Antioxidant Face-Off - Orange Juice vs. Whole Flower Hibiscus Tea
Today it's time for a face-off!
In this corner, we’ve got the orange team. Beloved by antioxidants fans everywhere. Their motto, “Breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine.”
And in this corner, the red team, featuring organic whole flower hibiscus tea from Immortalitea. Their motto…Well, actually hibiscus tea doesn’t have a motto. So, lets’ go straight to the showdown.
Here’s how an 8-ounce cup of orange juice stacks up according to the USDA National Nutrient Database and a 2010 study published in the Nutritional journal of the total antioxidant content of over 3100 different foods,
( A mmol is a chemistry measurement used for analyzing chemical contents.)
OK, now let’s take a look at Hibiscus tea.
Sorry, orange juice! That’s 10.8 times as much antioxidant power. Hibiscus Tea is the clear winner.
Just for fun, let’s allow a late entry in our competition, Coca-cola.
Calories – 100, fat – 0, carbs – 26 grams, sugar – 26 grams. That’s right, if you look at the total carb, coca-cola and a glass of orange juice have almost exactly the same amount. 26..0 grams for a coke vs, 25.79 in a glass of OJ.
Health-wise, if you took a Vitamin C and chased it with a coke you’d be better actually better off than drinking a glass of orange juice.
So, exactly how did orange juice get this stellar reputation as an antioxidant?
It’s a long story but the short answer is “Marketing” between the 1930’s and 1970’s the Florida Orange Juice Growers association under the Sunkist brand and later Coca-cola (under the brands, Minute-Maid and Simply Orange) and Pepsi (aka Tropicana) launched massive nationwide campaigns promoting the health benefits of orange juice. Most famously featuring popular and trusted singer Anita Bryant. By the late 1990’s ¾ of Americans were drinking orange juice daily. Primarily for “health”. The reality could not be further from the truth with even the so –called Natural Not-From-Concentrate brands contain not only added sugar but also flavored with chemical “flavor packs” designed ironically to make it taste fresh.
So, what’s the story with hibiscus tea? Hibiscus tea has been used in traditional medicine from all over the world including Egypt, Latin America, and China for thousands of years. It is, the highest antioxidant beverage studied in the 2010 report of 3100 foods and is also famous in traditional medicine for helping manage blood pressure, improving cardiovascular function and relieving headaches.
There are thousands of research studies supporting these traditional claims. The gold standard for research studies are those conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration. A Cochrane review is an independent review of the available prior research. A 2010 Cochrane review on Hibiscus for high blood pressure concluded, “ clinical studies comparing hibiscus tea with drug treatments have found beneficial effects for the treatment of hypertension.”
So there you have it. The clear winner in our face-off today…
0 carbs, 0 fat, and almost 11X the antioxidant power of orange juice. Sorry, Anita, love ya’ anyway.
As always, I enjoy reading your comments and questions, drop me a line or comment below the video. See you next time.