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viernes, 28 de febrero de 2014

Myths and truths about orange juice

The quintessential juice of our breakfasts has lot of pseudo- scientific myths and mere urban legends. We will talk next about squeezed juice, which we call natural, and then make a brief review of packaged juices.

The orange juice or other citrus fruits are the ones that contains more vitamin C

It is false . Strawberry fruit and gooseberry have more percentage of vitamin C for 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 spanish gazpacho with its rich vitamin C ingredients (cucumber , tomato , green and red pepper ) is more rich in C vitamin than orange juice.

Why has become popular orange juice ?

Was the impetus for the production of oranges in the United States who popularized the breakfast juice . Intense campaigns popularized breakfast 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 of course because aside from having a very nice flavor gives the feeling that it's healthy for our body. This is correct in a way. The orange juice is rich in vitamins C and A, folic acid, fiber ( made ​​with pulp ) , potassium and other minerals but not a panacea cure-all , as that false idea was the one promoted to be accepted in all U.S. households .

The juice is 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 juice quickly after be squeezed.  This does not mean that vitamin C can die within minutes . There is a process of gradual loss. If we want to keep vitamin 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 the process of oxygen injected to squeezed juice starts very quickly and if we squeeze today to drink tomorrow , is more than possible that despite stored in refrigerator in opaque container we will only take 10% of vitamin C source unless we pack in air sealed container.

We get more orange juice putting them in the microwave for a few seconds

This is true but it is a bad practice. The microwave structures weakens the pulp and juicing becomes easier but in turn heats the orange by molecular agitation of water and vitamin C is diminished. Not recommended unless you simply like taste, not the vitamin content .

Orange juice can attack the tooth enamel

This is true but not overly so . Certain varieties of oranges , usually the most acidic ones, can attack the tooth enamel if taken fasting and not 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 drink orange juice while fasting .

Sweet oranges have less vitamin C

It is true . We have studied the correlation between the amount of fructose in orange - fructose is the type of carbohydrate that contain fruits - and vitamin. More fructose , less vitamin C. The orange growers in subtropical climates - 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 one that is collected during the cold months and are sun-ripened . Oranges  that you can buy off season contain less vitamin C.

We destroy vitamin C to add sugar to the juice ?

That's a false myth. All we adding sugar is to increase the caloric intake . Each orange provides 60 calories. In order to get a glass of orange juice we need two pieces of fruit at least , so we have a minimum of 120 calories. If we add 10 grams of sugar (one teaspoon ) we will have a total of 160-170 calories. Not much, but it would be better to mix sweet oranges  with acidic ones . Thus we would have a slightly acidic , rich in vitamin C and fructose content enough not to hit our palates.

The more vitamin C consume , the better

It is false . The human body has no stores of vitamin C , so what we do today does not help us tomorrow. This error comes from a scientist that recommended taking large amounts of vitamin C to cure all kinds of diseases. His works were disqualified long ago though that tendency to  take too much vitamins has remained rooted in people. Not only is not advisable to take supplements of vitamin C , but also it can cause health problems. Humans should take about 30 mg of vitamin C per day , which is covered with a simple orange and eat some vegetables (or two oranges) .

Vitamin C prevents and cures colds and flu

This is false . It comes from the erroneous findings of the scientist  of whom we had spoken before . It is true that helps the immune system but its effect on colds is rather kind of placebo . The best antidote for colds is a balanced diet - something much harder to get that to swallow a glass of orange juice and therefore less popular - . It is certain that the correct daily dose of vitamin C help to better cope with the 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 decreases the "bad " cholesterol (LDL ) and lowers blood pressure. It helps , but beware, it is not a medicine.
However it is noted that despite being a subject under discussion since long , still has not made ​​a thorough investigation of the matter. There are some studies - all negative - but it is definitely needed a great study banish this myth.

Juice packaging never know like natural juice

Right. The food industry has a thorn stuck with orange juice . Although some juices are a good drink, do not resist the comparison with a glass of fresh juice at its side . This problem is due to the handling of commercial beverage that breaks the natural orange flavor (one of the deepest flavors on the palate and very complex ) . 

The packaged juice has less vitamins and nutritional properties as the natural juice

Again it is true , at least in part. Artificial vitamin C is easy to create and  add to the juice so is simple to have the same or more amount of this micronutrient in packaged juices . But the other nutrients - fiber, folic acid etc. - tend to be poorer in commercial juices. Unpasteurized juices , although noting that are obtained directly and not squeeze the fruit concentrate , have less vitamin precisely because 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. No need to dress it with false rumours to enjoy it.

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