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miércoles, 6 de noviembre de 2013

Myths and realities of orange juice

The quintessential juice for our breakfasts has a  lot of pseudo - scientific myths and mere urban legends. I will speak about squeezed juice , and later I will make a brief overview of packaged juices .

Orange juice or other citrus fruit is one that contains more vitamin C

It is false . In strawberry fruit and gooseberry there are more percentage of vitamin C to same amount of pulp, but who gets the record is parsley (4 times more than oranges ) or green pepper ( more than double) . Comparatively a glass of fresh gazpacho soup , with vitamin C -rich vegetables (cucumber , tomato , green pepper and red) is richer in that nutrient .

Why has become popular orange juice ?

For various reasons, some reasonable and some false . It was the production of oranges in the United States the one that popularized the breakfast juice . Spain brought  the fruit to the state of Florida and is this now , not California as many believe, the main producer of oranges. Intense campaigns popularized the consumption of orange juice in the United States in the 1950s and then fashion was exported to the rest of the World . If it became popular was because aside of course it has a nice test, it also gives the feeling that we take something good for our body . This is correct in some way. The orange juice is rich in vitamins C and A , folic acid , fiber ( made ​​with pulp ), potassium and other minerals but not a  cure-all , as was the idea that was promoted to be accepted in all U.S. households .

The juice can be taken immediately or vitamin C is lost

Vitamin C is oxidized relatively easily and is sensitive to heat and sunlight. Therefore it is advisable to consume the juice quickly after squeeze the oranges. This does not mean that vitamin C will get destroy within minutes . There is a gradual loss process . If we want to keep as long as possible is recommended squeezing oranges from the fridge , pour into an opaque glass  and then cover in order to minimize oxygen ingress . However if we squeeze oranges today to drink juice tomorrow is quite possible we only take 10% of the C vitamin due to the ingress of oxygen during the squeezing process.

We get more orange juice put into the microwave a few seconds

This is true but it is a bad practice. The microwave weakens pulp structures and makes easier to extract juice but heating the pulp we also destroy vitamin C. It is not recommended unless you cherish just flavor, not the vitamin content .

The orange juice can attack the tooth enamel

This is true but not overly so . Certain varieties of oranges , the most acidic, can attack the tooth enamel and also the stomach if you take it alone ( best accompanied by other foods) . Some associations of dentists recommend drinking the juice through a straw but hey, many other foods can attack enamel and do not take them with straw ? The solution is simple : brush your teeth , take corrective gum ph or not take orange juice with your stomach empty.

Sweet oranges are less acidic vitamin C than

It is true . It has been studied a correlation between the amount of fructose orange and vitamin C. More fructose, less vitamin C. Orange growers in subtropical areas - Brazil , United States - get sweet oranges while acidic , richer in vitamin C , are achieved in countries with climatic alternation ( Spain , Italy , Israel etc). The best orange is the one that is collected during the cold months and are sun-ripened . Oranges from chambers that you can buy off season contain less vitamin C.

Do we destroy Vitamin C if we add sugar to the juice ?

This is a false myth . All we do pouring sugar is to increase caloric intake . Each orange provides 60 calories. Therefore, since to get a glass of orange juice we need two oranges, we have a minimum of 120 calories. If we add a teaspoon of sugar we will have a total of 160-170 calories. Not much, but it would be better to mix sweet oranges with acidic ones, more rich in C vitamin . In this way we would have a drink slightly acidic , rich in vitamin C and enough fructose not to hit our palate .


Consume more vitamin C , better for your health

It is false . The human body can not create C vitamin - rats can - and needs a daily intake cause because, being a water soluble vitamin  we lose it quickly, so it does not help us make today for tomorrow. This error comes from a scientist who was Nobel laureate (for another reasons). He recommended taking massive amounts of vitamin C to cure all kinds of ills . His works were disqualified long ago though that tendency to take more C vitamin than needed has deeply rooted in people. It is not advisable to take supplements of vitamin C . Moreover, it can also cause health problems . The human being should take about 30 mg of vitamin C daily , which is covered with a simple orange and eating some vegetables (or two oranges instead) .

Vitamin C prevents and cures colds and flu

This is false . It comes from the erroneous findings of the mad scientist - but Nobel - of whom we had spoken before . It is true that helps the immune system but its effect on  bad colds is rather of placebo. The best antidote for colds is a balanced diet - something much harder to do than to  swallow a glass of orange juice and the less popular - . What is true is that the right dose of daily vitamin C help better to cope symptoms. The juice is an antioxidant and therefore with beneficial effects in preventing cancer and heart disease , promotes the creation of collagen in our body and decreases the "bad" cholesterol (LDL ) and lowers blood pressure. Orange juice is helpful , but beware, not a medicine .

Anyway, it should be noted that despite being a subject under heavy discussion up to day it still has not yet made ​​a thorough investigation of the matter .  Most studies say that orange juice do not prevent bad cold but there is no any serious and long term work that definitively banish this myth.

The packaged juice never tastes like fresh juice

Right. The food industry has a thorn stuck with the orange juice . They have not achieved a similar taste and although some are a good drink, they do not stand comparison with a glass of fresh juice at its side. This problem is due because  the manipulation of commercial beverage breaks natural orange flavor ( one of the tastes remains in our palate and very complex to reproduce ) . The first one to get the same taste, next day millionaire.

The packaged juice has less nutritional ingredients than the natural juice

Again, it is true, at least is part . To add Vitamin C to the packaged juice is easy and some products have indeed more C vitamin than natural squeezed orange juice . But the other nutrients - fiber, folate etc. - tend to be poorer in commercial juices . Pasteurized juices , or the ones that indicate that are obtained directly squeezing the fruit or by concentrate , have less vitamin precisely by the sterilization process . Another important issue is the packaging : clear bottles exposed to light and heat from the shelves of supermarkets , lose vitamin C very quickly .

The orange juice is an excellent vitamin supplement in addition to a delicious taste . You do not need anything else to advise consumption. 

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