Juice can be a big hit or a big miss, depending on the type you choose. On one hand, juice made from real fruits and vegetables with zero added sugar can deliver plenty of helpful nutrients to your body in an easy, quick way.
On the other hand, some juices are marketed as “healthy” but are made with tons of added sugar and very little nutrients.
With this in mind, we wanted to find out more about healthy juice options for those who are in their 50s. Because juice can be a convenient and affordable way to consume beneficial nutrients, it makes this a good beverage to combat the major bodily changes and potential health challenges you encounter as you age.
According to Blanca Garcia, RDN Nutrition Specialist with Health Canal, “the best juice for people over 50 is a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, with no preservatives or added sugars.”
Garcia talks to us about how the fiber present in vegetable juice is beneficial for people over 50, and we look at the best vegetable juices to drink that contain specific nutrients that optimize the juice’s benefits as you age. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss The #1 Best Juice to Drive Every Day, Says Science.
Why vegetable juice is healthy for those over 50.
Most popular juices are made with fruit and either contain very little vegetables or no vegetables at all. And while fruit juice can be beneficial to your health because of its minerals, antioxidants, etc., it usually contains little to no fiber at all. Without fiber that naturally slows the digestion process, your blood sugar may spike after drinking juice.
To lessen the severity of blood sugar spikes, people over 50 may want to consider opting for vegetable juice, as it contains more fiber and less sugar than fruit juices.
“Consuming fiber from vegetables can allow the natural sugar found in fruit to be used slowly and not be completely absorbed by the body,” says Garcia, “so by minimizing the absorption of sugar into the body from the fruit, any excess sugar not used will not be stored as fat.”
It can be difficult finding a fruit and vegetable juice that still contains fiber, as the process of juicing naturally removes most of the vegetable’s fiber content, but there are some store-bought vegetable juices you can buy that preserve some fiber and are low in sugar .
For example, juices like Lakewood Organic Veggie Blend contains 3 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of added sugar. RW Knudsen’s Organic Veggie Juice comes with 3 grams of fiber and 8 grams of sugar. For comparison, some juice drinks may contain upwards of 60 grams of sugar per serving, of which nearly 90% comes from added sugars.
Why is fiber, in general, important over 50?
Fiber is crucial at any age, but it is especially important over 50 for many reasons. One example of this is that as you get older, your digestion changes and staying regular becomes more difficult. Getting plenty of fiber in your diet can help keep your digestive health on track as well as lower your risk of age-related diseases.
One study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine looked at the diets of over 200,000 men and 160,000 women between the ages of 50 to 71 and tracked mortality over an average of 9 years.
The researchers found that participants who consumed the highest levels of fiber intake were at the lowest risk of death due to things like respiratory and cardiovascular disease compared to those who consumed the least amount of fiber.
Vegetable juice is a good option, but you should still aim to consume whole foods for fiber.
According to the Mayo Clinicdrinking juice can give you the vitamins and minerals found in fresh produce, but you’re better off eating whole fruits and veggies when you’re looking to increase your fiber intake.
Drinking vegetable juice can be an easy way to increase your fiber intake, but you should not replace eating whole vegetables with drinking juice.
READ MORE: 43 Best High-Fiber Foods For a Healthy Diet
The best vegetable juices for people over 50.
Vegetable juices can have many other health benefits besides fiber for those over 50, especially if you select certain veggies to incorporate.
The following juices contain specific nutrients that are linked to healthy aging.
1. Kale juice
Drinking kale juice has been known to help with heart health, which can be helpful for those over 50 since their heart undergoes many changes with age.
A study from Biomedical and Environmental Sciences found that men who consumed kale juice over 3 months experienced a decrease in bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol) and an increase in HDL cholesterol, which is the type that is healthy for your heart.
2. Wheatgrass juice
There’s a reason wheatgrass is so popular to drink in juice form, despite its overpowering flavor. For one, its high levels of chlorophyll are known to help fight inflammation, which is crucial for healthy aging.
Wheatgrass powder was also found to help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health in women over a 10-week period.
3. Broccoli juice
Broccoli is another helpful veggie to include in your juice because of an antioxidant it contains called kaempferol (which is also found in spinach and kale).
One study of almost 1,000 participants found that consuming kaempferol on a regular basis (one serving daily) was linked to slowing the type of cognitive decline that is related to aging.
And another study discovered that this antioxidant also has anti-inflammatory properties as well, which can help maintain overall health and protection from diseases.