One hundred percent orange juice has been a healthy breakfast staple for decades and with good reason. It contains essential vitamins and minerals like thiamin, folate, potassium, and vitamin C, as well as several bioactives, (plant compounds) which support healthy bones, skin and teeth, keeping your body strong and active. Now there may be another way orange juice promotes good health.
A new study published in Advances in Nutrition suggests the bioactives in 100% orange juice has the potential to help fight inflammation and oxidative stress in both healthy adults and adults at risk for chronic illness. The review study, conducted by Tufts and George Mason Universities and sponsored by Florida Department of Citrus, examined published studies and consisted of a meta-analysis, a qualitative scoping review and a systematic review of several studies.
Data suggests drinking 100% orange juice significantly reduces interleukin 6, a well-established marker of inflammation, in both healthy and high-risk adults. Two additional inflammatory and oxidative stress markers were also reduced but did not reach statistical significance. The researchers attribute this effect to the bioactive compound hesperidin, found in orange juice.
As this data is limited in scope, more research needs to be done. “This review tells us that some studies find benefits with 100% orange juice, but we need more data and large well-designed studies to make more definitive conclusions. This analysis is especially helpful as we and others plan future research related to orange juice.” said Gail Rampersaud, Florida Department of Citrus registered dietitian.
There are many ways to incorporate 100% orange juice into your diet outside of just a glass at breakfast, and by adding it to a variety of recipes, you will increase its anti-inflammatory benefits. This Grilled Mojo Chicken Taco recipe uses a 100% orange juice marinade to provide a sweet kick and help balance out the mojo spice in the chicken. If dessert is more your speed, but you still want something healthy, try these Orange Rhubarb Muffins. They are light, sweet and healthy and can also be used as an on-the-go breakfast treat.
Find additional recipes using 100% fruit juice on our recipe page, and learn more about the bioactives, vitamins, and nutrients found in all types of fruit juice here.