Is Orange Juice Good for You?

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A glass of OJ has nearly all of the immune system boosting vitamin C you need in a day, but is orange juice good for you otherwise? Yes and no. It all depends on the type and quantity you sip, according to nutritionists. Pure orange juice without added sugars or dilution is often the healthiest choice (though it can be pricier) and can offer a range of vitamins and minerals. “100% orange juice is a good source of a variety of nutrients that are important to good health, including vitamin C, folate, potassium, and thiamine,” says Kris Sollid, RD, senior director of nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council.

But even 100% orange juice contains high amounts of sugar; and the regular consumption of orange juice has been linked to weight gain and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. (Another study found the increased consumption of whole fruit, rather than just juice, is linked to a decreased risk of type-2 diabetes.)

We asked the experts “is orange juice good for you?” to get to the bottom of the healthiest way to consume it. 

Orange juice nutrition

According to the USDA, an 8-ounce serving of 100% squeezed orange juice (with pulp) has 22 grams of sugar, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 1.99 grams of protein, and 110 calories.

When it comes to minerals, it contains minimal amounts, including 26.4 milligrams of calcium and 26.4 milligrams of magnesium. It might not come as a shock to you that vitamins are the area in which OJ shines, with one serving containing 72 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 80% of your recommended daily intake. It also contains 0.17 milligrams of Vitamin B-6—10% of your recommended daily intake.

Orange juice benefits

Drinking juice isn’t your thing? Don’t sweat it. Even though it has several health benefits, orange juice is not a health staple. “Drinking orange juice is not required for good health. However, when consumed in the proper amounts, orange juice can contribute to good health,” says Sollid. Let’s explore some of the particular health benefits of drinking orange juice.

1. A great source of vitamin C

While many dietitians suggest you are better off getting your vitamin C from whole fruit or even in pill form due to the calories and sugar in orange juice, there is no denying orange juice is rich in vitamin C. This vitamin bolsters the immune system by supporting a range of cellular functions, playing a vital part in the healing of wounds, and guarding the body against free radical damage,

2. May help combat kidney stones

A small study that examined 8 healthy men and 3 men with kidney stones found that orange juice decreased uric acid levels and increased the inhibitor activity of calcium phosphate, meaning it can be beneficial in reducing the risk of kidney stones.

How much orange juice is good for you?

To sum it up: the vitamin content in orange juice is good for you, but OJ isn’t always the healthiest source of those vitamins because of its calories and sugar. So drink in moderation.

Between a tiny glass and an entire mimosa jug, what is a healthy amount to drink? “Most adults can include up to 4-10 ounces of orange juice per day as part of a healthy diet,” says Sollid.

What is the healthiest orange juice?

Wherever you fall on the citrus spectrum, you might be wondering, which is the healthiest orange juice? Well, it pays to RTL—read that label. “When choosing orange juice varieties, choose those without added sugars, such as 100% juice or 100% juice that has been diluted with water. When considering fruit juice options that are less than 100% juice, including orange juice, read labels to compare and choose those that are higher in percent juice and fiber and lower in total calories and added sugars per serving,” says Sollid.

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