Bright, and orange in color and sweet and slightly tart in flavor, orange juice is potentially the most famous breakfast drink. Some people like it with champagne, while others prefer it alongside a vegetable omelet. The big question is whether or not a glass of orange juice is good for you and which is the best type to drink?
Consumed by both kids and adults alike, orange juice can provide nutrients that optimize bone, heart, and brain health. Is your orange juice actually healthy, though? That will depend on whether or not it is freshly squeezed, cold-pressed, or from concentrate with added sugars and preservatives. Sticking to 100% fresh orange juice in moderation can provide many micro and macronutrients.
Orange Juice Nutrition
Fresh-squeezed orange juice contains a lot of vitamin C and B vitamins. One thing to note is that it is relatively high in calories and low in fiber. A one-cup serving of fresh-squeezed orange juice exhibits the following nutritional profile:
- Calories: 112
- Carbohydrates: 25.8 grams (g)
- Fiber: 0.5 g
- Sugar: 20.8 g
- Total Fat: 0.5 g
- Protein: 1.7 g
- Folate: 74.4 micrograms (mcg)
- Thiamine: 0.2 milligrams (mg)
- Sodium: 2.5 mg
- Copper: 0.1 mg
- Vitamin C: 124 mg
- Potassium: 496 mg
- Magnesium: 27.3 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
- Vitamin A: 24.8 mcg
Fresh-squeezed orange juice contains health-promoting compounds and nutrients, whereas processed orange juice does not offer the same quality ingredients. Fresh is always best, but consuming too much can dramatically increase your sugar intake. Limit your intake to a half cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice daily to avoid blood sugar spikes. Avoid orange juices with added sugars or flavors and you may experience the following benefits.
May Improve Heart Health
Studies show that the consumption of citrus fruits can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and protect the body from heart disease. One study, in particular, found that enjoying citrus fruit regularly reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially stroke, in both men and women. Additionally, a 2022 systematic review found that chronic orange juice consumption in moderate amounts positively affected blood pressure in obese adults.
Provides Necessary B Vitamins
B vitamins help a variety of enzymes in the body do their jobs. These jobs range from releasing energy from carbohydrates and fat to breaking down amino acids and delivering oxygen and other nutrients throughout the body. Orange juice is a great source of folate, thiamine, niacin, and pantothenic acid, all of which are B vitamins. They help optimize brain function, support heart health, and build stronger bones.
Rich In Antioxidants
Oranges contain powerful antioxidants, including bioflavonoids like hesperidin and hesperetin. Many studies indicate that antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which helps reduce oxidative damage to cells. Antioxidants also work to reduce inflammation! A report found that the content of flavonoids in a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice is about 60% of the recommended daily intake of these compounds.
Excellent Source Of Vitamin C
Although there are other fruits with higher amounts of vitamin C, oranges provide a sufficient amount. Vitamin C plays several roles, including protecting the heart and allowing the proper absorption of other nutrients. It also works to repair connective tissue and promotes the formation of collagen, contributing to healthier skin. Finally, most people know about vitamin C because it supports immune function. In fact, it has been shown to improve the outcome of various respiratory illnesses, even shortening the duration of symptoms.
May Boost Gut Health
A 2019 study found that drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice positively affects the composition of gut microbiota. Orange juice may positively affect the metabolic activity of your microbiome, which increases the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut. The study involved healthy women, who also experienced improved cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity as a result of drinking orange juice.