One cup of 100% orange juice counts as one cup of fruit.1
Drinking 100% orange juice can be a way to help achieve the recommended amount of fruit needed each day for optimal health. For example, a person on a 2,000-calorie diet should consume two cups of fruit each day.1
There are many barriers to fruit consumption, including cost, access and convenience. Including 100% orange juice as part of a healthy overall diet offers a step in the right direction to increase fruit intake.11
100% orange juice contributes many important and beneficial vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (naturally occurring plant compounds) to the diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests 100 percent fruit juice should be one of the primary beverages consumed, along with water and low-fat and fat-free milk.1
100% orange juice, like all citrus fruit, has many phytonutrients linked to health benefits, including carotenoids like beta-carotene (colorful plant pigments) and many flavonoids. The amount of phytonutrients can vary dramatically depending on cultivar, growing conditions, and other factors. Orange juice can sometimes have higher amounts of these beneficial phytonutrients compared to whole fruit6 and may also be more absorbable from the digestive tract.7
An analysis of NHANES 2013-2016 data15 reported that 100% 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. 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.15
We always hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it actually is! Start off your day with a nutritious breakfast and a glass of Florida Orange Juice to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to conquer the day.
Americans on average fall short of meeting their daily fruit intake recommendations.1 A glass of 100% OJ can help!
Numerous studies in both adults and children report that compared to non-consumers, orange juice consumption is related to higher intake of whole fruit.2-5,14 These findings were reflected in a study with obese children (9 to 13 years old) consuming 100 percent mandarin juice for four weeks who maintained higher fruit and vegetable consumption post-study than the control group.8 This study suggests 100 percent citrus juice may encourage higher intake of fruits and vegetables in children during an age in which intake generally plummets. In a large cohort of over 26,000 children and adolescents, higher 100% orange juice intake was associated with higher intake of fruits.14
A trend analysis of NHANES 2003-2016 data show that while whole fruit intake increased in children, there was a significant decrease in the intake of folate, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin D, sodium, potassium, iron and zinc between 2003 and 2016. 100% orange juice (and other 100% fruit juices) was the likely food source(s) associated with increased consumption of calcium, potassium and phosphorus in certain populations at both time periods (2003 and 2016) and OJ consumers tended to have lower intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages. Vitamin C intake in children decreased over time and, while not linked directly to the decreased consumption of 100% fruit juice, the results suggest that the increased intake of whole fruit may not be adequately addressing vitamin C shortfalls and consumption of 100% orange juice could help fill this gap.16
An analysis of NHANES data reported that mean vitamin C intake between 1999 and 2018 fell by 23 percent and was largely driven by a 48 decline in 100% fruit juice consumption. Whole fruit intake in children and adolescents increased by over 75 percent with no changes in adults. However, the increases in whole fruit intake were not able to offset the deficit in vitamin C intake over this time period and the percent of the population that fell below with Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) increased by almost 24 percent (relative change from 1999 to 2018).18
Consumption of whole fruit and 100% fruit juice should not be viewed as alternatives as they are often consumed under different circumstances. Including 100% orange juice as part of a healthy overall diet may help overcome some of the barriers to consuming fruit in the diet, especially for lower socioeconomic populations. Recommendations to include 100% fruit juice should be made in the context of the entire diet because the addition would provide value and benefit.11
Many studies in both adults and children report that 100% orange juice consumption is associated with higher diet quality and increased levels of key nutrients,2-5,17,19,20 including many which are under-consumed like potassium. Based on an NHANES 2003-2016 analysis.17, higher OJ consumption by children was associated with higher intakes of key nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, potassium, folate, thiamin, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D (in older children), and lower intakes of sodium and saturated fat. There was no significant linear association between OJ intake and the intake of added sugars. Higher OJ consumption was also associated with higher diet quality based on Healthy Eating Index scores, and higher intake of total fruit. Furthermore, a systematic review reported 100 percent fruit juice consumption by children was related to higher intakes of vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, fiber (likely due to higher quality diet and whole fruit intake) and (marginally higher) intakes of iron.9
Particularly for children, the overall dietary pattern is important and food choices should be based on their contribution to the diet as a whole, including 100% fruit juice which helps augment diet quality, fruit intake, and nutrient intake.13
Similar nutritional benefits are seen in adults. A cross-sectional analysis of NHANES data collected from 2003 to 2016 found that as 100% orange juice intake increased, adults had higher intakes of dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium, and vitamin D.19 A trend study in adults showed that between 2003-2004 and 2015-2016, there were overall decreases in the number of adults meeting intake targets for several key nutrients. 100% orange juice or other 100% fruit juices were identified as major dietary sources of several of these nutrients, including calcium, folate, magnesium and phosphorus.20
Research supports that 100% orange juice can be part of a healthy diet by supplying key nutrients and supporting total fruit intake in children and adults.
*Values based on a 2000 calorie diet. FDA rounding rules applied when calculating percent DV based upon 2018 rules. Information is not intended for labeling food in packaged form. Nutrient values may vary based on brand or product types.