Many health gurus advise people to eat oranges rather than drink orange juice. Now scientists report that the picture is not as clear-cut.
Is it better to drink orange juice or eat oranges?
Many people prefer to drink a glass of orange juice rather than eat the fruit. Sugar content aside, are they getting the same nutritional benefits? Ralf Schweiggert, Julian Aschoff and their research team set out to answer that question.
Packing a nutrient-rich punch
Oranges are packed with nutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids that, among other benefits, can potentially help lower a person’s risk for certain cancers and heart disease.
Interestingly enough, scientists found that, although it’s high in sugar, certain nutrients in orange juice might be easier for the body to absorb than it is from a whole orange.
According to the research, the production of pasteurised orange juice slightly lowered the levels of carotenoids and vitamin C but significantly improved the carotenoid and vitamin C bioaccessibility – or how much the body can absorb and use.
And contrary to conventional wisdom, although juicing oranges dramatically cut flavonoid levels, the remaining ones were much more bioaccessible than those in orange segments.