Orange juice seems to be a staple in many people’s lives; most of us will have grown up drinking it as kids coming home from school or drinking it as part of our daily school breakfast or lunch programs. And if we aren’t drinking it every day, it’s one of the first things we grab when feeling sick during cold and flu season.
The drink isn’t just for morning breakfast however; the health benefits of orange juice are many, but most people aren’t aware of just what they can gain from the drink, other than the heavy dose of vitamin C.
One glass of pure orange juice per day provides your body with numerous nutrients that your body needs. Doctors and nutritionists say that drinking one glass of orange juice fills one of your body’s required five fruit and vegetable servings for the day.
Here, we’ll look at those health benefits and why your doctor will tell you that it’s great for keeping that cold away.
Colds & Flus
During the cold and flu season, orange juice plays an important part in helping maintain your immune system in addition to all the other health properties it has. This is due to the vitamins and nutrients found naturally in orange juice; this is also the reason that doctors (and mothers) will tell you to drink plenty of orange juice to get the vitamin C to knock out the cold or flu your suffering with.
But what are these vitamins and nutrients in orange juice that make it so good for us?
Folate is essential for a healthy immune system as it helps grow new cells. Folate is also known to lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine contributes to inflammation and is thought to be related to coronary heart disease.
Vitamin B6, which helps maintain the health of the lymphoid organs that make white blood cells, is found in orange juice. One glass contains 7 percent of the daily value of this immune boosting vitamin.
Vitamin C, the sunshine vitamin, is one of the most powerful antioxidants. Vitamin C is associated with maintaining a healthy immune system, and also neutralizing free radicals that cause cell and tissue damage and lead to diseases. Vitamin C is thought to help reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
Magnesium and Potassium
Magnesium and potassium are associated with lower blood pressure. Both of these are recognized by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as being important to cardiovascular health.
Flavonoids and Carotenoids
Flavonoids that occur in certain plant foods and juices such as orange juice are the subject of studies which indicate that they have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Carotenoids have anti-inflammatory properties and are considered to be precursors to vitamin A, which is used in the making of new cells and very important for immunity.
While most people are aware that the health benefits of orange juice is due to vitamin C, there are plenty of nutrients that are held in one glass that many aren’t aware of. As mentioned, there are several different types of vitamins and nutrients associated with orange juice that can not only keep you healthy with a good immune system, but can help to fight those germs and other things that can cause problems later in life.
Image content via Morgue File