When you think of a delicious glass of fruit juice, chances are you imagine a nice, cool glass of orange juice. It’s a staple at the breakfast table and you’d probably find some in everyone’s fridge.
While it has plenty of health benefits, this article will answer how much orange juice is too much? Are there risks when it comes to orange juice consumption and what is the best way to enjoy it healthily?
How Much Orange Juice is Too Much?
The recommended serving of fruit is about 1.5-2 cups a day.
And an 8oz glass of orange juice is equal to one serving of fruit.
So 8oz of orange juice a day is plenty.
There are plenty of ways you could enjoy your serving of orange juice: freshly squeezed, as part of a smoothie or as an ingredient in your juicing adventures at home.
Any more than that, and you may start to find yourself suffering from uncomfortable side effects as a result.
Now that we know how much orange juice we should be having, let’s take a closer look at the health benefits and potential health risks of this tasty treat.
Health Benefits of Orange Juice
We learn as children that orange juice is healthy and will keep the flu away. And this is still true as we get older! Orange juice has a huge number of health benefits, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular.
We’ve put together a list of the reasons that orange juice is so great.
It’s a Great Source of Vitamin C
Let’s start with the one that we all know: orange juice is absolutely packed with Vitamin C. One glass of juice has about 50mg of Vitamin C. It’s recommended that you have around 40mg of Vitamin C a day, so that glass of orange juice sets you up right!
- It protects your body’s cells
- It helps to keep your blood vessels, cartilage, bone and skin healthy
- It even improves how your body heals itself when you get a cut or wound.
- It boosts your immune system, giving you a lower risk of developing colds and flus
Orange Juice is Full of Antioxidants
As well as Vitamin C, orange juice is high in several different antioxidants, like flavonoids. These antioxidants fight against free radicals, which degrade your body’s cells and can affect your overall health.
Antioxidants are important to protect yourself against conditions like heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
Its Nutritional Value is Sky High!
Vitamin C and antioxidants are only a small part of what orange juice has to offer.
There’s also potassium, which is important in keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level and preventing coronary heart disease.
Orange juice has even been found to lower cholesterol levels, which is part of the reason it does so much good for your heart. If you have high blood pressure, then having orange juice daily is definitely something to consider.
Another important nutrient found in orange juice is folate, which is particularly important for pregnant women, since it keeps the baby healthy and improves DNA synthesis – very scientific!
Orange Juice Can Prevent Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be very unpleasant. They are small pieces of mineral that build up over time in the kidneys and can be really painful.
Orange juice alter the pH of your urine, which will help to prevent kidney stones from forming. Better a preventative than a cure!
Potential Health Risks of Orange Juice
Getting all of these health benefits from one source is fantastic – orange juice makes it easy to get the nutrition that you need. However, there are some potential drawbacks, especially if you have more than the recommended amount. We’ve looked into these risks and explained them below.
You Could Consume Too Much Sugar
One of the best things about orange juice is its delicious, sweet taste. Just like all citrus fruits, it has a zesty freshness but drinking too much of it can greatly increase your blood sugar levels or cause the development of insulin resistance.
Oranges, like other fruits, are high in natural sugars, or fructose. While these are better than processed sugars that we find in candy or sugary drinks, like soda, they can still have a negative impact on our health. Eating too much sugar can even lead to Type 2 Diabetes.
Bear this in mind: an 8oz portion contains almost 21 grams of sugar!
This means that if you’re able to juice whole oranges at home, it may be healthier for you. If juicing isn’t an option for you, then just be sure to practice portion control. Stick to the recommended amount!
It Could Lead to Weight Gain
This is somewhat linked to the previous point. We’re all pretty familiar with the fact that if we eat or drink a lot of sugar, then we’re likely to gain weight.
If we drink too much orange juice, or too much fruit juice in general, then we’re consuming lots of sugar without much fibre, which is what makes us feel full. So we might drink more. Which means more sugar. You can see where this is going.
While orange juice is a healthy option, too much juice is not. So again, make sure you exercise careful portion control and make sure that your fruit juice is part of a balanced diet.
If you’re unsure about how to do this, you could consider speaking to a nutritionist, since they’ll have the information you’re looking for.
All in all, orange juice can have big health benefits. It’s packed with nutrition and can help you to prevent some serious illnesses and conditions.
However, orange juice in excess is a different story. It can be hugely detrimental to your health, just like any other sugary drink or meal.
The key is only drinking as much as is recommended – 8oz per day at the most.
If you’re worried about the potential risks of orange juice, then you could consider swapping to eating whole fruit instead. Eating whole fruit ensures that you get the entire nutritional value of the fruit, without worrying about added sugar or having too many liquid calories.