Are you aware of all the benefits of orange juice and do you know what orange juice can really do for you? If you’re tired of the neverending sales pitches of the food and diet industries and you just want to know the straight facts, here’s a guide for you as we look at the science surrounding what micronutrients your body requires to function well. Let’s begin.
What’s so great about orange juice?
Vitamin C is essential for the proper functioning of all body tissues and plays a particularly influential role in collagen formation, iron absorption, wound healing, cartilage upkeep and bone maintenance. Known as one of the most effective nutrients, vitamin C has been associated in studies with strengthened immune systems, fewer visible signs of aging and reduced risks of stroke, cardiovascular disease and complications that come from conditions like the common cold.
An eight-ounce glass of freshly squeezed orange juice has over 200% of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C while a store-bought version has around 140%.
Hesperidin acts as an antioxidant and has been reported to assist in improving blood vessel health thereby lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. The cells that line blood vessels are very delicate and associated problems can develop into clogged arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Thankfully, hesperidin strengthens these cells and minimizes the problems that could otherwise arise.
In a study where participants consumed 292 milligrams of hesperidin by daily drinking 500 milliliters, or about two eight-ounce glasses, of orange juice for a month, results showed lower diastolic blood pressure, improved vessel functioning and better conditions regarding the unlikelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.
Citrate, a derivative of citric acid, helps your body prevent kidney stones from developing. Kidney stones start to form when urine is too concentrated with minerals and other chemicals, but increasing your citrate intake helps decrease the acidity of urine and blocks the binding of crystals that harden and become problematic.
Although individuals with chronic kidney stone problems can take potassium citrate supplements, these supplements often cause unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects. Orange juice, on the other hand, contains a natural form of citrate and shouldn’t produce any such side effects.
Potassium, thiamine & folate
Potassium, thiamin and folate are also accessible through orange juice as are additional components like iron, magnesium and vitamin B6. Your body needs vitamins and minerals on a cellular level to grow, develop and make repairs, which is why daily consuming nutrient-rich options is an important part of overall health.
You can’t starve yourself of nutrition and reasonably expect your body to just make do without. If you’re constantly hard pressed to get in your full servings of fruits everyday, drinking a glass of orange juice can be a great supplement to your eating regimen in order to cover at least part of your body’s needs.
Of course, oranges aren’t the only source of these nutrients and taking in a variety of different types of fruits will help you have access to all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Since your body needs a diversity of nutrients to function at its best, don’t forget to mix things up rather than only sticking to oranges.
What kind of orange juice are we talking about?
When we’re talking about the health benefits of orange juice, we need to immediately eliminate products like SunnyD that are five percent juice and a whole lot of water and corn syrup. We might even split hairs on other manufactured picks like Tropicana and Minute Maid since claims of “100% Pure and Natural Orange Juice” can still involve a lot of chemical altering that distorts the original proportions and nutrients of our delicious fruit.
The purest form of orange juice is the kind you squeeze out of a fresh orange in your own kitchen on the day you want to drink it. And, if you’re drinking a blended version of fresh juice and pulp, you’re accessing additional doses of components like fiber that you may be missing out on with a pulpless version.
Obviously, you can drink whatever you want to, but you should recognize a key truth: when a manufacturing process changes the condition of the product, then the health benefits will consequently be altered. Pasteurization requires an after-the-fact step of adding in more orange byproducts to restore a palatable taste so whether or not the add-ins are of natural origin, the composition of the end product is still different and factors like calories and sugars can be affected.
How much orange juice should I be drinking?
When you’re looking at what daily portions of orange juice would be good for your personal needs, count the calories and other nutritional details according to the specific product you plan to consume. Even though there are health benefits to drinking a glass of orange juice, there’s no need to get carried away and drink large portions everyday. The juice is fruit-based, yes, but you can still gain weight from overdoing it if you start treating orange juice as a replacement to a safe go-to like water.
What if I don’t want to drink my calories away?
Some people love liquid diet staples for digestive comfort and overall convenience while others love the process of chewing and don’t feel any fuller when they drink their calories. If you’re likely to down two glasses of orange without batting an eyelash, you may feel more inclined to daily eat an actual orange or two rather than relying on the juicing method. Do whatever works for you. By eating an orange, you still can get a great dose of components like vitamin C and hesperidin even if your body doesn’t handle liquids and solids in the exact same way.
Can drinking orange juice really treat a medical problem I already have?
If you want to promote your health overall, regularly eating an orange or drinking a glass of juice may suit you well. But, if you really have a medical problem and are trying to self-treat a serious situation by increasing your consumption of orange juice, your strategy might fail you.
Talk with a doctor about any notable problems you’re having. Having more orange juice may be a helpful supplement in a treatment program, but you may easily benefit from a more targeted approach to managing whatever it is that is ailing you.