Orange juice is one of the richest sources of vitamin C, which is an anti-oxidant and detoxifying agent that destroys or neutralizes the free radicals in our body, thus boosting our immune system. One of the main functions of anti-oxidants is to prevent cancer and maintain the blood sugar levels, which in turns manages cholesterol level and improve cardiovascular health. It also improves our blood circulation and prevents kidney stones
Orange juice as the name suggests is the extract of the widely eaten citric fruit, oranges. It is regarded as one of the healthiest beverages because of its infinite health benefits. Citrus sinensis commonly known as oranges is the most consumed citric fruit. There are different varities of oranges from blood oranges to mandarin and even bitter, but the most commonly eaten is the sweet orange. It may vary in size from 2 inches to 4 inches in diameter.
Nutritional Value of Orange Juice
Orange juice is widely accepted as the richest source of vitamin C with 93% in one medium sized orange ( 130 grams ) approx. However its nutritive value is not limited to vitamin C only, it is also very rich in fibre, vitamin A , folate, thiamine, potassium. Other important nutrition present are protein, copper, magnesium, flavonoids and hesperedin.
Boost immune system
Vitamin C also known as the ascorbic acid is an anti-oxidant that destroys and neutralizes free radicals before damaging our body and provide boost to immunity against diseases. Furthermore, vitamin C is one of the fundamental components of collagen that repairs cells and help in the growth of new tissues.
Source of Fiber
Yes, its absolutely true. People generally think of orange juice as a source of vitamin C only but it also has high content of fiber. Fiber is very useful in bowel regularity and keeping the cholesterol level in check. Fiber also helps in improving the digestive system. One glass of orange juice contains 50% to 60% of the daily recommended fiber intake.
Improved Blood Circulation
Our body needs a continous supply of blood in order to function properly. The folate content present in orange juices is a leading component in the formation of new red blood cells as well as stimulating the blood flow to extremites. Folate is also necessary for DNA creation and growth of new cells. It’s the folate content that stimulates blood flow and improves blood circulation.
Blood pressure regulation.
Magnesium content present in orange juices has the ability to bring back the disturbed blood pressure level to normal range. Potassium is the other source of regulating blood pressure and maintaining it to normal, which is also present in orange juices. And the hesperedin antioxidant helps in reduction of the overall blood pressure. Some components in orange juice activate small blood vessels that also regulates the overall blood pressure.
Inflammation is the body’s response to stimulus as defense but it also has side effects as well. High sugar and fat meals can also leads to inflammation of various body parts leading to increased insulin resistance. Citrus fruits are a good anti-inflammatory agent that can ward off metabolic syndrome that can lead to type 2 diabetes.
One of the primary functions of anti-oxidants is to prevent cancer. Vitamin C is the first line of defense against cancer as it prevents the DNA of healthy cells mutating into cancerous cells. Orange juices also has D-limonene that is an efficient agent against skin, lung, breast mouth and colon cancer. The presence of hesperedin, another anti-oxidant reduces tumor growth and even stimulate apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancerous cell.
Prevention of kidney stone
Excess concentration of minerals and chemicals results in kidney stone. Citric acid and citrates present in orange juices decreases the urine acidity and help in preventing the formation of kidney stones. Furthermore it also improves the health and functioning of kidneys.
As orange juices have high content of fiber, it lowers the cholesterol level. But that is not the only agent working in cholesterol reduction, though the exact source is yet to be determined but daily consumption of orange juices reduces the BAD cholesterol while increasing the amount of GOOD cholesterol.
Orange juice is packed with anti oxidants that fights off free radicals. Anti oxidants present in orange juice protect the skin from sun damage and pollution preventing skin problems such as dark spots, wrinkles and sun tan improving the overall skin health. Thus, giving you a radiant and glowing skin.
Uses of Orange Juice
Consumed mostly as health beverage for its nutrient value across the globe but it has got other uses as well. May 4th celebrated as the national orange day in America witnesses the different uses of orange juices which can be used on a regular basis. In the making of pan cakes, waffles and French toast. Used as a vinaigrette for salads and preparing grilled chicken by marinating it in orange juice. Also used for cake mix for preparation of cakes, cookies and frostings.
Side-Effects & Allergies of Orange Juice
Since orange juice is rich in fructose and is acidic in nature, excessive consumption can be harmful for the body. The excess fiber can lead to digestive problems causing abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Beacause of its acidic property it can cause severe heartburns as well. Other problems include nausea, vomiting, headaches, bloating and insomnia, if the intake is excessive.
Cultivation of Orange Juice
The orange juice squeezed from oranges have its root in California, America. During the early 19th century, the cultivators over produced the citric food and decided to destroy 30% of the tree. Right about that time, pasteurization was discovered and the national railway system was completed. That is when the orange juice was first mass produced and marketed. Earlier it was only freshly made and consumed seasonally.