The Houston Astros play baseball in Minute Maid Park. The Tampa Bay Rays are in Tropicana Field. Great publicity for the orange juice industry, but is orange juice really good or bad for you? Turns out, it can be a little of both.
Pulp-free orange juice is filled with natural sugar (21 grams in 8 ounces), and that means calories (112 per) as it delivers a big jolt to your blood sugar. That’s why we say, if you want the flavor of an orange, have an orange. The healthiest way to get your flavonoids, polyphenols (antioxidants) and fiber is from the fruit (or vegetable) itself.
But (there’s always a “but”), a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that men who drank a small glass of orange juice (4-6 ounces) daily were 47 percent less likely to have cognitive decline and dementia. Researchers tracked almost 28,000 men for two decades, ending when the men were an average age of 73.
Also good news? Men who consumed six daily servings of vegetables were 34 percent less likely to develop cognitive decline than men who consumed two daily servings.
So while we still recommend getting your nutrients from whole fruits and vegetables, when that’s not possible, have a little OJ — just make sure it comes with fiber-rich pulp! And add it to a glass of seltzer to help keep the serving to 4 ounces. Also, try adding vegetable juices to the OJ — kale, beet or spinach delivers super-nutrients with less sugar.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to email@example.com.