Who doesn’t like a good chilled glass of orange juice in the morning to start the day? Fresh oranges are available in Pakistan mostly during the winters, whereas one can get their hands on a carton of OJ (Orange Juice) anytime anywhere. Orange juice is a great source of vitamin C and dietary fibers. It is packed full of flavonoids and carotenoids. Orange juice also contains B vitamins, such as B1 as well as vitamin A, folate and many other nutrients. Long story short; it is good for you. There is an eternal debate over whether orange juice is just as beneficial for you as eating a whole orange. Let’s sneak a peek into this nutritional comparison.
As common sense would suggest, whole oranges should be a lot healthier for you than processed orange juice that comes in a tetra-box. Orange contains much more fiber, that helps maintain proper bowel movements and clean the intestines. The high fiber content allows to regulate the high sugar content of the fruit and prevents your blood sugar level to increase. The pulp that comes from an orange contains micro-nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties and are missing from many juices. It is also true that eating an orange is more filling than drinking one glass full of orange juice. It stops you from consuming a heavy calorie rich meal later. Research has shown that oranges can help decrease the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Refining and processing these nutrients in the form of orange juice not only decreases the nutritional content but also eliminates certain nutrients completely.
On the other hand, people debate that orange juice contains the same nutrients as that of a whole orange. Just because certain juice companies endorse their juice as being 100% doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. There might be less additives and preservatives, but refining out juices from a fruit into a box decreases it’s nutritional value. Even juices with pulp in them lack certain flavonoids and other fibrous sugars. It is however important to note that most juices may contain higher quantities of vitamin C as compared to the fruit because it is added to it artificially. Another importance of drinking juice is that, the body doesn’t need to sort out through all the fiber to get to the nutrients, which are more easily accessible in juice form. There is no denying however, that juices contain high sugar content as compared to the fruit and may not be quiet as useful in helping you lose weight. It is however, a better substitute for fizzy drinks.
In conclusion, I would like to say, that even though orange juice is more easily accessible and may seem more convenient and less messy than a whole orange, it is always beneficial to take the healthier approach. In a life, where everything we eat is processed or artificially made, it is important to take a more holistic route where possible. It doesn’t at all mean that we should stop drinking orange juice altogether. I don’t think I’d want to live in a world where I can’t gulp down my breakfast with a swing of my OJ!