This article was updated on August 25, 2021.
If you’re tired of hearing your doctor tell you to lower your blood pressure, it might be time to try a glass of orange juice.
Orange juice and your heart health
A study by researchers in Spain found that drinking 100% orange juice can play a big role in an effort to lower hypertension and other factors that contribute to heart disease. Published in the European Journal of Nutrition, it found that drinking two glasses of OJ per day can lower blood pressure in just 12 weeks.
The reasoning behind orange juices special powers is due to hesperidin, a flavonoid found in citrus, which is found in 100% orange juice and acts as an antioxidant. Hesperidin also helps with blood vessel conditions and is often used as a medicine, according to WebMD.
The study, which was funded by the Florida Department of Citrus, had 159 adults drink two cups of either 100% orange juice, 100% orange juice fueled with additional hesperidin, or a drink consisting of vitamin C and citric acid for 12 weeks. Researchers found that those who consumed the 100% OJ or the additional hesperidin had decreased blood pressure at the end of the study.
“This study suggests that 100% orange juice may be a valuable addition to the diet to help reduce blood pressure for adults diagnosed with pre- or stage-1 hypertension. The positive benefits of 100% orange juice may be attributed to hesperidin, which is found almost exclusively in orange juice and oranges,” Dr. Rosa Walsh, Scientific Research Director at the Florida Department of Citrus, said in a press release.
The study did note that all participants had pre- or stage-1 hypertension, which limits the study.