Orange juice is one of the favourite breakfast drinks of health-conscious people across the world. The fresh intoxicating scent of a glass of orange juice is enough to wake you up and revitalise at once. Now most of us have an idea that this drink is somehow healthy to the body and is aiding in nutrition. But do you know exactly how it is beneficial for your health?

Orange juice boasts one of the highest vitamin C contents of the citrus family right after lemons. Fresh orange juice, when taken with pulp, also contains some fibre which might help to kick start your digestive system. What better than a yummy and healthy toast to your digestion right at the beginning of the day?

Being rich in antioxidants, it is an excellent aid in improving body systems and helping them stay fit for longer.

Though it is prefered in breakfast, orange juice can be taken at any time of the day.

Did you get your fix of orange juice yet?

Some basic facts about oranges:

Orange juice is extracted by juicing fresh orange pulp. Here are some basic facts about orange fruit:

  • Botanical name: Citrus X sinensis
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Common name: Orange, santra, narangi
  • Sanskrit name: Naranga
  • Parts used: Fruit
  • Native region and geographical distribution: Oranges are native to South-east Asia but they are also cultivated in the Mediterranean regions and parts of southern USA.
  1. Orange juice calories and nutrition facts
  2. Orange juice benefits
  3. Orange juice recipe: How to make orange juice
  4. Orange juice side effects

Raw orange juice is a carbohydrate-rich treat that provides instant energy. It hosts an assortment of minerals and vitamins including potassium, calcium, vitamin A and C and has negligible amounts of fats.

As per the USDA nutrition base, 1 cup (248 g) of fresh raw orange juice contains the following values:

Nutrient Value per 1 cup
Energy 112 Kcal
Water 218.98 g
Carbohydrates 25.79 g
Protein 1.74 g
Fibre 0.5 g
Fats 0.50 g
Potassium 496 mg
Calcium 27 mg
Magnesium 27 mg
Phosphorus 42 mg
Vitamin A 25 µg
Vitamin C 124 mg
Folate 74 µg
Fats/Fatty acids  
Polyunsaturated 0.099
Monounsaturated 0.089
Saturated 0.060

Orange juice is a nutritious and healthy addition to your day. It not only fends off indigestion but also is an excellent immunity booster. Read on to know how orange juice does this and much more for your overall health.

Orange juice boost immune system

Orange juice is rich in vitamin C. A cup of orange juice contains about 124 mg of vitamin C, which we all know is a perfect immunity booster. It stimulates both the arms of the immune system, humoral and cell-mediated. This means that all your immune system cells are more active and ready to fight against any incoming infection or threat. Traditionally, vitamin C is considered to be effective in preventing cold, though there is no clinical evidence to prove this.

Orange juice contains sufficient amounts of vitamin A, which is yet another nutrient responsible for improving the production of immune system cells and stimulating immunity.

Both these vitamins along with some other biologically active components in orange juice work against oxidative damage by scavenging free radicals. These free radicals are generated by normal body metabolism and accumulate quickly in conditions of stress, unhealthy lifestyle and pollution. They deteriorate the functioning of body organs and promote ageing. By clearing away free radicals, orange juice reduces the risk of premature signs of ageing while helping improve organ function at the same time.

Additionally, orange juice suppresses inflammatory molecules and alleviates swelling and redness associated with injury or infection.

To sum this one up, oranges improve the capability of your immune system in fighting infections.

(Read more: Immunity boosting foods)

Orange juice for weight loss

Orange juice is widely regarded as a healthy and low-fat drink which would be excellent for weight loss. While both of these is true, the high caloric value of orange juice cannot be denied.

1 cup orange juice gives you around 112 Kcal, most of which is in the form of carbohydrates which burn quickly.

According to a study, fresh orange juice has no edge over your regular decaffeinated cola on improving post-meal blood glucose levels. Since orange juice lacks fibre, it doesn’t improve satiety either, making you feel hungry faster.

Does that mean it is all a myth then? And orange juice is no good for losing weight?

Well, it is a bit trickier than that.

While it packs a punch with its repository of carbohydrates, orange juice is low in fat, so you need not worry about putting on any more of it.

Despite of lacking in fibre, orange juice can still aid in improving your digestive system by having a positive effect on your gut microflora. These microbes have a crucial role in digesting food.

Then, orange juice contains many nutrients and minerals which can boost metabolic function, thus promoting weight loss.

Obesity and weight gain are also linked to an increased oxidative stress and inflammation. The vitamin and antioxidant content in orange juice can combat both. Vitamin C also inhibits further fat deposition in adipocytes (fat cells).

For best results, it is advisable that you take orange juice with meals instead of in-between them as studies suggest that it improves energy balance in the body. Also, consuming orange juice between meals has been demonstrated to promote weight gain.

(Read more: Diet chart for weight loss)

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Orange juice for skin

Orange juice is not just good for improving internal body health but also helps retain youthful and glowing skin. Orange juice has all the traits of a perfect skin care food. Its rich vitamin C content improves collagen synthesis and reduces fine lines and wrinkles while the vitamin A present in orange juice facilitates new skin cell formation which helps in renewing older skin cells with new ones.

The antioxidant properties of flavonoids, carotenoids and other phytochemicals in orange juice make sure that your skin does not decline under excess oxidative stress. So, hello orange juice and goodbye blemishes, dark spots and UV damage.

Studies indicate that orange juice increases the levels of carotenoids in our skin, which gives it a soft reddish orange-yellow hue that is a mark of a healthy and youthful skin. Makes it worth a single glass of orange juice in a day, doesn’t it?

(Read more: Home remedies for tightening face skin)

Orange juice for kidney stones

Kidney stones are tiny mineral deposits in the inner lining of your kidneys. Irrespective of their size, they are as troublesome inside your body as they are while passing out, causing pain, nausea and discomfort. Orange juice contains high amounts of citrates which have been found to inhibit kidney stone formation, as indicated by clinical studies.

In fact, evidence suggests that orange juice is much more beneficial than lemonade or nimbu pani in reducing kidney stone formation.

Though it is not as effective as potassium citrate which is conventionally used in the treatment of kidney stones, it certainly is a natural aid for those avoiding surgery or drugs.

Furthermore, orange juice has a high water content, which helps to to flush away extra toxins from the kidneys and prevent their accumulation in the form of mineral stones.

Orange juice for heart health

Heart is responsible for supplying clean and oxygenated blood to all body tissues and any imbalance in lifestyle or diet has an impact on the heart. Quite inadvertently, heart health is one of the primary concerns of people all over the world.

Fortunately, your daily glass of orange juice can help you achieve that target much easier. It has several benefits for your heart.

First, orange juice aids in reducing low density (bad) cholesterol, which considered to be one of the worst enemies to a healthy heart.

Excess LDL impairs heart function and gets deposited inside the arteries (atherosclerosis), narrowing them. It takes a lot more toll on the heart to pump blood through such narrowed arteries and this also increases blood pressure.

A reduced LDL would mean lesser chances of arterial plaques. But just when you think this is enough, orange juice takes care of the remaining LDL too. It has an array of antioxidants which prevent lipid peroxidation, a process that leads to fat deposition in arteries.

(Read more: High cholesterol symptoms)

Got enough yet?

Orange juice hosts rich deposits of potassium, a mineral which is known to be important in maintaining blood pressure levels.

In a clinical study, regular consumption of orange juice was found to reduce blood pressure. This is attributed to the presence of flavonoids and other phytochemicals in it.

In another study, both fresh and commercial orange juice was associated with hypotensive (reduce blood pressure) effects as well as a reduction in heart disease due to the anti-inflammatory flavonoids present in it.

(Read more: High blood pressure causes)

Orange juice for bones

Orange juice is known to be an archive of calcium, the best mineral for your bone health. It might interest you to know that calcium is not just needed by your bones though they reserve most of the body’s calcium. But, calcium is also required for muscle contraction and brain signalling.

Where does all that calcium come from? Your diet obviously, and in a calcium deficit condition, your body starts leaching this mineral from your bones. So, it is important to take your daily recommended calcium intake.

Being rich in calcium, orange juice may help you achieve that goal faster. Recent studies suggest that regular intake of orange juice leads to improved calcium levels and bone health in both children and adults. Previous preclinical studies are in accordance with this evidence along with proposing additional benefits in the form of fracture reduction and increased bone density.

Further, arthritis is a condition which is characterised by inflamed and painful joints. Orange juice contains a lot of bioactive compounds like hesperidin and naringenin which have a negative impact on this inflammation.The antioxidant molecules present in orange juice aid in reducing inflammation by scavenging free radicals.

Since commercial orange juices (fresh) may not be as good for your health, making your own orange juice ensures that you are putting good quality fresh ingredients. You can also make your own additions to this simple juice and make it into your own personal health drink. Here is an easy recipe for orange juice:

  • Peel a few fresh oranges and 1 stick of carrot and put them in a juicer.
  • Process them and collect the juice in a container.
  • You can skip on carrots and add some pomegranate or some other fruit in it.
  • Strain the excess fibre and pour the juice in a glass.
  • Serve fresh.

If you are not a fan of juicers you can also use a citrus reamer. Your juice would retain more pulp and would be more beneficial this way.

When to take orange juice

Orange juice serves the best when taken along with meals, especially with breakfast. Taking orange juice between meals increases weight gain and it is not as energising.

  • Though orange have a low glycemic index and it gives off its sugars slowly into the bloodstream, orange juice doesn’t share this trait. In fact, most fruit juices get absorbed quickly through the intestines and give a sugar rush that may be harmful to diabetic people (Read more: Diabetes treatment).
  • Studies indicate that putting orange juice on skin may cause blisters and photodermatitis (skin reaction to sun rays).  
  • Some people may be allergic to orange seeds, so deseed oranges before juicing them.
  • Orange juice reduces blood pressure levels. If you suffer from low blood pressure or if you are a hypertensive person (high blood pressure) on medications, it is best that you avoid orange juice.
  • If you suffer from nausea, it is advisable to not consume orange juice since it can worsen the symptoms.
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