A new population based study published in Frontiers in Nutrition reports that the consumption of 100% orange juice was associated with multiple dietary and health benefits for children and adults. Orange juice consumers had higher quality diets, higher intakes of key nutrients, including bioactive flavonoids, and lower intake of added sugars. There were no negative effects on body weight.
Dietary data for almost 16,000 children and adults (>2 years of age) came from the nationally representative 2013-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and Albert Einstein College of Medicine and was funded by the Florida Department of Citrus.
Orange juice consumers had diets with significantly higher amounts of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and vitamin D (adults), when compared to non-consumers. No difference in dietary fibre intakes was observed, suggesting that 100% orange juice did not displace any fibre from the diet. Notably, orange juice consumers had diets with significantly less added sugars when compared to non-consumers.
Focusing on the intakes of bioactive compounds from plants, the study found that orange juice consumers had significantly higher intakes of flavanones and total flavonoids (children), as compared to non-consumers. The flavanone, hesperidin, is provided in the diet almost exclusively by oranges and orange juice. Hesperidin may have antioxidant properties and help promote cardiovascular and brain health. For children, 100% orange juice may be especially important as a key source of healthful bioactives since their diets do not typically include fermented black tea, the principal source of flavonoids in the American diet.
Orange juice provides key nutrients, contributes to total fruit intake and may also serve as a marker of a healthier diet overall. For both children and adults, 100% orange juice consumers had higher-quality diets, measured using the USDA Healthy Eating Index 2015, which also tracks the consumption of grains, fruit, and vegetables, and the Nutrient Rich Food Index.
“National data support the inclusion of 100% orange juice as part of an overall healthy diet for both children and adults. We show that orange juice consumption was associated with better diets, less added sugar, and did not affect body weight” said Dr Adam Drewnowski, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington and principal investigator on this study. FloridaCitrus