Juice Boost! 5 Healthy Reasons To Drink Your Fruits And Veggies

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juice2013 may very well be the year that cold-pressed juice hits the mainstream. It's a backstage staple at Fashion Week, fresh-juice shops are everywhere from the Hamptons to Venice Beach, and suddenly, paying $9 for a green juice is a necessary luxury for some people.

So, why are so many people fond of drinking their greens these days? "People don't have much time to eat well," explains Mark Wood, CEO of Liquiteria, a NYC-based juice company. "They are confident that if they drink cold-pressed juices, they will give their bodies a fast and nutritional impact."

In addition, says Anthony Spadaro of Tiny Empire, a Brooklyn-based juice company, his regular customers are looking to just feel better. "Our customers' priorities often have to do with energy or immune system boosts, dealing with hectic work schedules, city pollution, allergies, and exhaustion."

While the jury is out on whether juice cleanses actually detox the body, drinking fresh juice is another thing. We at R29 know that we definitely feel good when we drink our fruits and veggies. In search of whether our love of juice is actually as healthy as we think it is, we did a little digging into the subject. And, based on these studies, we're thinking we might actually not be drinking enough of the stuff. Here, a guide to five real-deal benefits of becoming a juice junkie.

Beet Juice: Lower Blood Pressure
Trying to improve your cardiovascular health? Drinking just one cup of beet juice can help lower blood pressure, according to a 2013 study published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension. Beet juice naturally contains nitrate, which is responsible for relaxing and widening blood vessel walls — thereby assisting blood flow. The study found that blood pressure decreased in subjects who drank a cup daily.

Adding beet juice to your diet can improve your stamina, too. A 2011 study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that consuming the juice cut down cyclists' competitive riding times. Beat that.

Tomato Juice: Reduce Inflammation
You already know that inflammation is bad news for the body, right? The good news is that consuming certain vegetables can reduce inflammation. A 2006 University of Milan study discovered that lycopene in tomato juice can lessen the production of a particular inflammatory mediator by 34%. And, no, drinking a Bloody Mary isn't as healthy as drinking fresh juice with tomatoes. (But you knew that.)

Pomegranate Juice: Increase Antioxidants
Looking to fight the free radicals that contribute to our body's aging process? Drink pomegranate juice (the no-sugar-added variety, please). The tangy fruit showed an antioxidant activity three times higher than green tea and red wine in a 2000 University of California, Davis research study. We'll raise a glass to that.

Turmeric And Fennel Shots: Banish Belly Bloat
Who says shots can't be good for you? A quick dose of of turmeric or fennel, according to Brigham and Women's Hospital, may deflate distended stomachs. If straight-up shots are too intense for your palate, Spadaro says to look for juice blends with these ingredients.

Cherry Juice: Sleep Soundly
Just the fear of inadequate sleep can make us toss and turn all night. A juicy solution? Throw back a tart cherry drink. Researchers found that cherry juice increases melatonin — and, therefore promotes longer sleep times in otherwise restless individuals. That's one reason to get cherry bombed.

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Photo: Courtesy of Liquiteria.