Nutrition experts analyse the effects of juice consumption

A healthy choice: orange juice can help you lose weight and reduce the risk of gout.

It is a well-known, scientifically proven fact that orange juice is at least as healthy as the fruits from which it is made. As researchers at the University of Hohenheim discovered in 2015, the human body is much better able to digest and process vitamins and secondary plant substances, such as carotenoids, from juice than from fresh fruits. Orange juice contains important micronutrients that strengthen the body’s immune system, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, contribute to maintaining good vision and healthy eyes and exert a highly positive influence on skin condition and appearance.

Orange juice reduces uric acid levels

Yet according to two recent studies released by the Universities of Kiel and Hohenheim, orange juice has even more to offer. Liquid fruit can help reduce weight and the risk of gout. In an initial study, the research group led by Prof Dr Reinhold Carle, Professor of Plant-Based Food Technology and Analysis at the University of Hohenheim, and Prof Dr Anja Bosy-Westphal, Director of the Institute for Human Nutrition at the Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, had test subjects drink 1.2 litres of orange juice per day for two weeks and observed the resulting effects on uric acid levels in their blood and urine. The findings speak for themselves. Even at high consumption rates, orange juice does not lead to elevated uric acid levels in the blood. On the contrary, the concentration of uric acid, which is regarded as a leading cause of gout, decreased in the blood of the test subjects who drank orange juice. Possible contributing factors include increased Vitamin-C intake from juice as well as the effects of beneficial secondary plant substances, including hesperidin, in particular.

A glass of juice with a meal can help reduce weight

In the second study, the researchers investigated the influence of regular juice consumption on the development of body fat. Here as well, the test subjects met roughly 20% of their daily calorie requirements with about 1.2 litres of orange juice – and none of the participants gained weight. Among those who drank the juice with their meals, the amount of energy spontaneously ingested while eating was lower. A glass of orange juice with breakfast, lunch or dinner can actually lead to a loss of body fat.

“5 a day”, the easy way: a glass of orange juice can replace one portion of fruit

Orange juice is a valuable source of highly bioavailable potassium, folic acid, vitamin C, carotenoids, polyphenols and other beneficial nutrients, and can be a valuable daily nutritional supplement. In the spirit of the “5 a day” slogan, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung (German Nutrition Association, DGE) recommends consuming five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. One such portion, the scientists point out, can be replaced by a glass of fruit juice. A glass of orange juice can be a practical and enjoyable dietary supplement and a valuable contribution to a healthy, balanced diet – especially for those who find it difficult to meet the “5 a day” target. The quantity recommended by the DGE for a single portion of fruit is already contained in a small glass of fruit juice (150 ml). At roughly 20 ml, the current daily per capita consumption of orange juice in Germany is still well short of the recommended amount.

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