There are numerous reasons why orange juice is consumed at an annual rate of approximately 2.2 gallons per capita in the United States. It’s sweet and delicious. It’s perfect at breakfast, and with a little champagne it becomes a brunch favorite, the mimosa. It’s also very good for you. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know that orange juice, freshly squeezed please, is an excellent source of both vitamin C and potassium. But what they may not know is that o.j., as it’s commonly referred to, contains many other vitamins and minerals, as well as additional health benefits.
An 8 ounce glass of orange juice contains 10% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin A. There are 3 provitamin carotenoids that can form vitamin A in the body, and all of them are found in orange juice. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps form and maintain healthy teeth and bones, soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, promotes wound healing, helps maintain a healthy immune system, and is required for the body to make collagen. It also supports the absorption of iron and plays a role in the growth, development, and repair of tissues. Orange juice is one of the most popular and abundant sources of vitamin C. One cup of 100% natural o.j. provides twice the recommended DV.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a key role in the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. It is also vital for proper bone growth and development. Deficiency of vitamin D is currently one of the biggest health concerns worldwide. Orange juice does not naturally contain vitamin D, but it has been sold fortified with D since the 1930s. One cup of oj fortified with vitamin D provides 15% of the recommended DV.
Folate (vitamin B-9) is required for healthy cell growth and function, and red blood cell formation. It is a critical nutrient during early pregnancy and healthy development of the fetal brain and spine. 100% natural orange juice is one of the few juices that is considered a good source of folate. One cup provides 15% of the DV for folate.
Potassium is an important mineral required for muscle maintenance and growth, transmitting nerve signals, maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, breaking down carbohydrates, and supporting pH balance in the body. It also plays a significant role in cardiovascular, bone, and kidney health. 100% natural orange juice is an excellent source of potassium. One cup provides 10% of the DV for potassium.
Orange juice is not naturally high in iron, however vitamin C helps improve iron absorption from foods, especially those that are plant-based (dark leafy greens, potatoes). Iron is essential for energy production, growth and development, and to make hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells. One cup of 100% fresh orange juice provides twice the recommended DV of vitamin C, which helps significantly with iron absorption.
Calcium is important for bone and teeth health, muscle contraction, blood clotting, normal heart rhythms, and nerve functions. Orange juice is not naturally high in calcium, but most orange juice that is sold is fortified with calcium. One cup of natural orange juice provides 30% of the recommended DV of calcium.
Vitamin B6 helps maintain the body's hormonal balance, supports brain function, and plays a role in oxygen transport. It’s a water-soluble vitamin that is essential in over 100 enzymatic processes throughout the body, such as formation of red blood cells, immune system cells, proteins, and the production of energy. One cup of 100% natural orange juice provides 8% of the recommended DV of B6.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in assisting hundreds of enzymatic reactions in the body resulting in building strong bones and proteins, regulating blood sugar, and muscle and nerve function. One cup of 100% of natural orange juice contains 6% of the recommended DV of magnesium.
Antioxidants are chemicals that combat the damaging effects of oxidative stress caused by a variety of things ranging from exercise to cigarette smoking. Research indicates that antioxidants are crucial to maintenance of overall health. Orange juice is naturally high in antioxidants.
This study found that long-term orange juice consumption was significantly associated with favorable effects on promoting heart health and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels already within normal range. 100% natural orange juice contains an antioxidant called hesperidin, a plant-based flavonoid that is believed to promote the health of the cardiovascular system. Research is preliminary and more is definitely needed.
This abstract reports that the ingestion of bioactive compounds, such as hesperidin and naringin, found in citrus fruits and orange juice, can promote the homeostasis of gut microbiota.
This study found that regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soda is a higher risk of kidney issues, whereas consumption of orange juice is associated with a lower risk. This still warrants more research since orange juice can also be a high source of sugar intake.
There are no significant findings on the impact of drinking orange juice on weight management, but drinking an all-natural, nutrient-rich 100% juice definitely has potential health benefits. Eating the whole orange, on the other hand, does provide fiber which you would not get with the juice.
Vitamin C is an essential part of skin health and is needed for collagen synthesis. This study found that higher intakes of vitamin C and linoleic acid and lower intakes of fats and carbohydrates are associated with better skin-aging appearance. One cup of 100% natural orange juice provides two times the DV of vitamin C.
This research reports that dietary antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids may provide benefits in decreasing the risk of age-related eye issues. Orange juice is an excellent source of both vitamin C and carotenoids.
Orange juice is a tasty treat that boasts a lot more nutritious value than you might think. One cup of 100% real juice gives you double the recommended DV of vitamin C, and much more. There are numerous other vitamins and minerals in the popular citrus juice that can have a positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing. You need to be sure you’re drinking 100% orange juice, however, and not an orange juice “drink” made with lots of sugar and additives you might never have heard of.
Eating a nutrient-dense diet of fresh fruits, healthy vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats should always be your aim. When you’re not getting all of your nutritional needs met with your diet, supplementation will help you fill the gaps. Care/of’s Vitamin C supplement and B-Complex are just two of their premium quality supplements that can help you fill all of your needs. And their multivitamin is also a premium supplement to help you with your nutritional requirements. As always, consult your physician or healthcare provider when considering supplementing.