The Fresh Orange Juice Rule

* citrus shake

Don't feel bad. I love them too. Those brightly colored, cutely named little plastic bottles of juice, all lined up perfectly on the grocery store shelf. With names like Strawberry C Monster and Antioxidance, how can we resist?

Naked, Odwalla and Bolthouse Farms are brands we all know and love. But here's a tip: once in a while make sure that you get your juice FRESH and FAST.

Vitamin C is a very delicate nutrient. A little to much exposure to heat, light or air -or too much time left on a shelf or truck - and it simply starts to oxidize and disappear. Some studies have shown that the level of Vitamin C in orange juice degrades by about 2% each day after it was first squeezed. Drinking freshly squeezed orange juice right away ensures that your body receives all of that lovely Vitamin C.

The same study analyzed the amount of Vitamin C retained in OJ after one and two weeks in a typical home fridge. 88% of vitamin C content was retained after one week of storage and 67% after two weeks.

The Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Rule:
Break out the fresh oranges, get yourself a cheap hand-juicer at Crate and Barrel and put some elbow-grinding, squeezing action into your morning routine- at least once in a while. Start off with a Sunday morning OJ ritual.

And yes, those store bought Super Silly Stupendous 'C' Drinks from the above mentioned brands, are OK once in a while. Just don't use them as your juice crutch.
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