Orange Juice – pros and cons of the breakfast beverage


Orange juice is a breakfast favorite and comes in different varieties. This liquid extract can come from blood oranges, Valencia oranges, navel oranges, tangerine, or clementines. Some types include more pulp than others. Drinking orange juice can be just a beneficial as eating an entire orange, provided it is not loaded with preservatives, sugar, and additives.

The trouble is that just one cup of this juice contains quite a bit of sugar and carbohydrates, which might be why it can jump start a person’s day. One cup of orange juice contains about 26 grams of carbohydrates and 22 grams of sugar. Quite a bit for a small amount and not everyone is sticking to one cup per serving. The flip side is that this juice is loaded with vitamin C, up to 120%. Some might argue that the health benefits of this beverage are worth a little added sugar. Orange juice can reduce signs of aging, boost immunity, detoxify the body, boost metabolism, boost cellular repair, improve circulation, improve blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation. The key is how the juice is prepared.

Besides being packed with vitamin C, orange juice contains thiamin, vitamin A, fiber, folate, potassium, copper, magnesium, protein, thiamine, flavonoids. Vitamin C is a primary antioxidant in the body that destroys free radicals before they can do damage to the body. Vitamin A is another type of antioxidant that helps to detoxify the body. It increases the function of the kidneys and is also beneficial to eye health.

It is important to avoid frozen orange juice, canned orange juice, or concentrated orange juice, because they are all loaded with preservatives. The content of these juices is far different from the fresh squeezed type. Too much of any good thing can be harmful. Orange juice is high on the glycemic index which means drinking quite a bit at once can really raise blood sugar levels. This can cause complications for diabetics and pre-diabetics. The best way to reap the benefit of oranges is to eat a whole orange. Manufacturers often add chemicals to their juices in order to replenishes the loss of nutritive values from mass production.

The connotation of juice is healthy. It is assumed to be the same as eating the actual fruit. However, in today’s world of mass production and longer shelf life, we are ingesting and digesting more chemicals than ever. If what we ate was fresh, it should be consumed right away. Yet in a world of expiration dates and false advertising, we look for the best value for the largest amount, that will last the longest. Orange juice was never meant to be purchased under these considerations.

Effect of orange juice intake on vitamin C concentrations and biomarkers of antioxidant status in humans | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic (

Effect of Fresh Orange Juice Intake on Physiological Characteristics in Healthy Volunteers (

Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables | Advances in Nutrition | Oxford Academic (

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Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY's Fit. She has a Doctorate in Health and Human Performance, M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, and she's an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She's also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor. She has 6 books on Amazon too,.