Orange Juice Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

orange juice nutrition facts and health benefits
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Drinking orange juice is a very popular way to consume oranges and the drink is often served with breakfast. While it does contain naturally occurring sugar, orange juice is also high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; some brands are fortified to add even more nutrients.

Orange Juice Nutrition Facts

One cup of orange juice (8oz) provides 110 calories, 2g of protein, 27g of carbohydrates, and 0g of fat. Orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium. Included below are the approximate values of a cup of orange juice provided by the USDA. Be aware that nutrition facts will vary slightly among different brands.

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 9.6mg
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 20g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Vitamin C: 60mg
  • Potassium: 496mg

Carbs

Most of the calories in orange juice come from carbohydrates. There is almost no fiber or starch in orange juice. This means that most of the carbs in orange juice are provided in the form of sugar.

Pure orange juice provides naturally occurring sugar. That is sugar (fructose in this case) that occurs naturally in foods such as fruit. However, some brands of orange juice may add extra sugar. That sugar is called "added sugar," and health experts recommend watching our added sugar consumption. Also, pure fruit juice may offer additional health benefits, but more research needs to determine exactly what these are.

The glycemic index of orange juice (containing no added sugars) is estimated to be 50. Keep in mind that the glycemic index takes serving size into account. So if you drink more than a single serving (one cup), the GI will be higher.

Fat

There is almost no fat in orange juice.

Protein

Orange juice is not a good source of protein, providing less than two grams per serving.

Vitamins and Minerals

One serving of orange juice has all the vitamin C you need for a whole day. Orange juice is also high in potassium, and it's a good source of folate and thiamine, two of the B-complex vitamins. 

Calories

One cup of orange juice (8oz) provides 110 calories, about 90% of which are carbohydrates. The rest of the calories come from 4% fat and 6% protein. Eight ounces of orange juice accounts for 42% of your daily sugar, based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Summary

Orange juice is low in fiber, fat, and protein and high in sugar, but it does supply a lot of vitamin C and is a good source of potassium and folate.

Health Benefits 

Orange juice, although high in sugar, still provides some health benefits. But keep in mind that you'll gain many of the health benefits of orange juice if you consume a whole orange instead. One average-sized orange has about 60 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber. But it also only has 70 milligrams of vitamin C. That's still a substantial amount, but you'll get more vitamin C with a glass of orange juice.

May Boost Blood and Skin Health

The vitamin C found in oranges is essential for healthy blood vessel walls and connective tissue below your skin. Vitamin C helps aid wound healing as well.

Orange juice is also a good source of folate, necessary for red blood cell formation and, in early pregnancy, to help prevent a congenital disability called spina bifida.

Helps with Immune Function

Vitamin C is essential for normal immune system function. Humans need to consume vitamin C in their diets since we don't make or store it in our bodies. Vitamin C and folate, both present in orange juice, support the function of various immune cells, including phagocytes, natural killer cells, T-cells, and B-cells.

Protects Against Free Radicals

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that is thought to offer health benefits by protecting your cells from free radical damage. It's possible that some of the compounds in orange juice may help prevent cancer, but so far, the only research has been done on lab animals, so it's not known if drinking orange juice will prevent or delay any types of cancer.

May Help Nerve and Muscle Function

Orange juice is high in potassium. Potassium is essential for nerve and muscle function, and it works against sodium to maintain body fluid balance and blood pressure.

May Prevent Inflammation

Research shows that consuming orange juice every day for a few weeks can reduce markers of inflammation. Bioactive polyphenols in orange juice, including hesperidin, hesperetin, naringenin, naringin, and narirutin, have been shown in research to have anti-inflammatory effects.

Allergies

Avoid oranges if you have a citrus allergy or if you have experienced reactions to other citrus fruits such as grapefruit or mandarin. Additionally, there are reports of people experiencing asthma due to the inhalation of the peels of citrus fruits, including oranges. If you suspect a citrus allergy or another food allergy, consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Adverse Effects

According to the Natural Medicine Database, orange juice is likely safe for most people when consumed in amounts typically found in meals. However, if you take certain medications, including Celiprolol (Celicard), organic anion-transporting polypeptide substrates, Ivermectin, or pravastatin (Pravachol), you should avoid oranges and orange juice as it may affect the effectiveness of the medication.

Other medications, including quinolone antibiotics, p-glycoprotein substrates, and fexofenadine (Allegra), may also be affected by orange juice consumption. Check with your healthcare provider to get personalized advice.

Varieties

If you like a little variety, you can choose orange juice blended with other fruit juices, or if the texture is an issue, you can buy juice with lots of pulp or no pulp at all. 

When you buy orange juice, choose 100% juice rather than orange-flavored beverages that contain only a little (or no) real orange juice. Those beverages are essentially sugary soft drinks and don't have much nutritional value beyond calories.

How to Prepare

Orange juice is easy to find in any grocery store. Look for bottles and cartons of orange juice near the dairy products, or choose frozen concentrate that you mix with water at home. And of course, you can squeeze oranges yourself to make fresh juice.

Recipes

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8 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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