A well-balanced diet that includes citrus fruit is a great start to support a healthy heart. Research studies suggest that regular consumption of citrus fruits and juices, such as 100 percent orange juice, as part of a healthy diet, may help support healthy cholesterol levels and healthy blood vessels, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can orange juice help support heart health?
One hundred percent orange juice provides a unique combination of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including vitamin C, folate, potassium, magnesium and hesperidin, which have been associated with potential heart health benefits.
What is hesperidin?
Hesperidin is a phytonutrient that is naturally found in oranges and orange juice. Emerging research suggests that hesperidin may help maintain healthy blood pressure and blood vessel function.1
Can drinking orange juice help me maintain healthy cholesterol levels?
Yes. Research suggests that drinking orange juice may help significantly lower LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol.2 When too much LDL cholesterol is in the blood, it may contribute to the development of a hard deposit that narrows the arteries and increases the risk for heart attack or stroke.
Can drinking orange juice help me maintain healthy blood pressure?
Yes. Heart-healthy diets that are low in sodium and rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium may have beneficial effects on blood pressure.3 An 8-ounce serving of 100 percent orange juice provides 14 percent of the Daily Value for potassium and 7 percent of the Daily Value for magnesium. One 8-ounce glass of calcium-fortified orange juice is considered an excellent source of calcium. Additionally, in one study, men who drank two cups of 100 percent orange juice every day for one month significantly lowered their diastolic blood pressure.4
But doesn’t orange juice have added sugars?
One hundred percent orange juice has no added sugars and contains only the natural sugars found in whole fruit. To help support cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association recommends upper limits on the amount of added sugars in the diet.5 The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 recommends that people choose 100 percent juice over sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Morand C, et al. Hesperidin contributes to the vascular protective effects of orange juice: a randomized crossover study in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010; doi: 10.2945/ajcn.110.004945.
- Cesar TB, Aptekmann NP, Araujo MP, Vinagre CC, Maranhao RC. Orange juice decreases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic subjects and improves lipid transfer to high-density lipoprotein in normal and hypercholesterolemic subjects. Nutrition Research. 2010;30:689-694.
- Kotchen TA, McCarron DA. Dietary electrolytes and blood pressure. A statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Circulation. 1998;98:613-617.
- Morand C, Dubray C, Milenkovic D, et al. Hesperidin contributes to the vascular protective effects of orange juice: a randomized crossover study in healthy volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(1):73-80.
- Johnson RK, Appel LJ, Brands M, et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2009;120:1011-1020.