(NaturalNews) Daily consumption of vegetable juice may not just help increase vegetable consumption, but also improve the effectiveness of weight loss strategies, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California-Davis and presented at the Experimental Biology Conference in New Orleans.
The study was funded in part by the Campbell Soup Company.
The researchers conducted the study on 81 adults with metabolic syndrome, three-quarters of them women. Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of symptoms -- central obesity, high blood levels of trigylcerides and fasting glucose, high blood pressure, and low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol -- that significantly raise a person's risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. All the participants were advised to follow an American Heart Association-recommended diet high in fiber, fruit, vegetables, minerals and low-fat diary, and low in salt and saturated fat. They were also told to drink 0, 1 or 2 cups of low-sodium, high-potassium V8-brand vegetable juice daily.
After 12 weeks, participants who drank either one or two cups of vegetable juice per day lost an average of four pounds, while those who drank no vegetable juice lost only one pound. The researchers also found that people in the vegetable juice groups had significantly higher vitamin C and potassium intake, and a significantly lower intake of carbohydrates.
Drinking vegetable juice also made people significantly more likely to reach the recommended intake of five fruits and vegetables per day. Among those not drinking vegetable juice, less than 25 percent reached the daily fruit and vegetable goal, in contrast with more than 50 percent of those in the one-cup-per-day group and 100 percent of those in the two-cups-per-day group.
"What we found in this study is that drinking vegetable juice seemed to address some of the key barriers to vegetable consumption such as convenience, portability and taste, so individuals were more likely to meet their daily recommendations," researcher Carl Keen said. "Furthermore, vegetable juice drinkers reported that they actually enjoyed drinking their vegetables, which is critical to adopting dietary practices for the long-term."