8 Impressive Benefits of Orange Juice

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated - Medically reviewed by Emily Borth(MS, RDN)

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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.

The scientific name for oranges is Citrus Sinensis and they are one of the most popular citrus fruits. There are many orange varieties, but the sweet orange is the most popular and commonly eaten variety. It provides some of the most delicious types of orange juice, although some people 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. In moderation, this juice is considered healthy especially the high pulp version because of its wide range of health benefits, which include its ability to boost immunity, reduce signs of aging, lower cancer risk, boost cellular repair and metabolism, detoxify the body, improve circulation and blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol levels.

Though the skin and pulp of oranges do have considerable health benefits, you can get most of the nutrients and beneficial components from drinking just the juice. It’s hard to beat a cold glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice!

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 :
NutrientValue
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 including hesperidin, and a variety of other trace vitamins and minerals that make it a valuable nutrient-packed food choice. In terms of calories, orange juice has 47 calories in a serving of 100ml(about 3.4 fluid ounces).

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, suggests 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 potent 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.

Detoxifies your body

Orange juice is rich in various antioxidants that help protect the body against oxidative damage and various diseases. Some of these nutrients include vitamin C, carotenoids, flavonoids such as hesperidin, beta-carotene, folate, and narirutin.

According to a 2016 research published in MDPI, orange juice is one of the antioxidant-rich foods that may increase the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and protect against cardiovascular disease(CVD) risk.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Medicine Food suggests that drinking orange juice may help protect against cardiovascular disease by increasing total plasma antioxidant capacity.

Anticancer Potential

Orange juice is rich in vitamin C that 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 help 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. Vitamin C was also shown to decrease “adverse side effects associated with free radical damage to normal cells in cancer therapy.” Along with vitamin C, orange juice also contains the antioxidant flavonoid hesperidin, which has been associated with reducing tumor growth and stimulating apoptosis or programmed cell death, in cancerous cells especially breast cancer cells.

Furthermore, some studies demonstrate that hesperidin can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in not only breast cancer, but also colon cancer, and research is ongoing. This compound may turn out to be useful in fighting other types of cancer as well.

Lowers the Risk of Kidney Stones

A comparative study published in 2016 analyzed 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 soda and punch increase the risk of kidney stones, whereas tea, coffee, orange juice, beer, and wine in moderation can help to lower this risk.

Prevents Anemia

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 which is also very important during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Folate plays a role in building new red blood cells that supply oxygen to various parts of the body and can help prevent anemia. This means that the organ systems are well-oxygenated and are working at full capacity. Further, 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 providing overall cardiovascular protection.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Dr. Christine Morand, a member of the Scientific Council of the Food Research Department at INRA, led research suggesting that hesperidin, in orange juice, acts as an antioxidant and no only protects the body against diseases and cancer, but also impacts the activity and functioning of 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 disease.

Balances Cholesterol Level

High LDL “bad” and low HDL “good” cholesterol is one of the dangerous risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease, so achieving a healthy balance of cholesterol levels in your body can help reduce the risk.

Orange juice has been shown to reduce “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

To get the most nutrition bang for your buck, go for fresh-squeezed 100% orange juice and avoid frozen, canned or concentrated orange juice as they may contain sugars that are added to replenish the lost nutritive values.

A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is a great addition to a healthy diet. However, orange juice is quite acidic with the pH range of 3.3 to 4.2 and can cause indigestion and heartburn.

Since oranges have a relatively high glycemic load, drinking a lot at once can cause a massive spike 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, orange juice in moderation is the perfect way to feel refreshed and get your body on track to a healthy lifestyle!

Orange Juice FAQ’s

Is orange juice bad for you?

Orange juice is nutrient-dense and delicious which is why it is 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 contains vitamin A, iron, calcium, potassium, and various B-complex vitamins.

However, orange juice, just like any fruit juice, is high in sugar, so consume it in moderation. If you are diabetic or have trouble controlling your blood sugar, it may be best to avoid or limit fruit juices, but talk to your doctor, dietitian or healthcare provider about your options.

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 sugar in orange juice (and all fruit juices), 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 clear, as it is a rich source of vitamin C and various bioactive compounds such as phytonutrients, which play a beneficial role in producing collagen in the body, protecting the immune system, and preventing anemia!

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. Just make sure and choose concentrate made from 100% juice.

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 some vitamin A, folate, calcium and iron, and gives you a burst of energy when you drink it.

What vitamins are there in orange juice?

Orange juice is a good source of many vitamins. First of all, a single cup can provide more than 100% of the body’s daily needs for vitamin C. It also provides about 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 many things for human health, including protecting the immune system, stimulating the production of collagen, lowering blood pressure, preventing chronic diseases, balancing cholesterol levels, and more. 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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