It goes without saying that making your own juice is among the healthiest options out there. By juicing fruits and vegetables at home, you avoid the added sugars and preservatives of store-bought blends. However, new research suggests a simple hack might actually make that store-bought juice a little healthier.
According to a study by the University of Seville in Spain, freezing juice before thawing it out again increases the bioaccessibility of compounds called carotenoids, allowing them to be more easily absorbed into the blood stream. That’s a lot of jargon, but we’ll break it down.
Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that help prevent the breakdown of muscle and reduce oxidative stress, according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Importantly, carotenoids have a protective effect against heart disease. Studies have also suggested that two of these compounds, phytoene and phytofluene, may aid in the prevention of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and atherosclerosis. Carotenoids have been gaining more attention in the scientific community due to the variety of health benefits they offer.
Basically, freezing your orange juice and thawing before drinking allows your body to more easily absorb these antioxidants. We like the sound of that.
Unfortunately, this research is new and fairly limited – only orange juice was included in the study. Plus, freezing and thawing store-bought juice doesn’t decrease the amount of sugar and preservatives. You can always offset the sugar rush with a high-fiber breakfast, like plain oatmeal, but the fact remains you’ll probably be consuming more sugar than you’d like to.
That said, we like the sound of making store-bought options a bit healthier. Additionally, while the study was only conducted on commercial juice, we’re interested in the implications of using it on fresh-pressed juice.
While we’re all for creating home-made juices, it can be difficult to juice every time you get thirsty. Between preparing the ingredients and cleaning the juicer, some mornings just don’t have the time required to make a daily blend. When that happens, we’ll now be turning to the frozen store-bought cartons in our freezers, thank you very much.