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Long before green juices, before smoothies, before bottled pomegranate juices, even before the energy drink, there was orange juice, and it was good. In fact, it may surprise many of us to find out that, long before the advent of the food processor, oranges were painstakingly wrung by hand using contraptions known as “manual juice pumps” to extract the pulpy goodness from the fruit to be served to smiling families in the 1950′s. While the longevity of orange juice alone is a testament to its goodness, every once in a while, it is worth it to revisit and pay homage to the original health beverage. Read on to find out why you should enjoy a glass of OJ to boost your overall health.
Most of the wonders of orange juice can be attributed to its wealth of vitamin and mineral content. The juice is rich in potassium, vitamins C and E, fiber, proteins, magnesium, and flavenoids, along with a variety of trace minerals, all contributing to its large amount of nutritional benefits. It has 45 calories per 100mL serving and has been a staple of a healthy diet for years.
Like all citrus fruits, orange juice is known for its anti inflammatory agents. Foods high in fat and sugar can cause inflammation of body parts and increased resistance to insulin. Insulin resistance is one of the major causes of atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. Studies show that orange juice, by reducing inflammation, inhibits resistance to insulin and protects the heart and overall cardiovascular system.
The high level of vitamin A in orange juice, along with acting as a moderate antioxidant, boosts kidney function. This increases detoxification levels in the body by helping it to eliminate unhealthy waste products. Vitamin A is also known to promote eye health and prevent macular degeneration.
Boosting the Immune System
While singing the praises of OJ, it would be a great omission to leave out its reputation for healing. A single serving of the beverage contains more than 200% of the daily requirement of vitamin C recommended for the average individual. Vitamin C, a.k.a. ascorbic acid, serves as a primary antioxidant in the body, destroying free radicals before they do damage to the immune system. Ascorbic acid is also a basic component of collagen, which is used by the body to repair cells and grow new tissue. It is also the first line of defense against cancer and tumor growth.
Improving Blood Circulation
Folate is a B vitamin (B9) found in high levels in oranges and orange juice. Folate is crucial for the production of DNA and new cell growth. The vitamin also prevents cell mutation and helps to build red blood cells, stimulating blood flow to the extremities. This increases oxygen flow to the organ system and keeps metabolism functioning efficiently.
Studies show that orange juice can reduce the amount of “bad cholesterol in the body, while increasing the amount of “good” cholesterol. Cholesterol balance can reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and atherolsclerosis and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Tell us how you and when you’re enjoying your orange juice. We want to know if and how you’re staying old school in your choice of beverages.