Today, oranges are among the most popular fruits in almost all regions of the world. Whether they grow naturally or are imported from far-away places, these fruits have the power to meet the taste of persons with completely different backgrounds. Precisely because they are so common, many orange-based recipes have been developed in time.
Orange juice is by far the most successful invention. Concentrate or not-from-concentrate, orange juice is often the first choice when it comes to people’s favorite refreshing drinks. Taking in account the fact that pasteurized orange juice has been with us for more than half a century, it could mean that it is safe to drink. But is the test of time enough to tell us that?
Is a glass of orange juice always recommended?
I think we have all heard the specialist’s recommendation to start the day by drinking a nice and fresh glass of orange juice. This is not only because it will give us the necessary dose of energy to deal with the day’s activities, but also because oranges are in general extremely nutritious. Thus, the conflict of opinion appears: is eating the whole orange the same as drinking its juice?
The answer to this question would be simple if we only had in mind the fresh, recently-squeezed juice of a natural orange and not the wide range of processed, concentrate/ not-from-concentrate, pasteurized canned/ bottled/ you name it orange juices. These details really make the difference.
If the latter did not have so many questionable substances added, everything would have been all right. But the sugars, flavor intensifiers, color additives, and the other chemical compounds “destroy” the health benefits of the natural juice. No matter what the label would promise, no such commercialized beverage can ever be 100% natural (unless they squeeze the fruits right in front of you).
A never-ending battle: orange vs. orange juice
“Ok, commercialized orange juice is not healthy. But a fresh orange juice is, isn’t it?” Well, it is, nonetheless, healthier, but definitely not as healthy as eating an entire orange.
Let’s set things straight. An orange is estimated to have around 60 calories and a high nutritional value in general: about 5 grams of fiber, 1 g calcium, 131 mcg beta-carotene, vitamins A, B6, C and, of course, sugar. All these substances are essential for the normal development of our organism, BUT only in moderate quantities.
Consider now that an 8 oz glass of orange juice contains the juice of 4-5 oranges. This means an overload of calories, sugar-content, Vitamin C and, on the other hand, loss of fiber (that is found in the white membranes and pitch which are usually thrown away). While the excess vitamin C is lost (because the body cannot accept more than a certain daily amount), the excess sugar will enter your bloodstream possibly causing certain imbalances.
Which one do you think is the winner?
Now, the verdict would be obvious: there is nothing better than a fresh orange eaten in its entirety. However, this does not mean that you should stop drinking orange juice forever and ever. As long as you squeeze it yourself and you donˈt exagerate, have fun preparing and enjoying it!