Orange Juice Facts

Orange juice facts examines the difference between OJ and the real drink.

The next time I make freshly-squeezed orange juice, I'm going to invite 20 friends, blindfold them, and give them each a glass of the real McCoy and another from a carton. I will lay my last dollar on it; every single one of them will know which is the fake.

OJ the real deal

I've just made freshly squeezed orange juice from our own tree and it is nothing short of heaven. Okay, so the taste is unbelievably good, but what about the nutritional facts? Is it really worth the schlep?

How many calories are there in orange juice, the vitamin C and folate? Just what are the constituents of orange juice and lastly how about from a concentrate? These are all good sounding and important questions.

Here I'm pressing it the old-fashioned way. It is not bad exercise for the arms by the way; beats going to the gym and pumping iron. Normally I use an electric orange juice press if there are more than half a dozen.

Orange juice facts

Orange juice facts will convince you that squeezing your own makes a world of difference to both taste and nutrition; see how Bernard Preston enjoys it regularly.

Orange Juice Ingredients (in 100g)

This is not to be used as a reference table as some figures are in mg, mcg and IU; it's simply to enable you to compare OJ with real freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Protein 1.040.70,680,2
Carbohydrate 11.910,41113
Fibre 2,50,20,30,2
Calcium 4011102
Magnesium 1011103
Potassium 17920018442
Zinc 0,060,050,040,02
Selenium 0,10,10,10
Vit C 48,5503015
Folate 3930244
Vitamin A 23020017544
Vit E 0,40,40,20,02
Vit K 0,10,10,10
MUFAs 0,0550,0360,0250,010
PUFAs 0,060,040,030,01

The figures speak for themselves. In every single department, OJ from a carton falls far short of the real stuff. One fifth of the protein and more carbs and calories is just what we don't want. There is less than a tenth of the fibre, a twentieth of the calcium and no selenium; the mineral that is now firmly linked to prevention of diabetes. 

One-third of the vitamin C but I won't go on and bore you; it is so painfully obvious.

So my tongue did not lie. The real stuff tasted better for a very good reason.

It is better; and a lot more nutritious.

Just look at the folate, that vitamin desperately needed to stop a homocysteine build up and, in pregnancy for example, to prevent Spina Bifida; ten times more in real freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Researcher Shannon Riva measured the vitamin C content of several South African orange juices, all labelled as 100% fruit. Apart from one brand which added ascorbic acid, she found the others had far less than freshly-squeezed OJ.

She said that commercially available orange juice is usually made from concentrates to which water is added. After extraction from the pulp, the liquid is filtered, clarified and then pasteurised. In each step micronutrients including vitamin C are lost according to Riva; and it often contains as much sugar as various colas and beverages.

"Although citrus is the best known source of vitamin C, many fruits and vegetables also contain abundant levels. Most adults need between 75 and 90 mg a day. Half a cup of sweet red pepper or a 6-ounce glass of orange juice provides that much and more."

- Web MD

Just how accurate are they?

  • 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces, 177 ml) of OJ out of a carton contains 15mg/100ml x 177ml = 22.5mg, less than a third of the RDA for vitamin C.
  • It would take 8oz of freshly-squeezed orange juice to get your full daily allowance of vitamin C.

The truth is we need to question everything we read on the web, including this site.

Vitamin C deficiency symptoms include tiredness and poor healing of wounds; ligaments and slipped-discs too.

Calories in Orange Juice

If you are a professional tennis player, give this section a miss; but since most of us, myself included, spend more hours per day staring at a computer screen than is sensible, the calories in orange juice are not unimportant.

Not surprisingly, again OJ has more calories than freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Glycemic index of orange juice

The glycemic index of OJ is 50; that is very moderate. But of freshly-squeezed orange juice, pulp and all, the GI is 40 which is low. It is the fibre that lowers the rapid absorption of the natural sugars; that natural pectin also gives protection against prostate tumours[1].

As an aside avoid foods with added pectin; it's highly processed and linked to cancer.

You may be finding, unlike me that all these orange juice facts are boring; that's okay if you are enjoying many coloured foods every day.

Bioflavonoids are the pigments that make oranges and butternut squash yellow; beetroot purple and so on. They are described as functional foods meaning that they enhance our well-being and help prevent disease. Eat them daily if you don't want to get malignant tumours.

In fact powerful research shows that folk who eat at least eight coloured foods every day have a 35 percent lower overall cause of death each year; that's massive.

That is really not difficult; we aim for fifteen. Half an apple and six blue berries for breakfast would be a good start; a glass of real orange juice and you are well on your way. Then enjoy a green salad for lunch with tomato and perhaps a few slices of orange or red pepper. Have butternut and kale for dinner and you are already over ten.

This may seem radical but when your neighbour, or sister gets a tumour or an autoimmune disease you will soon get the drift; you do not want that T-shirt.

Read more at Orange Juice Bioflavonoids.

Calcium in orange juice

Orange juice eggs florentine vit COrange and juice and Eggs Florentine make the perfect counter to macular-degeneration.

One does not normally think of orange juice as a source of calcium. OJ in fact has virtually none but if you squeeze it yourself and include the pulp there is 20 times the amount of the mineral.

Read more on the subject at best calcium for osteoporosis.

It is only when we get a profound disgust of regularly being sick and swallowing so many pills and supplements that we start to take an interest in subjects like orange juice facts.

Prevention is better than a cure is a phrase we like to trot out. It slips so easily off the tongue but in truth we then largely ignore it; until disaster strikes. Pain we obey, but sometimes the consequences are deeper; like spina bifida.

Copy and paste "best calcium for osteoporosis" into Site Search for more information.

Spina bifida

Spina bifida is a very serious birth defect affecting roughly two in a thousand live births. This means that there will likely be a child in almost every school with it.

Vitamin B9 or folate, is absolutely vital in the first weeks of pregnancy, before you even know that you are pregnant; it's when the covering of the spinal cord is being formed.

A child will be paralysed for life if mother didn't have enough folate every day.

One glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice facts every day will go a long way to preventing this horrific disease.

Spina bifida and orange juice is a hugely important subject for all of us.

Mild forms of spina bifida are encountered periodically in our clinics, hence Bernard Preston's particular interest.

Spina bifida vera can cause a meningomyelocele

Yes it is horrific; and meant to shock. This is entirely preventable if your family is eating the broad family of folate foods on a daily basis. That means citrus, greens and whole grains; and legumes too.


Plants are rich in phytosterols, compounds proved to dramatically reduce the bad cholesterol, by inhibiting absorption in the gut; and reducing the production of fats in the liver.

Another is beta-cryptoxanthin that researchers have found is profoundly important in helping prevent dementia; citrus is the richest source.

Are orange juice facts not fascinating?


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One common phytonutrient, beta-sitosterol, also has an extremely beneficial effect on prostatitis, a very unpleasant condition reducing urine flow.

Oranges are the second richest source of fruit beta-sitosterol; 17mg per 100g of edible citrus. Only avocados have more, in fact by a multiple of four.

A typical California avocado weighing 173 grams would contain 132mg beta-sitosterol, the recommended dose for men suffering from prostate problems.

Eaten naturally in food, phytosterols have no side effects.

However synthetic beta-sitosterol is nasty stuff. Nausea, constipation and indigestion are common side effects; diarrhea and gas too. It has also been linked to a loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. I would rather eat avocados and swallow these oranges juice facts.

Orange juice using an electric squeezer

In these perambulations about orange juice facts we are not discussing "small beer."

The facts are that a glass of orange juice every day, freshly-squeezed and including the pulp, can and will make a difference. Suffering from neoplasms, arthritis and colds will not be fun; nor will hayfever and having an unhappy prostate gland, to mention just a few.

Orange juice beer glass

In fact I suspect the B&W food plan may be just as dangerous as smoking for your well-being; perhaps more so. It's time to upgrade to colour.

What is important for me as a DC is that raw orange juice has an important function in tissue repair, due to increased capillary permeability, and collagen synthesis.

Collagen is the stuff that is vital for ligaments, tendons and cartilage; and discs too.

So it's all about a back that heals quicker and will not relapse next week; and yes even preventing a horrific disease called Spina Bifida. How is that? Because one glass will supply nearly 10% of the daily-requirement of folate of a pregnant woman; but from the carton a measly 1 percent.

And believe you me, folate is not only for pregnant women, it's involved in hundreds of delicate, vital chemical-processes going on all the time in your body.

The recommendations of the Spina Bifida foundation are that pregnant women, starting well before the planned event, should take supplements and eat food rich in folate.

Mojo de naranjas

Most of us I think would admit that there are many foods that we know we should eat but don't because they do not sit happily on the palate for one reason or another. 

The food industry's answer to this conundrum is flavour enhancers like MSG; we eat them at our peril. Enter the mojos to dicky up our less appetising foods. 

Mojo de naranjas is a wonderful side dish enjoyed with fish and chicken. 

  • One garlic bulb, separated and peeled.
  • One orange, peeled and de-pipped; include the pulp.
  • One lime, likewise peeled and de-pipped.
  • One teaspoon sea salt. 
  • Half a green pepper.
  • A handful of parsley or cilantro. 
  • 1/2 tsp freshly roasted and ground cumin. 
  • Optional: olive oil, a snip of red chilli and a teaspoon of raw honey. 

I like to use a stick blender; less fuss and cleaning. 

These mojos don't keep; try to finish them at each sitting. Are orange juice facts not interesting?

A few thoughts on spices

The chances are good that any chilli or cumin powder in your cupboard is three or more years old; and you wonder why is has little flavour! The food industry feeds into our laziness to prepare good, nutritious food, and we wonder why all around us there are those falling to tumours and other appalling diseases.

It was a huge day for me when we ran out of powdered cumin, and there was none in the supermarket to be had; a little Indian lady, remarked, "well, why do you not roast and grind your own?"

She directed us to a packet of raw cumin seeds; it's something you too should know about.

  • Type "what is cumin" into Site Search in the main menu above.

With thanks to Beate Timm and her book "The secrets of the Canary Islands' Garlic sauces." It is a little gem, worth every cent if these mojos sound inviting. Find it on Amazon for $4.73.

Limes and lemons

Don't forget that lime nutrition and lemon trees are equally rich in these nutrients; perhaps even more so in fact owing to the limonin, another very special phytochemical. Added to orange juice facts, they can bring a perhaps dull salad alive; then you have a winner.

Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is a semi-retired DC and organic gardener with a passionate interest in choice foods; son of a citrus farmer, orange juice facts come naturally. 

Choice foods

Choice foods is about getting all those coloured phytochemicals from your meals; they are the ones that prevent malignant tumours. That is also where you will find the vitamins that are so necessary for effective enzymatic action in the body. Orange juice facts are central.

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Hilton, KZN

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