Orange juice is high in nutrients our body needs, says dietitian Helene Charlebois.


Don’t succumb to the urge of reaching for the newest, most colourful and eye-catching fruit beverages at your grocery store.


Those are usually the most unhealthy juices on the market, according to Ottawa registered dietitian Helene Charlebois.

Stick to your classics instead, like 100 per cent pure Florida orange juice.

Pure orange juices from brands like Tropicana and Minute Maid are naturally high in nutrients your body needs. Other juices have to make up by adding nutrients?artificially. “When we’re looking at the?different juices, a lot of them have nutrition added to them,” she says. “What they’ll do is add a vitamin pill. So it’s not naturally added.”

Drinking half of a cup of orange juice gives you the equivalent amount of potassium found in a banana. And it contains less calories.

“You don’t need to eat a banana every day, you can have orange juice instead but it has to be 100 per cent pure,” she says.

Pure orange juice is also recommended for pregnant women, and other women of child-bearing age. It contains high levels of folic acid, which can reduce the risk of Spina Bifida and other growth impairments in children, she says.

It can also prevent cancers down the road due to its large amount of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.

Consider having a glass of orange juice instead of your afternoon coffee or energy drink. Charlebois says it works the same way. “I don’t think it’s just for breakfast anymore. You know when you get that afternoon lull ... It really gives you a good perk.”

Beware of impostors posing as pure orange juice on the market. If it doesn’t say juice, it means they have added something to it.

“With our labelling in Canada ... if it’s 100 per cent pure it’s a juice. Once they’ve added stuff to it ... they can no longer call it juice. It’s either a cocktail, a drink, a punch,” she says.

In choosing fruit beverages, it is crucial to examine the ingredients beyond the amount of sugar it contains, she says.

“You almost need a full session on how to read ingredient lists and labels on food anymore.”