There’s nothing quite like a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to kickstart your day. Packed full of goodness, orange offers an instant energy boost, while its delightful sweetness provides a real treat for the taste buds.
But a great taste isn’t all the humble orange has to offer. Do you know oranges are naturally high in several vital nutrients including vitamin C, folate and potassium? They’re great for boosting the immune system, have fantastic antioxidant properties and have even been linked with fighting heart disease.
Juicing oranges is an easy way to up your vitamin intake and ensure your body is getting what it needs to thrive.
Here I’ll uncover some of the key benefits of juicing oranges and why they most definitely deserve their super ingredient status. I’ll look into the debate of juicing oranges vs eating oranges and finish off with a few of my favorite orange juice recipes.
Piqued your interest? Let’s get started…
Benefits of oranges
1. Immunity boosting
Oranges are one of the best fruits that boost immunity. They contain a concentrated source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that will strengthen your immune system and help to protect your body from winter bugs like colds and flu.
2. Great source of antioxidants
The antioxidants in orange juice, which include flavonoids, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid, help to prevent oxidative damage, which is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in the body. Antioxidants are essential to maintaining good health and protect the body from chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Scientific research has proven the health benefits of the antioxidants found in orange juice. One such study found that drinking just 25oz of orange juice daily can increase your antioxidant markers significantly.
3. May prevent kidney stones
If you’ve ever had a kidney stone, you’ll know just how painful they can be. In addition to severe pain, these small mineral deposits that build up in the kidneys can also cause nausea and blood in your urine.
One of the best ways to prevent kidney stones from forming is to drink orange juice. Research has uncovered that orange juice increases the pH of urine, making it more alkaline. The more alkaline your urine is, the less likely kidney stones will form.
4. Promotes good heart health
Do you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US? About 610,000 Americans die of the disease each year – that’s 1 in every 4.
If you’re looking to promote good heart health, increasing your antioxidant intake through juicing oranges is an easy, yet effective, first step. Orange juice contains an important antioxidant called hesperidin, which improves blood vessel function and can help lessen the risk of heart disease.
5. Tackles inflammation
Inflammation is your body’s response to fighting injury, illness, and infection. In the acute form, it’s nothing to worry about. However, if you sustain high levels of inflammation over long periods, it could lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Orange juice has anti-inflammatory properties, so drinking it daily could help you reduce inflammation in the body and thus help to ward off chronic disease.
One study found that drinking orange juice decreased markers of inflammation like CRP and IL-6, both of which are linked to chronic disease.
6. Great for the skin
I’ve already touched on the benefits of the antioxidants in oranges and how they can help prevent disease but they also play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin.
You see, free radicals can negatively impact the look and feel of your skin. Not only will they dull your complexion but also encourage premature signs of aging, like wrinkles.
By drinking orange juice daily, you’ll increase your vitamin C intake significantly and thus help to fight against the free radical activity. The boost of vitamin C will give your skin a radiant glow and also support collagen production, helping you maintain a more youthful look.
7. Improve digestive system
The natural fiber in oranges can help regulate your body’s digestive processes and prevent illnesses like gastroenteritis and constipation. Juicing oranges will keep your bowel movements regular and help ensure you experience good digestion all-round.
8. Helps treat anemia
Anemia occurs when there are insufficient red blood cells in hemoglobin and is usually a result of iron deficiency. Doctors often recommend that patients with anemia drink orange juice regularly, as it contains a lot of vitamin C. This important nutrient promotes the absorption of iron into the bloodstream to tackle anemia head-on.
Juicing oranges vs eating oranges – which is better for you?
There’s no doubt that oranges are good for us but is there a better way to consume them? Some people argue that it’s better to eat an orange than drink orange juice, as the latter is likely to contain more sugar. Pasteurized orange juice is also likely to contain slightly lowered levels of carotenoids and vitamin C. However, research has shown that certain nutrients found in orange juice might be easier for the body to absorb than when a person consumes the fruit whole.
Rather drink orange juice? You’re not the only one. It’s just easier and more enjoyable, isn’t it?
My advice is to stop buying store-bought cartons of orange juice and make homemade juice, with freshly squeezed oranges instead. That way, you know exactly what you’re consuming.
With a juicer you can also enjoy the pulp from your oranges, so you’ll benefit from the extra fiber too.
Juicing oranges with skin
Before we move onto my delicious orange juice recipes, I want to answer a popular question, regarding whether or not you can juice oranges with skin.
Although you’d normally peel an orange before eating the segments, when it comes to juicing oranges, I’d suggest leaving the skin on. Sure, the peel can be a little bitter but it’s packed full of healthy minerals like potassium, magnesium and vitamins B6, B2 and C that you can’t afford to miss out on!
Choose oranges that feel smooth and have firm peels free from nicks and bruising. A healthy orange will feel heavy for its size. If your budget permits and you plan on juicing oranges with skin, opt for the organic kind, as they won’t be covered in pesticide residue.
Always give your oranges a good wash before juicing them to get rid of any dirt and bacteria.
4 Orange juice recipes
Now you know the benefits of oranges and how to pick a good fruit for juicing, it’s time to look at some of my favorite orange juice recipes.
Orange and ginger juice recipe
Looking for a twist on the classic morning juice? This orange and ginger juice will ensure a zesty start to your day!
Ingredients (1 serving):
- 2 small oranges
- 1.5-inch piece of ginger
- 1 tsp. of honey (if desired)
- Cut ingredients into smaller pieces, suitable for your juicer
- Feed ingredients through your blender
- Stir in tsp. of honey (if required)
- Place in your refrigerator for 20 minutes
- Serve chilled
Orange and kale juice recipe
If you’re looking to try green juice but don’t want to dive in headfirst, this is a great juice to start with. The orange and banana will add sweetness to the juice, balancing out the taste of the kale.
Ingredients (1 serving):
- 1 small orange
- 1 handful of curly kale
- 1 banana
- Remove the banana peel and orange peel (if preferred)
- Chop ingredients into juicer-friendly sized pieces
- Feed ingredients through your juicer
- Serve and enjoy
Orange cleansing juice recipe
Whether you’re looking to enhance your immune system or recover from a hangover, this delicious juice, packed full of goodness, is sure to give you the boost you need.
Ingredients (2 servings):
- 2 oranges
- 4 carrots
- 2 handfuls of kale
- ½ a lemon
- 1-inch piece of ginger
- ½ of a cucumber
- Slice ingredients into smaller pieces for your juicer
- Feed ingredients through the juicer, alternating between softer and harder pieces
- Serve and enjoy
Orange, carrot and beet juice recipe
This is a recipe you can alter depending on your taste. Add more oranges to counterbalance the earthy taste of the beet.
Ingredients (1 large serving):
- 4 small oranges
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 medium beet
- Clean, trim (where necessary) and chop ingredients
- Add the ingredients to your juicer, starting with the oranges, followed by the carrots, then beet
- Serve immediately, adding a cube or two of ice if you prefer your juice chilled
Have fun with juicing oranges
The great thing about oranges is that they’re so versatile and can be used in all sorts of fruit and vegetable juices. Whether you’re after a refreshing morning juice, want to sweeten up a green vegetable juice or creating a cleansing detox juice, you can rely on oranges to be your star ingredient. Have fun and experiment. The beauty of juicing is that there are no set rules! It’s all about personal taste.
So now you know the benefits of oranges and have some great recipes in your repertoire, all that’s left to do is grab your juicer and get started!
When juicing oranges what other ingredients are your favorites to use?
Share in the comments below!