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Orange vs. Orange Juice - Is orange juice as good as an orange?

Updated on May 5, 2012
- Orange vs Orange Juice, source ifood.tv -
- Orange vs Orange Juice, source ifood.tv -

Many of us drink orange juice as part of our daily breakfast. If we are on the go, a glass of orange juice IS our breakfast, and coffee to go, but of course. The few seconds it takes to peel an orange, is just an unnecessary lost of precious time during the morning rush. What about cutting the orange in wedges? Are you kidding? And who will wash the dirtied knife and cutting board? Instead, we bring an orange for snack, that is if we even have oranges in the refrigerator. Let's face it. It is more convenient to just pour a glass of orange juice instead of peeling an orange.

The question is - Is orange juice as good as an orange?

Let's do a nutritional comparison, shall we?


Nutritional Comparison - Orange vs Orange Juice

Nutrient
Orange, 1 small*, 100 g or 3.5 oz
%DV**
Orange Juice, Raw***, 100 g or 3.5 oz
%DV**
Energy
47 calories
2%
45 calories
2%
Water
86.75 g
 
88.30 g
 
Protein
0.94 g
2%
.070 g
1%
Total Fats
0.12 g
0%
0.20 g
0%
Ash
0.44 g
 
0.40 g
 
Cholesterol
0
0%
0
0%
Carbohydrates
11.75 g
4%
10.40 g
3%
Total dietary fiber
2.4 g
10%
0.2 g
1%
Sugars
9.35 g
 
8.40 g
 
MINERALS
 
 
 
 
Calcium
40 mg
4%
11 mg
1%
Iron
10 mg
1%
.20 mg
1%
Magnesium
10 mg
2%
11 mg
3%
Phosphorus
14 mg
1%
17 mg
2%
Potassium
181 mg
5%
200 mg
6%
Sodium
0
0%
1 mg
0%
Zinc
.07 mg
0%
.05 mg
0%
Copper
.045 mg
2%
.044 mg
2%
Manganese
.025 mg
1%
.014 mg
1%
Selenium
.5 mcg
1%
.1 mcg
0%
VITAMINS
 
 
 
 
Vitamin C
53.2 mg
89%
50 mg
83%
Thiamin
.087 mg
6%
.090 mg
6%
Riboflavin
.040 mg
2%
.030 mg
2%
Niacin
.282 mg
1%
.400 mg
2%
Pantothenic acid
.250 mg
3%
.190 mg
2%
Vitamin B-6
.060 mg
3%
.040 mg
2%
Folate
30 mcg
8%
30 mcg
8%
Choline
8.4 mg
 
6.2 mg
 
Vitamin A
225 IU
4%
200 IU
4%
- Beta carotene
71 mcg
 
33 mcg
 
- Alpha carotene
11 mcg
 
6 mcg
 
- Cryptoxantin, beta
116 mcg
 
169 mcg
 
- Lutein + zeaxanthin
129 mcg
 
115 mcg
 
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
.18 mg
1%
.04 mg
0%
Source: Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database SR-21

Click image to view actual size of a small orange

Small orange - 2.5 inches in diameter, source freeclipartpictures.com
Small orange - 2.5 inches in diameter, source freeclipartpictures.com

Footnotes for Nutritional Comparison - Orange vs Orange Juice Table

* 1 Small Orange - approx. 2.5 inches in diameter

** %DV - Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet for adults or children aged 4 or older. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

*** Orange Juice, Raw - Pure orange juice, nothing added.



Summary:

Calorie-wise, both an orange and orange juice are just about the same. However, when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and fiber, an orange is better than orange juice. Here's a quick look at the Vitamin C, calcium and fiber contents of an orange and orange juice, based on the above table.

Vitamin C

  • Orange - 52.2 mg (89% of daily requirement)
  • Orange Juice - 50 mg (83% of daily requirement)

Calcium

  • Orange - 40 mg (4% of daily requirement)
  • Orange Juice - 11 mg (1% of daily requirement)

Dietary Fiber

  • Orange - 2.4 g (10% of daily requirement)
  • Orange Juice - 0.2 g (1% of daily requirement)

The nutritional problem with juice of any kind is that it is extracted from the fruit pulp, which contains most of the fiber and the minerals (calcium, for example) and vitamins (like beta-carotene) that go with it. Overall, whole fruits are a better nutritional bet than juices, and fresh juices are better than frozen.


Conclusion:

So, to answer our question - Is orange juice as good as an orange? The answer is no. Eating an orange is better for you.

However, if you prefer to drink orange juice, next time you go shopping, don't reach for "pulp free." Look for another option... "lots of pulp" is better.


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Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Sheri Faye profile image

    Sheri Dusseault 

    5 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

    Well I guess it is worth the few seconds to peel it. Thanks Rosie!

  • writerscentro profile image

    Aditya Soni 

    6 years ago from India

    Eating the oranges is better. The fiber in the actual orange helps the sugar in the juice from causing your blood sugar to spike. They essentially have the same nutrients and amount of sugar, but it is better to eat the actual orange.

  • Khal Blogo profile image

    Khal Blogo 

    6 years ago from A gas station on the yellow brick road

    I had no idea that oranges are so much healthier than orange juice. Great hub, voted up and useful.

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Oh no, Pcunix, how could you forget those healthy, yet so yummy, 78% dark chocolates? I'm a chocoholic, ya know. ;)

  • Pcunix profile image

    Tony Lawrence 

    6 years ago from SE MA

    Oh, I forgot something important: two 1 inch squares of 78% dark chocolate.. never forget that!

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    @Pcunix - Thanks for dropping by. I'm impressed that you are eating those healthy foods, including yogurt. Good for you! Cheers!

    @writer20 - Oh I thought "Cuties" were Clementines! lol "Cuties" can be Tangerines too? So much to learn, so little time. Thanks for letting me know. Cheers!

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • writer20 profile image

    Joyce Haragsim 

    6 years ago from Southern Nevada

    Update, I found Tangerines called "Cuties" at Costco they are small size that sit in the palm of my hand. I'm devouring them about 4 at a time.

  • Pcunix profile image

    Tony Lawrence 

    6 years ago from SE MA

    Is it ok if i have both?

    Seriously, I try to eat a banana, an apple and an orange every day, If the pears are good, I'll add that. In addition, a small glass of grape juice, a small glass of orange, a large glass of milk, a cup of yogurt, a handful of nuts.. those are the things I try to squeeze into every day no matter what our main meal is. I don't always succeed, but I try..

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Chasing Riley, thanks for dropping by. I wondered what "Cuties" are, as I've never heard it before. Now I know.. they're clementines! My family love clementines too, and you're right, they are so easy to peel and very sweet. Cuties are oranges, so they are as nutritious as other oranges. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my orange vs orange juice hub and found it interesting. Cheers!

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • Chasing Riley profile image

    Chasing Riley 

    7 years ago from Los Angeles

    Very interesting Rosie! If you had asked me prior to reading this, I would have said that an orange is better than juice but I was surprised to find out that the juice holds up as well as it does. Cutting up an orange, putting it in a container and eating it on the way to work is not that hard for the extra benefit. In our house, we eat Cuties. My kids love them. They are easy to peel and very portable. I wonder how those stack up???

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Carol, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my nutritional comparison between an orange and orange juice. Thanks for your votes.. much appreciated. Cheers!

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya writer20, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad you found my orange vs orange juice hub informative. In my family, fresh orange juice is usually gone before it even hit the fridge. lol Cheers!

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • carol3san profile image

    Carolyn Sands 

    7 years ago from Hollywood Florida

    Great hub Rosie. voted useful and interesting.

  • writer20 profile image

    Joyce Haragsim 

    7 years ago from Southern Nevada

    Great hub full of good information, we usually have a small glass of orange juice with our vitamins.

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya homesteadbound, thanks for reading my hub. I thought it was a great idea that you invited us to join you in the 30hubs in 30days challenge. Thanks so much! I had not been writing much lately, but you gave me the motivation. Thanks for your feedback on my orange juice vs orange hub. Cheers!

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • homesteadbound profile image

    Cindy Murdoch 

    7 years ago from Texas

    When I read your title, the first thing that came to mind was - Fiber! But if you get the juice with pulp, it helps, but it's still not the same. Plus the white that surrounds the membrane contains bioflavinoids, and juice does not. When peeling an orange, you will also get some of the white, therefore a bioflavinoid. Great hub!

  • Rosie2010 profile imageAUTHOR

    Rosie Rose 

    7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

    Hiya Will, I can always count on you reading my hub. Thanks so much. I'm glad you found my nutritional comparison between an orange and orange juice informative. Cheers!

    Have a nice day,

    Rosie

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 

    7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    This is good to know, Rosie!

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