For decades without slowing down, it has been customary for most families, especially in the West, to drink orange juice in the morning. You have probably seen it in all Hollywood movies and TV shows as well, the family getting together early in the day just before everyone leaves home for their daily obligations. The parents go to work, some of the kids go to school, and some stay at home. No matter what they have for breakfast they drink a glass of OJ alongside it. Is this really so dominant in Western cultures and is there a larger story behind it? The answers to these questions are both yes and no, and we are going to determine as much as we can right here and now in this article.
Not all juice is the same
Right off the bat, we have to talk about the different kinds of orange juices out there. Of course, if you buy any juice as long as it is orange in color, you will not be doing your body any favors. Such beverages you can find at your local stores contain a lot of sugar and other processed ingredients that are bad for the body. Therefore, if you drink a glass or two every day, you will ruin your health and elevate your blood sugar, risking diabetes.
On the other hand, there are juices available for purchase that are quite low or even free of sugar, made 100% from fresh oranges. This is a whole other story and these products are much safer and healthier to consume. Still, however, you should not really drink more than a glass per day, the morning being one of the possible times to have it.
The third and final option, by far the best one if you care for the health of your family as well as your own, is to squeeze your OJ yourself every day. Buy fresh oranges, cut them in half, remove the seeds, and squeeze everything (including the pulp to reap the benefits of the extra fibers) into a glass. It takes practice to become good at it, as well as the right kind of tools. For the former, the experience is key, while for the latter, you should consider buying something to help you with the task you plan to do every day. For example, you can check out amazon.com/bhinnovations as it is one of the best multi-functional handled juicers for all of your juicing needs. It is extremely easy to use and quite convenient to clean and store.
Reasons to drink OJ every morning
Now that we got rid of the basics, it is time to delve deeper into the matter of whether or not you should have a glass each day, particularly in the morning. Following will be some of the reasons for and against drinking orange juice to kick off your day.
A daily dose of vitamin C
As you probably know already, oranges and the rest of citrus fruits are abundant in vitamin c, the main immunity booster for our body. Daily dosage varies between 75 and 100 milligrams depending on the person. When you need more to battle a cold or the flu, take a double dose. On normal days, if you drink freshly squeezed, 100% OJ every day, you will get around 93 milligrams from a six to eight-ounce glass. This is by far the tastiest way of consuming the vitamin, as well as the easiest. You will not forget to consume it like you would with a pill or through specific fruit and veggies. If a healthier lifestyle is what you are chasing, a glass of OJ in the morning will help your immune system, but only if it is from fresh oranges.
You will gain weight from too much OJ
Remember the sugar we mentioned, as well as other ingredients? Well, they are one of the things that may be contributing to the extra few pounds you noticed. Juices come equipped with a lot of calories, and the unhealthier and processed the juice the more calories it packs. The same six to eight-ounce glass of 100% OJ has around 100 calories. If you drink too many per day, you will interfere with the calorie intake you need and consume more than you should, leading to putting on weight. There was a study that showed that a daily glass of 100% OJ causes from 0.5 to 0.75-pound gains over four years.
Such data seems unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but what if you drink more than a glass every day? It becomes double and now it is much more serious all of a sudden. Therefore, keep it within limits and stick with a single glass of freshly squeezed OJ each new day. It goes without saying, but those at risk of type 2 diabetes should not drink any type of juice except 100% natural squeezed.
Citrus fruits are rich in antioxidants that help our bodies battle harmful chemicals, bacteria, and viruses. The naturally protective powers of antioxidants will receive some backup in the form of carotenoids, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid, all beneficial to the immune system. If you combine OJ with other antioxidant fruits and beverages like berries, teas, and wine, you will live a very healthy life. All of these are also good for the heart and the cardiovascular system.
Kidney stone prevention
Next up on the list, those experiencing frequent troubles associated with or caused by kidney stones will surely benefit from drinking OJ every morning. Juices squeezed from citruses help prevent recurrent kidney stone troubles, so if you have already passed one make sure to incorporate orange juice into your diet to prevent another one from troubling you.
Vitamin D and calcium
If vitamin c is the main one our bodies require, its cousin vitamin d would be second-most important. Alongside calcium, you can meet your body’s requirements of the two from daily consumption of OJ. The two usually go together and help out bones, joints, and teeth, and make us more resistant to cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.
For those who experience regular heartburn, as well as anyone with stomach problems, a cup of something citrusy acidic like OJ will surely make you feel uncomfortable. It can happen especially easy if you drink it after consuming coffee or some dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.