8 Impressive Benefits of Orange Juice

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Oranges have been a synonym for eating healthy for thousands of years. These fruits originated somewhere in Southeast Asia. Historical records of oranges date back as far as China, more than 4,500 years ago. They are one of the most popular citrus fruits with a scientific name Citrus sinensis. There are a number of orange varieties, but this is the sweet orange, the most popular and commonly eaten variety. It provides some of the most delicious types of orange juice, although there are some people who prefer the juice from blood oranges, mandarin oranges or even bitter oranges.

Orange juice is made by squeezing the oranges and straining the juice. The straining is optional as some people may like a pulpy beverage. It is considered as one of the healthiest beverages because of its wide range of health benefits, which include its ability to boost immunity, reduce signs of aging, prevent cancer, boost cellular repair and metabolism, detoxify the body, improve circulation and blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels.

The orange juice can be just as beneficial as eating the fruit whole, provided it is 100% natural and is not loaded with preservatives, additives, and sugar. The closest thing to eating an orange would be drinking a glass of unpasteurized, freshly squeezed orange juice. The skin and pulp of oranges do have considerable health benefits, but you can get most of the nutrients and beneficial components from orange juice too.

A jar filled with fresh orange juice

Oranges are filled with vitamin C and boost your energy levels. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Orange juice, raw (Includes foods for USDA's Food Distribution Program)
Serving Size :
Water [g]88.3
Energy [kcal]45
Energy [kJ]188
Protein [g]0.7
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.2
Ash [g]0.4
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]10.4
Fiber, total dietary [g]0.2
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]8.4
Calcium, Ca [mg]11
Iron, Fe [mg]0.2
Magnesium, Mg [mg]11
Phosphorus, P [mg]17
Potassium, K [mg]200
Sodium, Na [mg]1
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.05
Copper, Cu [mg]0.04
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.01
Selenium, Se [µg]0.1
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]50
Thiamin [mg]0.09
Riboflavin [mg]0.03
Niacin [mg]0.4
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.19
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.04
Folate, total [µg]30
Folate, food [µg]30
Folate, DFE [µg]30
Choline, total [mg]6.2
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]10
Carotene, beta [µg]33
Carotene, alpha [µg]6
Cryptoxanthin, beta [µg]169
Vitamin A, IU [IU]200
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]115
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.04
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]0.1
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.02
14:0 [g]0
16:0 [g]0.02
18:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.04
16:1 [g]0.01
18:1 [g]0.03
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.04
18:2 [g]0.03
18:3 [g]0.01
Tryptophan [g]0
Threonine [g]0.01
Isoleucine [g]0.01
Leucine [g]0.01
Lysine [g]0.01
Methionine [g]0
Cystine [g]0.01
Phenylalanine [g]0.01
Tyrosine [g]0
Valine [g]0.01
Arginine [g]0.05
Histidine [g]0
Alanine [g]0.02
Aspartic acid [g]0.08
Glutamic acid [g]0.03
Glycine [g]0.01
Proline [g]0.04
Serine [g]0.01
Sources include : USDA

Orange Juice Nutrition Facts

According to USDA National Nutrient Database, orange juice nutrition comprises of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamin, folate, potassium, fiber, proteins, copper, magnesium, flavonoids, hesperidin, and a variety of other trace vitamins and minerals that make it one of the most valuable and nutrient-packed fruits available. In terms of orange juice calories, it has 47 calories in a serving of 100ml.

Health Benefits of Orange Juice

Let’s explore the health benefits of this fruit juice in more detail below.

Boosts Immune System

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, with the help of a 2003 research study, claims that orange juice is a rich source of vitamin C. A single serving of orange juice has more than 200% of the vitamin C requirement of the body. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, functions as a primary antioxidant in the body, and it destroys or neutralizes free radicals before they can do damage to the body. Our body needs vitamin C to stimulate other aspects of our immune system as well. Furthermore, ascorbic acid is one of the fundamental components of collagen, which is necessary to repair cells and for the growth of new tissues in the body.

Anticancer Potential

Vitamin C works as an antioxidant, and one of the most important functions of antioxidants is to prevent cancer.

According to research conducted by Dr. Carmia Borek, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, antioxidants keep the DNA of healthy cells from mutating into cancerous cells, which makes vitamin C the first line of defense against cancer and other serious diseases. Along with vitamin C, orange juice also contains the antioxidant hesperidin, which has been connected to reducing tumor growth and stimulating apoptosis or programmed cell death, in cancerous cells.

Although research is ongoing, it has positively been linked to colon cancer prevention, but it is likely that hesperidin is effective in terms of many types of cancer.

Detoxifies your Body

Orange juice is also very high in vitamin A, which acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin A has long been connected to eye health, and adding enough vitamin A to your diet can prevent night blindness, as well as macular degeneration. A single serving of orange juice has nearly 50% of the daily required intake of this precious vitamin.

Lowers the Risk of Kidney Stones

A comparative study published in 2016 tried to analyze how consuming soda and other beverages like orange juice, wine, coffee, tea can affect kidney function. The results of this study suggest that sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of kidney stones, whereas having tea, coffee, orange juice, beer, and wine in moderation can help to lower its risk.

Increases Blood Circulation

Dr. Streiff, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, in his research, has concluded that orange juice is a rich dietary source of folate. Folate is a member of the B complex, technically it is vitamin B9. This important vitamin is essential for the creation of DNA and the growth of new cells.

Folate also keeps cells safe from mutation, which is one of the ways that free radicals damage the body. Furthermore, folate plays a role in building new red blood cells, as well as stimulating the flow of blood to the extremities. This means that the organ systems are well-oxygenated and are working at full capacity. This supports the overall metabolism of the body and the functioning of all the systems, making them more efficient.

Reduces Inflammation

Citrus fruits are commonly considered anti-inflammatory agents, and orange juice is no exception. High sugar and high-fat meals can lead to inflammation of various body parts, and this, in turn, can lead to the development of increased insulin resistance. This is one of the major underlying causes of type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis.

A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that orange juice can inhibit this insulin resistance by reducing inflammation, thereby protecting the heart and guaranteeing overall cardiovascular protection.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Dr. Christine Morand, a member of Scientific Council of the Food Research Department at INRA, led research suggesting that hesperidin, in orange juice, is an antioxidant and so it protects the body against diseases and cancer, but this water-soluble plant compound also impacts the activity and functioning of small blood vessels.

This can have a major impact on blood pressure as a whole, and research has connected this powerful antioxidant to a reduction in overall blood pressure and a decreased chance of cardiovascular diseases.

Balances Cholesterol Level

High cholesterol is one of the dangerous causes of cardiovascular diseases, so any way to reduce the cholesterol in your body is worth trying. Orange juice has been shown to reduce the presence and effects of “bad” cholesterol while increasing the amount of “good” cholesterol in the body. This property means that the chances of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke are reduced.

Potential Side Effects of Orange Juice

Avoid frozen, canned or concentrated orange juice, because there are added chemicals to the juice to replenish the lost nutritive values.

It may seem like a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is the best thing you can add to your diet, and in most cases, that is true. However, orange juice is quite acidic and pH of orange juice ranges between 3.3 to 4.2, and can upset the stomach.

Since oranges have a relatively high glycemic load, drinking a lot at once can cause massive fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, which can lead to varying energy levels throughout the day, and can lead to complications for diabetics or pre-diabetics.

Besides those few warnings, drink to your heart’s content; orange juice is the perfect way to feel refreshed and get your body on track to perfect health!

Orange Juice FAQ’s

Is orange juice bad for you?

Orange juice is definitely not bad for you, which is why it’s one of the most popular and sought-after drinks at every breakfast table. Not only are oranges available all around the world, but the flavor is incredible and the juice itself is packed with nutrients. Vitamin C is what most people immediately think of, but orange juice also boasts high levels of vitamin A, iron, calcium, potassium, and various B-complex vitamins.

How many calories and carbs are present in orange juice?

In a 250-gram serving of orange juice, which is approximately one cup, you have just over 110 calories and 26 grams of carbs in orange juice. Surprisingly, that is nearly 10% of your carbohydrate needs for the day, mainly in the form of natural sugars. While a cup of orange juice gives you 200% of your necessary vitamin C, as well as certain mineral and antioxidant components, don’t consume it in excess as those sugars will harm you!

Is orange juice healthy?

According to a study published in the Nutrients Journal, orange juice is very healthy, and an excellent way to start a day, but there is a high level of fructose content in orange juice, so people who have blood sugar issues or diabetes should be wary of how much they drink. However, for most people, the benefits of orange juice are critical, as it is an effective source of various bioactive compounds such as phytonutrients, which play a beneficial role in increasing vitamin C levels, producing collagen in the body, protecting the immune system, and helping build strong bones!

What is orange juice concentrate?

Orange juice concentrate is simply a “dry” form of orange juice. Orange juice, like many citrus fruit juices, contains a high amount of water. By removing the water from it, the leftover is a concentrated form of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that your body needs! If you want to make orange juice from concentrate, simply add it to 5x as much water and mix it back together.

What is orange juice?

Orange juice is the sweet and slightly tart juice from oranges, a fruit bearing the scientific name Citrus sinensis. Oranges are some of the most popular and widely available fruits in the world, as is their juice. It has a high level of vitamin C, as well as vitamin A, calcium and iron, and gives you a burst of energy in the morning. If you haven’t been drinking it, you should start!

What vitamins are there in orange juice?

Orange juice is a good source of many vitamins. First of all, a single cup provides more than 200% of the body’s needs for vitamin C. It also provides 10% of the daily carbs from sugars, which gives the body an energy boost. Vitamin A and certain B-vitamins are also present in the orange juice, such as folate and riboflavin. In addition to vitamins, there are also minerals and antioxidants!

What does orange juice do for you?

Orange juice does a number of things for human health, including protecting the immune system, stimulating the production of collagen, improving the health of the skin, lowering blood pressure, preventing chronic diseases, balancing hormone levels, and optimizing digestive health, among many others. Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and vitamin A have many critical jobs to perform in the body, so get some orange juice and drink it up!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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