Why Fruit Juices Should Be Part Of Your Child’s Diet
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Fruit juices are very popular amongst pre-schoolers. Many mothers are keen to offer these juices as a power-up. The biggest virtue of fruit juices is that most children accept them with eagerness and love to drink them. There’s also the fact that they help in providing instant energy. However, excessive intake of fruit juices may lead to obesity and dental worries due to their high sugar content.
Some of the packed or tinned fruit juices are not nutritious as they are sugar based syrups with merely 10% fruit juice or essence of fruits. Seasonal fruit and vegetable juices with their nutritional virtues are listed below:
This is packed with natural polyphenols and thus possesses antioxidant properties. Pomegranate juice is also rich in phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Orange juice is a good source of Vitamin C, which acts as a natural antioxidant and thus helps in maintaining the integrity of one's immune system. Vitamin C also promotes healthy skin and gums. Calcium enriched orange juice scores extra points. When consumed with the meals, it helps in the absorption of iron from dietary sources.
Mango juice is not only rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; it is also rich in enzymes, especially the ones that soothe the stomach. Mangoes contain an enzyme with stomach soothing properties, similar to papain found in papayas. These comforting enzymes act as a soothing digestive aid and can be held partially responsible for that feeling of contentment you experience during and after eating mangoes or drinking mango juice. Mango and mango juice is a rich source of Beta Carotene which serves as a potent antioxidant and aids in maintaining a healthy vision.
Fruit sugars such as those found in apple products serve as an immediate source of energy. Apple juice also serves as an excellent means for providing essential fluids to the body. New research suggests that apples are rich in phytonutrients, which like antioxidants help in boosting the immune system.
Tomato juice has amazing health benefits. Lycopene found in tomatoes has excellent antioxidant properties.
Carrot juice has a number of benefits. Beta Carotene found in carrot act as an excellent antioxidant and also helps maintain healthy vision.
Juices, in general are good but it isn't wise to overindulge in them. Excessive intake of fruit juices may contribute to diarrhea, obesity and dental issues. Prolonged exposure of the teeth to the sugars in juices could be a major contributing factor with regards to dental caries.
Fruit juice should only be used as a part of a meal or a snack. It should not be sipped throughout the day or used as a means to pacify an unhappy child. It is also important that children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits to meet their recommended daily fruit intake because of the additional benefits of fiber and Phyto-nutrients that direct fruit intake helps provide.