Orange juice provides several essential nutrients needed to maintain a healthy body. However, those nutrients can also be found in other products that are far safer than orange juice. OJ is fine in moderation, but can be detrimental in excess.
It is common knowledge that orange juice is an essential part of any healthy diet, but hold on a minute. Sometimes “common knowledge” is incorrect. While it is certainly true that there are benefits to drinking orange juice (at least in moderation), it is not as healthy as you may have thought. Let's start with the benefits.
Orange juice does contain important nutrients, such as vitamin C (60% of the recommended daily intake is in ½ cup), vitamin A (4%), and calcium (2%). It also contains bioflavonoids, which are antioxidants that protect cells against free radicals that cause diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Additionally, orange juice with pulp contains fiber, which benefits the digestive system and works to prevent related diseases, such as colon cancer. Lastly, potassium is found in orange juice and is critical for good bone and brain health.
Despite the benefits given above, orange juice carries a high amount of fructose. Besides, contributing to a caloric level higher than that found in pop, having too much fructose increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Also, the acids found in orange juice can weaken tooth enamel, although this effect can be lessened by eating food at the same time.
Due to its high sugar content, orange juice should be enjoyed in moderation – or avoided, considering the nutrients found within are also found in several other healthier sources that do not contain such a high sugar content. If you are solely drinking orange juice to get your intake of vitamin C, try eating broccoli, red bell peppers, and kale instead. Once cup of any of those vegetables provides more vitamin C than one cup of orange juice and none of the sugar.
Possible short-term side effects
- blood sugar spike
Possible long-term side effects
- weight gain
- tooth decay
- heart disease
- metabolic syndrome
Ingredients to be aware of
- great source of:
- vitamin a
- vitamin c
- coconut water
- fresh fruits
- fresh veggies
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Written by Jeff Volling | 12-29-2015
Written by Jeff Volling
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