There is perhaps nothing better than a cold, sweet glass of orange juice first thing in the morning. And orange juice is good for you, right? Maybe.
The juice of an orange is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and a host of other essential nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants that can help to support your immune system and overall health. However, the carton of orange juice available at your local grocery store might not always be the best and healthiest orange juice option.
Despite the fact that nature got orange juice perfect the first time, manufacturers have toyed with the recipe, adding additional vitamins, excess sugar, reduced sugar and chemicals to keep the juice shelf stable for longer. In essence, technology has turned something that is perfectly healthy and nutritious just the way it is into sometimes a junk-food mutation if you don’t read the label carefully. “Orange flavored beverage” is not the same as orange juice!
So what’s the healthiest type of orange juice? The kind you squeeze yourself. Using a juicer, simply make orange juice with fresh, ripe oranges in the comfort of your own home. The resulting product will be just sweet enough and perfectly nutritious: despite what many companies believe, you don’t need to add anything else.
You don’t have to even use a traditional juicer; you can use citrus press, which are very simple to use and often inexpensive. Some citrus presses are manual and some have a small motor that rotates a cone making it very easy to extract every last drop.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to make your own fresh squeezed orange juice, you can find a healthy version at the store with a little bit of effort. Look for a carton or bottle that says non-pasteurized and then look at the ingredient list. If there is anything other than oranges listed, skip over it. Chances are the healthiest orange juice won’t last long in the fridge, so make sure that you only buy as much as you can drink by the expiration date. Fresh squeezed orange juice is one of the very few juices you can even find at the store that comes non-pasteurized.
Orange juice can also be used as a base to many juicing recipes. I often will go to the store and purchase non-pasteurized orange juice, instead of whole oranges for many of my favorite juice recipes or smoothie recipes that call for oranges.