Orange Juice Substitute

by Christopher Jones

Orange juice is one of the most healthful beverages anybody can consume, but it is far from perfect in terms of its beneficial properties. Some of the properties of orange juice either compromise its benefits or outright cancels them out. 

This is especially true if it is pasteurized or made from concentrate. Orange juice that is sourced from these methods are not nearly as beneficial as we would like to think, and it has caused some to explore substitutes for the beverage that contain just as many beneficial properties, if not more.

There are a lot more substitutes for orange juice than you think, and many of these substitutes not only contain the same kinds of nutritional value, but some contain even more beneficial properties.

Before exploring these substitutes and measuring them against orange juice, it is useful to know what would convince someone to pursue a substitute for it in the first place.

Is orange juice as beneficial as we think?

Orange Juice Substitute
Orange Juice Substitute (source)

As mentioned previously, pasteurization and concentration processes can affect the overall nutritional value of orange juice.

A quick look at the nutrition facts of any given bottle or carton of orange juice will reveal this. When compared against soda and other beverages that contain a lot of sugar and calories, you will find that orange juice that you’ll find in any store contains just as much sugar and calories as their counterparts.

Sure, orange juice contains a lot more vitamins, is not carbonated, and is generally much more beneficial than any other sweet beverage. But if you take those away, you’ll get nothing more than orange flavored fruit punch in the end. Pasteurization and concentration processes assist in the preservation process of almost any bottled orange juice, and while many orange juice brands claim that the juice is not from concentrate or freshly squeezed, this is only partially true.

Most pasteurized orange juice will last a few months before going bad or expiring. And because of the pasteurization process, it can last much longer than that if the carton or bottle that it is in is sealed.

This process is performed at the expense of a lot of the nutrients found in most fresh oranges, and this is why pasteurized orange juice is not as beneficial as it could be. Thus, there is a necessity for substitutes. If there was a way to replace pasteurized orange juice with something that contains all of the vitamins and nutritional value of pasteurized orange juice without all the sugar and calories, would it not be a better option?

The citrus issue

The citrus issue
The citrus issue

Oranges are known for containing a substance that are a turnoff for many: Citrus.

Being almost completely acidic, citrus can have some pretty nasty effects. A lot of people are actually allergic to citrus, resulting in vital parts of their body breaking down if they consume too many things that contain a lot of acidic substances. Oranges and orange juice is definitively one of these substances. From acid reflux conditions to dental conditions to blockages in urinary tracts, too much citric acid is and always will be something that some unfortunate people must be aware of at all times.

And guess what contains almost the most citric acid?

That’s right, oranges do. Whether it is completely natural or pasteurized, orange juice contains unsettling amounts of citric acid that might cause acid imbalances in the body if consumed too much.

This goes double for pasteurized orange juice, as the pasteurization process retains (and in some brands, even increases) all of the citric acid levels of fresh oranges that are used in the pasteurization process. Some are able to process the high amounts of citric acid that is found in most oranges and orange juice without much consequence. But this isn’t true for everybody, and that is why it is good to know about orange juice substitutes.

What properties of orange juice can be found in other things?

When anybody thinks of orange juice, they think of one thing: Vitamin C.

One of the reasons why so many turn to orange juice is because it is a very cost effective source of vitamin C, and they don’t mind sacrificing the sodium, sugar, and citrus content of most pasteurized orange juice to acquire this source of vitamin C.

Vitamin C

Therefore, the most practical substitute for orange juice would be anything with a lot of vitamin C content in it.

The first and most practical substitute for orange juice is, of course, vitamin C supplements. Easily found in any nutrition specialty store, you’ll be able to get all the vitamin C you get in orange juice in supplement tablets without dealing with the sugar, sodium, citrus levels, and other things that go along with orange juice.

However, vitamin C supplements cost a lot more than orange juice does.

Tomato Juice

Another way you can replace orange juice is by simply consuming juice from other fruits and vegetables that contain similar amounts of vitamin C. Tomato juice is a good example of this, even though it contains even more sodium content than orange juice does. However, tomato juice does not contain the citrus that orange juice does.

Leafy greens

Other vegetables that contain the same kinds of vitamin C content as orange juice are peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, and other leafy greens. All of these vegetables contain the exact amounts of vitamin C content as orange juice without the sodium, acid, and citrus that come with it.

These are just two simple things that you can substitute orange juice for. If you are looking for something that contains the same amounts of vitamin C as orange juice does but does not have the sugar, sodium, acid, and citrus content that go with it, seek these out.

Orange juice will always be known as something that is healthful and flavorful at the same time.

However, it contains potentially harmful amounts of sugar, sodium, acid, and citrus right along with the vitamin C that it contains.

The aforementioned content is what could potentially drive some away from orange juice, but still understand and desire the vitamin C content that comes with orange juice.

This is where substitutes come in, and it is not difficult to find substitutes for orange juice.

If you are willing to spend a little money, you can take vitamin C supplements. These supplements are easy to find, come in all kinds of varieties and amounts, and provide nothing but vitamin C: No sugar, no sodium, no acid, no citrus.

There are a lot of vegetables available that contain the same kinds of vitamin C content as orange juice as well. Although some of them are not as flavorful and do not contain the texture that orange juice has (although some vegetables can be made into juice), they not only contain the same kinds of vitamin C content, but also do not contain the potentially harmful content that orange juice has.

Explore these other options outside of orange juice if you are looking for a substitute for it. You might find something that you could enjoy better than orange juice.

About Christopher Jones

Chris is a true globetrotter. He has been to many destinations and tried different types of food from all over the world, yet he still loves finding new places and tasting their specialties. Chris has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and so he decided to go back to school at age 24 for his MBA at University of San Francisco so that he could have a better understanding of business strategy in order to start his own company. His favorite motto is “how can one live well, travel well, and work well without having good food every time?”

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