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Orange is a citrus fruit, and its juice is one of the most widely consumed and preferred fresh fruit juices.
Some people dilute it with water or other juices such as carrot juice, apple juice, or pineapple juice, and add sugar to it to cut out the tartness. Oranges and other fruits in the same family are considered acidic and sharp in flavor.
Many people who already suffer from gastric issues such as acidity, acid reflux, bloating, or indigestion need to avoid drinking orange juice, especially on an empty stomach. It is believed that drinking orange juice can exacerbate gastric issues, specifically reflux disorder, in people who already have such conditions. (1)
Why Does Orange Juice Cause Gastric Issues
The main reason orange juice causes gastric issues such as acidity, heartburn, or acid reflux is its high acid content. (2)
How the acidic content affects gastritis is unknown, but studies have found that orange juice can slow down the closing of the muscular flap between the food pipe and stomach. (1) This causes the stomach acids to flow back into the food pipe, causing heartburn and pain.
The Flip Side: Drinking Orange Juice When You Have No Gastric Issues
Orange juice might worsen gastric issues in those prone to them, but what about those who are healthy and have no acid reflux, heartburn, or other gastric issues?
There is definitely no harm in drinking 1 glass of orange juice along with your meals. In fact, multiple studies done over the last decade have reported that the intake of fresh citrus fruits can prevent the risk of developing gastric cancers. (3)
However, these studies were mostly done on the consumption of whole fruit. Since a lot of changes occur in juicing, such as the breakdown of fiber or even its complete removal (which also causes a spike in blood sugar levels much faster), it is better to eat whole fruits rather than juice them for their positive benefits.
Many dietitians often recommend the consumption of whole fruits over juices or smoothies. They are fresher, contain more fiber, and prevent spikes in blood sugar. The same rule applies to orange juice.
However, if you wish to include orange juice as part of a well-balanced healthy diet and have no gastric issues, one glass of fresh orange juice can be safely consumed in a day.
Is Mixing Orange Juice With Some Other Juice Okay for Acidity?
Most fruits are generally acidic, and mixing their juices with orange juice will not alter the acidic content of orange juice. Therefore if you have gastric issues it is best to avoid drinking orange juice.
Orange is a highly acidic fruit, and its juice can cause gastric problems, especially in those who are already suffering from or prone to acidity.