The Hesperidin in Florida Orange Juice has Surprising Health Benefits
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Vitamin C isn’t the only reason to start your day with a glass of 100% Orange Juice! Citrus fruits, including orange juice, contain potent antioxidant-like compounds called flavonoids. One flavonoid in particular with many health benefits is a plant compound called hesperidin. This is similar to other compounds you might be familiar with – resveratrol, found in red wine, or catechin, a component of green tea.
What is Hesperidin?
Hesperidin is a phytonutrient, a type of plant compound with antioxidant properties that may play a role in fighting inflammation, maintaining good blood sugar levels, and supporting brain and heart health. Hesperidin is unique because it is found almost exclusively in citrus fruits, and it is particularly high in oranges and 100% orange juice.
Most of the hesperidin is found in the peel and membranes of the orange. When oranges are commercially pressed to make orange juice, the hesperidin is extracted from the peel, pulp, and membranes. This helps to make 100% orange juice one of the best food sources of hesperidin!
Benefits of Hesperidin
There are many potential health benefits from hesperidin including a reduction of inflammation and support of blood flow. Hesperidin appears to act in conjunction with the nutrients found in citrus fruits to neutralize the impacts of free radicals.
- Improved Heart Health. Studies show higher intakes of hesperidin to be associated with healthy heart support. A series of studies have shown reduced risk of cardiovascular events, strokes, high blood pressure, and heart disease compared to those with lower intakes of hesperidin.
- Brain Protection. Hesperidin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and may help reduce inflammation, promote blood flow in the brain, and maintain brain cell health, all of which may have positive effects on cognition. Hesperidin has been shown to have several brain benefits including maintaining mental alertness, supporting executive function skills such as memory and attention, and aiding psycho-motor skills like movement and coordination.
- Immune & Respiratory Support. Research reveals that flavonoids can have positive impacts on the immune system. Hesperidin’s antioxidant properties have been shown to lower oxidative stress. One study showed less respiratory tract infections reported in those who consumed flavonoids compared to those who did not.
How to Get Hesperidin in Your Diet
The best way to get more hesperidin in your diet? Citrus! Drinking 100% OJ is a great way to get hesperidin in your diet as it is the only fruit juice and the only commonly-consumed food that contains a significant amount of hesperidin.
Looking for other ways to get hesperidin?
- Add fresh orange zest to beverages and desserts!
- Bake your orange peels for a crunchy snack or salad topping.
- Make candied orange peels from your orange peels scraps.
Source: Florida Dept of Citrus