Despite what we have all been told about the health benefits of drinking orange juice, it is not the best way of obtaining vitamin C.
The human body is not able to efficiently absorb vitamin C from orange juice since both glucose and vitamin C have the same receptor sites for absorption (Glut-1 receptor transport system). The higher the amount of circulating blood sugar, the less vitamin C will enter the cells.
Since orange juice has been stripped of its fiber, which slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream, it creates a faster spike in blood sugar than if we were to eat an actual orange.
Furthermore, drinking large amounts of orange juice may even compromise the immune system. Sugar paralyzes the immune system by decreasing neutrophil activity (cells of the immune system involved in defending the body against infections). While oranges can be a good source of vitamins and antioxidants, the juice on its own is very high in fructose. One eight-ounce glass of orange juice has 22g of sugar (5.5 teaspoons).
So, if you’re looking to increase the Vitamin C in your diet, eat an actual orange and include these other vitamin C rich foods in your diet: kiwi, bell peppers, guava, papaya, strawberries, cantaloupe, broccoli, Brussels spouts, cauliflower, tomatoes, kale, spinach, mustard greens, watercress and swiss chard. Fresh herbs like cilantro, chives, thyme, basil, and parsley are also loaded with this immune boosting phytonutrient!