Orange juice benefits are well-known — a glass of bright, fresh-squeezed juice is packed with nutrients, most notably vitamins A and C and potassium, among other minerals. And orange juice calories are relatively low; 1 cup of raw orange juice contains 112 calories per the USDA FoodData Central.
One 8-ounce glass of orange juice supplies 112 calories.
Nutritional Breakdown of Orange Juice
According to the USDA, a half-cup of orange juice, or one serving, comprises a variety of nutrients:
- 56 calories
- 12.9 grams of carbs
- 0.9 grams of protein
- 0.2 grams of fiber
- 10.4 grams of sugars
- 69 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamin C
- 1 percent of the DV of vitamin A
- 5 percent of the DV of potassium
- 3 percent of the DV of magnesium
- 6 percent of the DV of copper
- 1 percent of the DV of iron
- 1 percent of the DV of calcium
An article published in 2016 in the European Journal of Nutrition reveals other orange juice benefits — namely, flavonoids, plant-based compounds that act as antioxidants. Orange juice is a commonly consumed source of flavonoids. However, the flavonoid concentration of whole oranges can be higher than the concentration found in orange juice, mainly because of orange fibers. In addition, some of the flavonoids are lost during the juicing process.
Read more: Why Is My Body Craving Orange Juice?
Orange Juice Benefits
A 1-cup serving of orange juice contains 27 milligrams each of magnesium and calcium, 496 milligrams of potassium, 496 milligrams of vitamin A, 124 milligrams of vitamin C and 20 grams of sugar.
When it contains 100 percent juice, orange juice is cited as a good equivalent to fresh fruit, according to a March 2015 article published in the journal Advances in Nutrition. The article details a dietary modeling study on the best ways to boost fruit intake; the study showed that a combination of whole fruit and 100 percent juice improved dietary density of potassium and vitamin C without significantly increasing total calories.
It's important to note that the most health benefits come from the juice of whole fruits. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations states that juices directly expressed from a fruit or vegetable (i.e., not concentrated and reconstituted) are considered to be 100 percent juice and will be listed as 100 percent juice on commercial packaging.
Disadvantages of Drinking Orange Juice
Orange juice benefits are more known, but it also has some disadvantages, particularly in terms of a high sugar and low fiber content. In general, fruit juice has less fiber than a whole fruit and fruit juices are likely to have a higher glycemic index — a measure of how a food raises blood-sugar levels — than a whole fruit, a Harvard Health blog post notes.
A review published in the May 2019 issue of the JAMA Network journal _Nutrition, Obesity, and Exercise _questions whether fruit juices are as unhealthy as sugar-sweetened beverages, with the argument made that although fruit juices contain naturally occurring sugars, during the metabolizing process by the body the biological response is the same.
Still, the article cites some evidence that moderate consumption of fruit juices is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, especially stroke and cognitive decline although more studies are needed to concretely prove whether this is due to the polyphenols and other phytochemicals in fruit juices or some other factor.
When consuming 100 percent orange juice, it's important to remember that it does contain sugar, even if it occurs naturally.
Read more: Side Effects of Too Much Orange Juice
- USDA FoodData Central: "Orange Juice, Raw"
- Advances in Nutrition: "Squeezing Fact from Fiction about 100% Fruit Juice"
- Food and Drug Administration: "Code of Federal Regulations Title 21"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Are Fresh Juice Drinks as Healthy as They Seem?"
- MyFoodData: "Nutrition Facts for Orange Juice"
- Journal of the American Medical Association: "Are Fruit Juices Just as Unhealthy as Sugar-Sweetened Beverages?"
- European Journal of Nutrition: "Flavonoid-Rich Orange Juice is Associated with Acute Improvements in Cognitive Function in Healthy Middle-Aged Males"