 bottles of juice a day, the only way you'll benefit from St. John's wort is to take the herb by itself. back to top

What else is in super juices?
Before you go drinking 10 bottles of juice to boost your mood or your energy, you might want to consider what else you're getting besides herbs and fruit. While many fruit juices offer less than 25 percent real fruit, each bottle contains sugar, salt, and fat. And don't forget that there's usually two servings in those small bottles, so if you drink the whole bottle, you're getting twice the sugar, salt, and fat. Before buying and drinking these super juices, read the nutrition labels carefully.

Juice you get at a juice bar is fresh and has no added sugar or preservatives. The herbal "boosters" these places add to your juice probably aren't giving you much health benefit, but a trip to the juice bar for a sweet, vitamin-filled glass of juice is healthier than a trip to the ice cream shop any day! back to top

Can I drink too much?
Like anything else, supersized portions of super juices add up to too much of a good thing. If you're hooked on a new raspberry-peach juice with ginseng, for example, try to avoid drinking it every day. While the quantities of an herb that a juice contains may be minimal, you're still better off limiting your intake and drinking a variety of juices rather drinking the same one over and over. back to top

Last Modified Date: 1/15/2001
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