Orange juice is a delicious fruit juice made from oranges. It’s considered the world’s most popular fruit juice and a breakfast staple for many. This juice can either be homemade or factory-made. Always make your orange juice using fresh, organic oranges if given the option.
Orange juice is rich in nutrients, especially vitamin C. It’s also rich in potassium, folate, and magnesium. Due to such nutrients and many others, orange juice boosts the immune system functioning. It can also help reduce the risk of diseases and the formation of kidney stones.
The exact origin of orange juice is unknown. However, its consumption was popularised in 1907 by Albert Lasker. Due to the oversupply of oranges in the market, Lasker devised an ad campaign to help increase orange sales. He posted an advertisement in the newspaper promoting the sale of an orange juice extractor along with a bundle of oranges for the incredible price of 10 cents.
Orange juice provides various health benefits of orange juice. In addition, here we discuss its uses and nutritional value.
Nutritional Value of Orange Juice
One glass of Orange juice (240 ml) contains:
- Calories: 110
- Protein: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Fibre: 0.5g
- Vitamin C: 67% of the RDI
- Potassium: 10% of the RDI
- Folate: 15% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 6% of the RDI
Health Benefits of Orange Juice
Orange juice is a highly nutritious fruit juice that provides various benefits. Here is a list of the many health benefits of orange juice:
1. Orange Juice is Rich in Antioxidants
Orange juice is rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid. A study conducted on more than 4,000 people found that orange juice was one of the best sources of antioxidants, alongside other food items like berries, supplements, tea, and so on.
Antioxidants prevent oxidative damage, thereby lowering the risk of certain chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For example, a 2008 study found that vitamin C helps prevent lung and colorectal cancer and reduces the risk of stomach cancer. The same study also showed that antioxidants are essential in maintaining health.
2. Orange Juice Boosts Immune System Functioning
Orange juice is rich in high amounts of vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C boosts immune system functioning and can help prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections.
3. May Help Reduce Kidney Stone Formation
Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of minerals and acid salts that build up in your kidneys, causing severe pain, fever, nausea, and so on. Orange juice is rich in potassium citrate, which binds to the calcium in urine, and increases urinary pH. As a result, the urine becomes more alkaline. Studies have linked urinary citrate with reduced kidney stone formation.
Another study found that those who drank orange juice once a day had a 12% lower risk of forming kidney stones than those who drank less than one glass a week.
4. Orange Juice May Help Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to the immune system’s cells’ detection of infection, injury or disease. Long term inflammation is related to an increased risk of chronic disease.
Studies have shown that orange juice contains anti-inflammatory properties and may help prevent and treat chronic diseases. Another study comparing fresh and commercial orange juice consumption showed lowered markers of inflammation, leading to a reduced risk of chronic disease.
5. Orange Juice May Reduce the Risk of Birth Defects
Orange juice is rich in folate, which is essential for the healthy development of a fetus. It’s necessary during the first month of pregnancy. It aids in the growth of new cells and helps with DNA creation. Pregnant women consume a minimum of 400 mcg of folate daily to prevent neural tube defects as per dietary guidelines.
6. Help Decrease the Risk of Heart Disease
Orange juice can help reduce some of the risk factors leading to heart diseases like blood pressure and cholesterol. For example, a meta-analysis showed that fruit juice consumption could lower diastolic blood pressure in adults.
Another study found that orange juice consumption increases HDL cholesterol levels (“good” cholesterol). In addition, the findings of a 2013 study linked the long-term consumption of orange juice with decreased levels of both total and LDL cholesterol. It also showed high vitamin C and folate.
Healthy Orange Juice Recipes
Orange juice is a beautiful fruit juice with numerous health benefits. It’s also effortless to make from the comfort of your own home. Here are two must-try orange juice recipes for you:
#1 Classic Orange Juice
Total time: 5-10 minutes
- Fresh, thin-skinned oranges: 4
- First, rinse the oranges and pat dry.
- Slice each fruit into two parts.
- With the help of a knife, remove as many seeds as possible.
- Squeeze the orange slices over a glass to get all the juice out.
- Remove any extra seeds that may have fallen in, and enjoy.
#2 Ginger and Orange Juice
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Chilling time: 20 minutes
- Peel the ginger.
- Using a blender, puree the ginger.
- Peel the oranges and remove their seeds with a knife. Add it to the blender.
- Add the water and blend it for a minute or two.
- Strain the juice well to remove the pulp.
- Add the honey at this juncture.
- Mix the juice well and chill it in a refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Ginger present in the juice adds to the health benefits:
- It is effective in weight loss.
- Helps reduce menstrual pain.
- It helps lower blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels.
- Contains anti-cancer properties.
- It boosts your body’s ability to fight infections.
Ways to Use Orange Juice
Apart from drinking your freshly squeezed orange juice, there are various other ways you can make use of it. Here are a few ways to use orange juice:
- You can use it to make a healthy salad dressing.
- You can add it to the omelette or scrambled eggs you make for breakfast for an extra bit of sweetness.
- When making a cake, you can use orange juice to substitute for water or milk to give it a refreshing, tangy taste
- You can use it to make a great marinade for your meat dishes..
- You can replace vinegar with orange juice when pickling vegetables.
- Finally, you can use it to make a quick frosting or glaze to add the finishing touch to a dessert you made.
Orange Juice: Things to Remember
- You can consume orange juice in the morning after drinking a glass of water.
- It’s not good to drink it at night since the high sugar content can cause a spike in energy and won’t allow you to fall asleep.
- Stick to consuming only moderate quantities of this juice. Remember, too much of anything isn’t good for you.
- One small glass of orange juice a day is the limit.
- Homemade orange juice with pulp is the most nutritious version of orange juice.
- The most nutritious option would be 100% orange juice with extra pulp if you got it from a store. Also, look for an orange juice fortified with added calcium and vitamin D.
- Since orange juice is high in sugar, excess consumption can increase your blood sugar levels, cause weight gain, and damage your teeth.
- Pregnant women can consume orange juice as long as it’s pasteurised. However, they should stick to moderate quantities.
- Avoid consuming orange juice if you have gastrointestinal issues, since acids may trigger these issues.
Orange juice is a delicious and healthy fruit juice. It is full of beneficial antioxidants and nutrients. From boosting your immune system’s functioning to lowering your risk of heart disease, orange juice provides you with numerous benefits. However, it would help if you remembered to consume orange juice in moderate quantities since too much of anything isn’t good for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is it good to drink orange juice every day?
A. While there are plenty of benefits to drinking orange juice, it is still high in calories and sugar. Therefore, it’s best to drink it in moderation.
Q. What is the best time to drink orange juice?
A. The best time to drink orange juice is in the morning, after drinking a glass of water.
Q. What are the disadvantages of orange juice?
A. Orange juice contains high amounts of sugar. So, if you drink excess orange juice, it may lead to weight gain and may even increase your risk of getting diabetes. In addition, due to the citric acid present, it may also damage your teeth.
Q. Can I drink orange juice at night?
A. It’s best not to drink orange juice at night.
Q. What happens if you drink orange juice on an empty stomach?
A. It helps detoxify your stomach and provides you with energy.
Q. Is orange juice good for high blood pressure?
A. Yes, orange juice helps reduce blood pressure.
Q. Does orange juice make you hungry?
A. Due to the high-sugar content of orange juice as well as the lack of fibre, your blood sugar levels can spike after excess consumption. However, once the body digests the juice, your levels will crash. As a result, you may feel hungry.
Q. How long does orange juice stay in your stomach?
A. Orange juice takes around 30 minutes or so to digest.
Q. Does orange juice clean out your system?
A. The citric acid in orange juice helps detoxify your body and promotes better digestion.
Q. Is orange juice good for facial skin?
A. Yes, orange juice contains vitamin A which helps improve the skin’s health.
Q. Can drinking orange juice lighten skin?
A. Orange juice is rich in vitamin C, which helps lighten the skin.
Q. Is orange juice good for losing weight?
A. Moderate quantity of homemade orange juice can help with weight loss. However, excess amounts of store-bought fluids may lead to weight gain.
Q. Can a pregnant woman drink orange juice?
A. Yes, pregnant women can drink orange juice. However, they should do so in moderation. Also, the juice should be pasteurised.
Q. Which juice is good during pregnancy?
A. Apple juice is good for pregnant women.
Q. Is orange good for early pregnancy?
A. Oranges contain folate, which is suitable for pregnant women.