Oranges are almost certainly the best choice of fruit around today. They are picked only when ripe so they are sweet and easy on the digestive system. The great thing about this fruit is that it is available all year round as they store well. Also, with the high potassium and magnesium content they contain, as well as the citric acid, they can break down toxins in the human body.
The level of potassium in oranges is considered a key factor in making it a healthy option. It acts as an insulin-like substance and delivers glucose to the cells. However, potassium does not trigger the same negative side effects that insulin does, one being the lowering of your blood sugar levels.
Ideally I would recommend one liter of orange juice, which is equitant to 32fl.oz, and this can be spread throughout the day. One liter contains about 10 grams of protein in the form of keto acids, which are capable of converting into amino acids (the building blocks for protein). Orange juice also contains both glucose and fructose. The fact it contains both of these sugars helps keep your blood sugar levels steady. So, the carbohydrates in orange can be used as a good fuel source during the day.
Choosing the right brand
Organic is always the best option as they would most likely contain more flavor and be extra juicy as they are grown in rich soils without the use of any harmful pesticides. Making your own orange juice is also another ideal solution as you have control over the type of oranges used. Store brought oranges will be processed to some degree, but the key is to obtain it fresh. Fresh orange juice is easy to detect as you can see the separation; the liquid rising to the top and the solids sinking to the bottom of the bottle.
If you can’t see this when purchasing store brought juices, then it will contain enzymes that are holding the solids in the solutions. I strongly recommend you do not purchase these types, as these enzymes can damage your intestines. Furthermore, irritation to the digestive system can also come from the pulp found in orange juice, as it contains cellouse and polysaccharides that are hard to break down. These will remain in the intestines allowing bacteria to multiply, therefore leading to indigestion and bloating. So, opt for pulp free or strain it yourself when you get home.
Drinking orange juice alone
Being a great source of carbohydrates, orange juice, if drunk alone, will not balance out your macronutrients. The rule of thumb is: Never eat a carbohydrate alone and never eat a protein alone, always eat them together. A good balanced meal or snack with orange juice would be; cheese, eggs and any meats and orange juice. Drinking orange juice with meat, which is high in iron, will help the absorption of this mineral. Actually, many adults (if they are meat eaters) have every high levels of iron stored in their liver. Therefore, the combination of orange juice and meat is perfect.
Oranges are acidic which means they contain citric acid. When consumed citric acid breaks down the enamel on your teeth, thus leading to digestive issues for some.
If you have this problem, a great tip is to add a small pinch of baking soda to a glass of 8oz of orange juice. This will help lower the acidity, allowing you to enjoy and digest it better.
Increase your vitality buy adding fresh orange juice to your diet. Most supermarkets sell fresh orange juice and it is easy to obtain at restaurants, juice bars and coffee shops. Always ask if it’s fresh and of course try to avoid any carton juices as the content is not visible. If you’re ever unsure about the quality of a bottle of orange juice, just look for the separation and that way you can tell for certain if it has been tampered with.
Vahdaneh Vahid is a UK-based Personal Trainer who recently moved to Dubai. She has had an interest in fitness from a young age. Her motto is now "Train Don't Drain" and teaches her clients that a balanced understanding of their physical, mental and emotional wellness is key. She can be found on Twitter: @vvfitness