Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Juicy Stuff

Whenever I am in my hometown Pune, I take my early morning stroll along a fixed route. On one of the street corners, I always see a vendor with a folding type of table, few small sized stainless steel canisters, glasses and spoons. One of these days, out of curiosity, I went near his stall. He was selling ready-made vegetable juices of various types. Some were common types like Carrot Juice but some of his products were rather unusual. He had juices for sale, extracted from Gourd, Cucumber etc. Since I saw him almost every day, he must be having customers for his products, I thought. To be frank, I was not convinced that these juices were the fountains of health as claimed by him on a board put up near his stall.

Vegetable juices are rather unusual. However, fruit juices are very common and one can encounter a stall selling fruit juices, almost on any street corner. To set up such a stall, appears to be fairly simple. All you need is couple of mixers or fruit extractors, few knives and a table. Since this juice is extracted right before your own eyes, it is believed that, since it is fresh it must be good for health. Yet, it is not known what kind of water is used for washing mixer jugs, glasses and spoons? Making such, an assumption therefore may turn out to be rather risky. Besides, quality of the fruit used could also be a grey area. Only after these things are known, it could be concluded that the juice is healthy.

PondyBazaar 003


There is another class of soft drinks, which have carbon dioxide gas put into them under pressure. These froth viciously when the bottle cap is opened and are generally known as ‘Soda’s’. There is a common belief that ‘Soda’s’ in general, are unhealthy compared to fruit juices. Recently, one of my friends, who is a diabetic and slightly on plump side, came to sudden realization that his consumption of ‘Soda’s’ was little on higher side. This was a hindrance to his health plan of loosing few kilograms. Enlightened with his findings, he declared that he would stop consumption of ‘Soda’s” and instead drink canned fruit juice. During next few weeks, he finished several one-liter packs of variety of fruit juices and was convinced about his newfound healthiness.  However, a visit to his Doctor soon punctured his euphoria as his blood sugar was found to have actually gone up. In reality most of the packed fruit juices have sugar added in them and are not necessarily more healthy than ‘Soda’s’.
According to diet experts, drinking fruit juices is not the best method of consumption of fruits. Fruit juices certainly contain many nutrients required for the body. However, they do not contain ‘Flavonoids’ essential for absorption of vitamin C. When we extract fruit juice, we leave behind fibers. Fibers are beneficial for digestion. Some of the fruit juices, e.g. Mango, contain high percentages of sugar and calories. It is best to avoid such juice. If the extracted fruit juice is too sweet best thing is to dilute it with water before drinking it.



Drinking vegetable juice has no particular advantage over eating vegetables raw. We only eliminate fibers Besides it is difficult to ensure that the vegetables from which this juice has been extracted have been cleaned up properly and that to with clean water. It is much better to prepare vegetable juices at home after properly cleaning the vegetables.
It is said that “Apple a day keeps the Doctor away”. There can be no two opinions about this. It is worth noting that the eating an apple keeps doctor away and not by drinking apple juice.

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