Today’s shoppers are increasingly making the link between food and health, and wisely choosing healthier foods for their families. Orange juice - one of the most nutrient dense beverages - remains a healthy choice. An eight-ounce serving of orange juice provides 72 mg of vitamin C - 120% daily value (DV), 30 mg of vitamin E - 100% DV and 60 mcg of folate - 15% DV. Vitamin C is needed for healthy gums, teeth, skin, and bones while vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage. Scientists have shown that vitamin C and E consumption are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and improved immune systems in healthy elderly people. Folate, a B-vitamin, essential for DNA synthesis is required for cell production.
Orange juice is also a good source of potassium, an important mineral for our metabolism. Recently, Health Canada approved 5 diet-related health claims for food packaging. One of the claims communicates the health benefits of potassium rich foods in reducing the risk of blood pressure and stroke. In the near future, look for new claims on labels that will carry the statement, “A healthy diet containing foods high in potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke and heart disease. Orange juice is a good source of potassium and is sodium-free.”
Orange juice is great for everyone, and is of special benefit for those who are watching their cholesterol. A recent Canadian study in men and women with elevated cholesterol levels revealed a 21% elevation in HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol) when drinking 3 cups of orange juice daily for 12 weeks. Increased HDL cholesterol levels are associated with a reduced risk for heart disease.
Orange juice along with being refreshing is packed with nutrients. One 8 oz. glass is equivalent to 2 servings of fruit with an ample supply of vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, folate and many other healthy nutrients that help to maintain a healthy body. All this with no fat, salt or pills. Have you had your OJ today?