Is orange juice good for a cold or flu? That is how many people perceive it, but there is no scientific evidence to back that claim. Or at least, any nutritional effect on a cold or virus like the flu is no different than other comparable fruits and vegetables.Does that mean it's bad for you then? No, but its health benefits are overhyped, that's for sure. If you compare how much antioxidants are found in raw orange juice, it's almost the exact same amount as raw sweet corn (when comparing the amount in equal weights of each). Of course no one considers yellow sweet corn as something that is extraordinarily nutritious and neither should OJ be considered as such. Furthermore this ORAC value reflects the raw freshly squeezed juice. The version you buy at the store is pasteurized and it may have been weeks since the fruit was processed. Pasteurization destroys natural vitamin C content, since natural C is a fragile compound that is affected by heat. The cartons you buy have ascorbic acid added in after, which the USDA allows to be called vitamin C.If you want a healthier option - at least in terms of antioxidants - many other juices score a higher ORAC than OJ including concord grape at 2,389 and black raspberry at 10,460.
USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 - Prepared by Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010