Hacks Health

Orange Juice Won’t Help Much With The Common Cold, But Dark Chocolate Might

Flu season is in full force this year, and many of us have already caught the virus and had to spend days fighting it off. Arguably the most well known go-to “cure” to turn to while sick is orange juice, which always came alongside chicken soup to help fight off colds, fevers, and whatnot. Turns out, however, that orange juice’s curative properties are all just in our head.

Orange juice’s high vitamin C content is one of the big reasons we use it as a drink to help fight off colds or flu. However, WebMD reports that the micronutrient provides little to no benefit in combating those ailments. Taking vitamin C daily also doesn’t help prevent colds, so overdosing on it on the daily isn’t a big help either.

To be honest, orange juice could actually make things worse for you. One study found that the fructose (natural fruit sugar) inside of it actually represses the immune system, making it harder to fight off your cold. So drinking it could prolong the duration of your illness. Yikes.

Fortunately, there are other ways to take on the cold that work way better than your typical glass of OJ. According to Business Insider, zinc is a great mineral to take to fight the common cold, since it can block the proliferation of the viruses that cause it. The best food sources of zinc include un-toasted pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and dark chocolate.

Unsweetened dark chocolate has about 10 mg of zinc per 100 grams, which amounts to about a full bar of chocolate and provides two-thirds of the recommended daily intake. It’ll be a little bit bitter because of how dark the chocolate is, but it could be a big help in getting you out of bed and back on your feet faster.

Hit-Or-Miss News

Reports Show Nobody Is Really Drinking Orange Juice Anymore

Orange juice has a special place in my heart. It was the first healthy-ish choice I ever made as a kid and screwdrivers were the first thing I got drunk off as a teenager. But, sadly, the orange juice industry is not doing well.

Actually, truth be told, Americans have all but given up on the sweet, beloved nectar. Nielsen reports that sales of refrigerated orange juice decreased by 4.1% in the last year. Hell, frozen orange juice sank by 9.7%. Worst of all, I had to learn this from Buzzfeed, the patron saint of distraction. I had to learn that the breakfast scene they show at the end of commercials is unjustly going away and will be sorely missed.

You should find a world without Tequila Sunrises and Alabama Slammers problematic, if not downright unsettling, and I shouldn’t have to explain why. But there are a few reasons for the industry drop-off that has everyone scratching their heads.

1. Everyone started drinking fancy and healthy juices.

When we were youngback when our eyes were clear, our hearts were full, and we couldn’t lose—it was pretty much orange juice, apple juice, and maybe grape juice. Those were your choices. Tomato juice was in the fridge too, but it was for adults (and their hangovers). Now, the trend is to scoop up the produce aisle and throw everything into a juicer.

That’s how, according to the Florida Department of Citrus, orange juice lost nearly 3.5 feet of shelf space between just 2012 and 2014, which is a loss of 9.7%. I think it’s safe to say that that’s around the time everyone got into the juice blend culture. Nobody wanted the juice of a singular fruit from the usual suspects. Suddenly, it was something like a lemon-ginger-avocado-pomegranate-raspberry-carrot blend with the name of “Morning Revive.”

2. Everyone realized that orange juice is pretty much breakfast candy.

Even though a sugar rush is the most exciting way to start the day, let’s all be buzzkills, I guess. I mean, sure, truthfully I was surprised by how much sugar was in what we buy as “orange juice.” One serving of Minute Made orange juice contains 24 grams of sugar, which is more than a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (20g).

The damaging sugary hype may change relatively soon though, as by July 2018, most packaged food will have a separate line that specifically denotes “added sugar.” That could mean lay off grouping sugars together as if citrus is chocolate and falsely accusing breakfast dessert parading itself around in disguise. I won’t have it!

3. Huanglongbing is wreaking havoc on our crops.

Known as Huanglongbing, or the much less exciting and severely less supernatural monsterish term “Citrus Greening,” a rather serious citrus plant disease has gone after our precious orange trees like crazy, especially back in 2005.

But have no fear! The Environmental Protection Agency has recently approved sprayable antibiotics—three to be exact—to combat this wildly bogus and largely un-American demon.

Sadly, as much I want this to be some fluke or misunderstanding, the truth is orange juice is dying and there’s little to save it. This fate has been years in the making and we need to address it. Just as you never want to drag out a break up, unless of course you’re some kind of sociopath, it’s time for us to move on. The last time the orange juice industry saw a rise in sales was in the 2000-01 growing season.

Since then, “consumption has fallen by about 45%,” according to Buzzfeed. You don’t come back from that…unless…something were to happen to other juices…maybe other beverages altogether…say beet juice’s brakes are randomly slashed…or green juice gets rebranded with truth overnight as “lettuce milk.” We’ll just have to see, I suppose, but the future doesn’t look too bright orange.


Photo: ABC News

How to Make Orange Juice


PicThx Joy Reactor


Enjoy a Boozy Brunch All Day Long With Mimosa Jelly Shots


Here’s what your choice brunch drink says about you: Coffee: “I’m hungover.” Bloody Mary: “I’m hungover and hungry.” Mimosa: “I’m hungover and still trying to look like a classy b*tch. I’m also probably hungry.” Don’t worry dear, everyone does it. And sooner or later all those years spent reading Cosmo and studying the profundities of He’s Just Not That Into You are going to pay off and you’ll be taking your brunch not at a buffet at the Cosmopolitan, but in your backyard by the lake with your five least threatening girl friends. Except now you’ll have time to whip up a batch of these Mimosa and Orange Flower Water Jelly Shots – you know, what with your husband’s seven-figure salary and all.

Michelle of Jelly Shot Test Kitchen mixed fresh-squeezed orange juice, gelatin, champagne, orange flower water and edible flower petals and skewered the whole thing in threes on adorable curlicue silver sticks. Supposedly it’s really quick to make – about seven minutes prepping and then however long it takes to set – which will leave you plenty of time to finish all those leftover bottles of champagne you’ve had lying around. What else are you supposed to do all day?

Check out the recipe for yourself here.

PicThx Jelly Shot Test Kitchen


Here’s How To Make A Perfect Brass Monkey (aka “Beermosa”)

This past weekend’s weather was total garbage. The rain lead to boredom, and boredom lead to drinking. So naturally we did what anyone else would, and decided to make a couple of Brass Monkeys. As shocking as it sounds this was actually my first time drinking one of these.

Continue reading to watch me loose my Brass Monkey virginity.

Fast Food

Taco Bell is Mixing Mountain Dew and Orange Juice for Breakfast, Calling it ‘Mtn Dew A.M.”

Reddit user Allen Jacoby has spotted a buzz worthy breakfast drink item at his local Taco Bell location dubbed Mtn Dew A.M.

The new drink is apparently served until 11 a.m. at a currently unknown location, and features a hybrid of vitamins and caffeine by combining a ‘where have I heard of this before‘ mix of orange juice and Mountain Dew.

Sounds like a refreshing, less-caffeinated alternative to a coffee, a more sparkly alternative to a traditional orange juice, and a few vodka shots short of a worthy nighttime drink.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried this mix before? Do you want it to be available at your local Taco Bell?



Orange Juice Shipments Halted Over Fungicide Worries

A recent decision to halt shipments of imported orange juice arriving at U.S. ports came after an unnamed juice company alerted the FDA of low levels of the fungicide, carbendazim, was found in products imported from Brazil.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted it will be examining all container shipments of orange juice arriving at U.S. ports. The testing could take between five and ten business days. While the FDA report mentions that the detected low levels of carbendazim in “currently marketed finished products,” they continue on with a risk assessment note from the Environmental Protection Agency that concludes that consumption of orange juice with carbendazim at the low levels that have been reported “does not raise safety concerns.”

The FDA doesn’t intend to take action to remove orange juice from store shelves that contain the reported low levels of carbendazim. However, the FDA is conducting its own testing of orange juice for carbendazim, and will alert the public if it emerges that these low levels of fungicide could pose a public health risk.

For those unfamiliar (aren’t we all who aren’t PhDs in the matter), carbendazim is a widely used fungicide with a purpose of controlling plant diseases in fruit. The worry about high levels of carbendazim though, is that studies have found that high doses have caused infertility and even destroyed the testicles of laboratory animals. Just so you know.



Minute Maid Announces ‘Pure Squeezed’ Juices

Minute Maid Pure Squeezed Orange JuicesThe Coca-Cola Company and Minute Maid have jointly announced new ‘Never From Concentrate’ Pure Squeezed Orange Juices including No Pulp, No Pulp with Calcium & Vitamin D, Some Pulp and Light with Calcium & Vitamin D varieties.

What do you guys think of juice from concentrate vs. fresh squeezed juice? Fresh juice may taste better to some, but without concentrated formulas tons of fruit and juice would be wasted with current US consumption habits.

So FOODBEASTS, what do you drink? And will Minute Maid’s established brand presence and distribution help its juices outshine Naked Juice or Simply Orange?