Drinking fruit juice can be a delicious way to get eye nutrients into your diet. Not only are you hydrating your body, but you’re getting loads of vitamins that improve and protect your vision. However, not all fruit juices are created equal, especially when you compare store-bought juices to making your own juice at home. Check out the following things to consider when choosing the best juice for your eyes!
Store-Bought vs. Homemade
Before we dive into the amazing benefits that orange juice and grapefruit just can offer, you need to know a few things about the store-bought juice variety. While it’s much more convenient to buy a jug of juice than make it yourself, you can actually be doing your health a disservice.
Part of what makes fruit juice so beneficial is the fiber contents. Juice bought from a store has had the fruit’s fiber completely removed. Store-bought juices go through a long and strenuous process of harvesting, processing and being held in an oxygen-depleted holding tank until it’s time for packaging which can take up to a year in some cases. Over that time, the natural fruit flavors are lost, so manufacturers will add artificial flavoring and high fructose corn syrup to mimic the sweet and natural taste of the fruit.
Not only are you missing out on fiber and natural sugars, but you’re consuming artificial components that don’t offer your body any nutrients. Therefore, it’s best to make your own juices from home using a blender or a juicer. You’re able to keep most of the fiber of the fruit your juicing, and since it’s fresh, there’s no need for additives or extra sugar. It may seem daunting at first, but it’s can be simple and even fun to make your own juice. Keep reading to the end of this article for an at-home juice recipe that focuses on providing nutrients to the eyes!
Orange Juice vs. Grapefruit Juice
Of all the juices that can offer benefits to your eyes, orange and grapefruit rank at the top. These two powerhouses of nutrients are rich in vitamins necessary to the function of the eyes. Vitamins A and C are two antioxidants that pack a punch when it comes to enriching the eyes. Folate, or vitamin B9, is also an important antioxidant found in both fruits.
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Vitamin A is crucial for retina health and eye moisturization. It’s responsible for ensuring the membranes of the cornea stay lubricated thus preventing dry eye syndrome. Vitamin A supplements can even treat onset dry eye syndrome and reduce inflammation in the eyes. Additionally, it helps prevent infection which reduces stress and strain on the eyes. When your eyes are healthy, your vision is allowed optimal conditions for functioning. Vitamin A also neutralized free radicals reducing your risk of developing macular degeneration.
Oranges have a substantial amount of vitamin A, but not as much as grapefruits. When making grapefruit juice at home, one glass contains almost half of your daily requirement of vitamin A. When consumed on a regular basis, people will dry eye syndrome may notice an improvement in their eyes’ moisture and a reduction in inflammation.
Vitamin C is hugely important in maintaining the overall health of your eyes and preventing disease and infection. One of its main functions is to ensure the connective tissues in the cornea maintain their form and their strength. It also promotes healthy capillaries in the retina which allows proper blood flow and circulation to the eyes. When paired with the bioflavonoids that are also found in citrus fruits, it can help regulate the membranes of eye cells that produce histamines, thus reducing allergy symptoms. Vitamin C can reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
Both orange juice and grapefruit juice are excellent sources of vitamin C. A glass of either fruit juice will provide your entire daily requirement of vitamin C.
Folate (Vitamin B9)
You’ll often hear of women taking folic acid supplements when they’re pregnant or nursing. Folic acid is a form of folate and derives from vitamin B9. Pregnant women take folic acid because it’s instrumental in the formation of the human body. Even as we age past infancy, we need folate for the creation of healthy cells. It can reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases and strengthens the structure of retinal blood vessels. Folate plays a critical role in protecting the eyes from problems that cause vision loss.
When it comes to choosing a juice high in folate, orange juice takes first place. It has three times as much folate as grapefruit juice and represents almost 20 percent of your daily required intake.
Which Is Better for Your Eyes?
The verdict is: they both bring something to the table. Orange juice is higher in B vitamins and folate, but grapefruit juice is lower in calories and fat, and higher in vitamin A. When combined in a homemade juice, you have a drink loaded with nutrients for eye health. The following juicing recipe contains both orange and grapefruit, as well as some other vision boosting nutrients.
Recipe of the Month: Citric Eye Boost Juice
To make this juice at home, you’ll need a juicer or a strong enough blender. If you don’t have either, feel free to use your regular blender and make this juice recipe into a smoothie by adding yogurt and any other smoothie ingredients you enjoy. Smoothies are usually thicker in texture with unblended pieces, whereas juices are fully liquid with little to no pieces.
- 1 large grapefruit, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 2 large oranges, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 1 small beet, chopped roughly
- ¼” of ginger, chopped
- The juice of one small lemon
- ½ a cup of water
Add each ingredient to your juicer or blender. Add more water if the consistency is too thick. When finished, strain the juice over a dish towel on a strainer. Once all the liquid has poured through, wring-out the towel into your glass to get all the remaining juices. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or serve immediately. Save the leftover pulp for smoothies and other recipes!