Are you a sucker for a morning glass of orange juice? Or do you prefer to eat an orange instead? Oranges are packed with vitamin C, the little miracle vitamin that helps protect against immune system deficiencies and cardiovascular disease.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a daily intake of 75mg of vitamin C each day for women, and 90 mg per day for men. To get an idea of how much that actually is, a medium sized orange contains 69.7 mg of vitamin C, whereas a cup of orange juice provides 97 mg of vitamin C. But overall, which is better? Eating an orange or drinking orange juice?
Pros of Orange Juice
- Orange juice can help undo the damage of an unhealthy meal on your body by counteracting the inflammatory effects. This is attributed to the fact that oranges have more than 60 flavonoid antioxidants. Eating a regular orange also provides this health benefit, but it's more likely people will drink a glass of orange juice after a meal, rather than eat an orange.
For more on how juice and oranges compare keep reading.
- Orange juice made from concentrate is produced from the entire fruit (including the pith and peel), which means it's loaded with more antioxidants, soluble pectin, and essential oils than a regular orange, or even freshly squeezed orange juice.
- A glass of orange juice each day may prevent recurrent kidney stones better than other citrus juices. Citrus juice is said to help prevent the formation of kidney stones because it contains citrate, which helps decrease the acidity of urine. Orange juice in particular, increases the levels of citrate in the urine and decreases urine acidity, unlike other citrus juices.
Cons of Orange Juice
- One glass of orange juice can contain as many calories as a can of Coca-Cola, thanks to the sugar added to it.
Pros of Oranges
- A whole orange offers more fiber than fruit juice, and contains fewer calories. Fiber is great because it prevents certain types of cancers, keeps you regular, and helps fill you up so you're less likely to eat as many calories.
Cons of Oranges
- As discussed above, orange juice made from concentrate utilizes the entire orange, so it packs lots of nutritional value. But don't forget about how much sugar regular orange juice contains, which can easily override its health benefits.