Citrus-based fruits such as oranges contain hesperidin, which may increase circulation and help decrease risk of stroke. In addition, orange concentrates are one of the top five sources of potassium, and potassium-rich foods may help prevent vascular diseases such as stroke. Drinking orange juice, however, is different than eating oranges. Although fruits and vegetables may reduce the inflammatory effect mediated by platelets, orange juice or grapefruit juice failed to produce these benefits. Phytosterol-fortified orange juice consumption may not be as effective in boosting dietary phytosterols as with nut and seed consumption, as increased phytosterol absorption occurs in the presence of fat. Due to the presence of zeaxanthins, just a couple of oranges a week—but not orange juice—may lower risk of glaucoma. To protect our teeth and prevent erosion of our enamel after we eat citrus or drink orange juice, we should swish our mouths with water to clear the acid from our teeth.
Orange juice does have its benefits. For example, if we drink sugar water this leads to oxidative damage; yet if we drink the same amount of sugar in the form of orange juice, the antioxidants help buffer against the spike in oxidative damage. Also, fruit juices such as orange juice contain phenolics, which may provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease. The carbohydrates in orange juice may cause a release of insulin that results in an increase in brain tryptophan levels.
Topic summary contributed by Emily.