Morning is the ideal time to work on your wellness and give your day a perfect start. What you eat in your first meal or breakfast can play a big role nutrient absorption, satiety and weight management. A balanced diet with protein, fibre, complex carbs and other essential micronutrients is important for a healthy functioning of the body. Many people like to start their day with green tea while others pair their breakfast with fruit juice. Ayurveda expert Dimple Jangda in an interview with HT Digital shares benefits and limitations of both these drinks for your overall health. According to Jangda, the best way to drink orange juice in the morning is to pair it with a handful of nuts to prevent blood sugar spike. However, one should avoid the temptation of having it with regular breakfast or dairy items. The Ayurveda expert warns that people with acidity issues or skin problems should avoid it. (Also read | National Pistachio Day: 5 compelling reasons to munch on pistachios every day)

Orange juice vs green tea: Orange juice is a rich source of Vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Green tea contains flavonoid called catechins which stimulates metabolism and helps break down excess fat.(Freepik)

Orange juice: Nutrient profile

Orange juice is a rich source of Vitamin C, folate, and potassium. It is a rich source of antioxidants and helps give a boost of energy. It’s a great way to start the day, as orange juice helps reduce inflammation and helps flush toxins from the lower intestine and prevent kidney stones. It is also a great aid for heart health. It also helps clears the channels of the body, purifies blood vessels, and cleanses the gastrointestinal tract,” says Dimple Jangda, Gut Health Coach, Ayurvedic Researcher, Founder of Prana Healthcare Centre and National bestseller author of ‘Heal your gut, mind and emotions’.

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How to have prevent sugar spikes while having orange juice

Orange juice is a rich source of fructose, which is 52 to 54 per cent of its total sugar content. Fructose is usually 1.2 to 1.8 times sweeter than sugar and causes sugar spike.

“It’s best to pair orange juices with a handful of nuts to prevent the glucose spike. In Ayurveda, you are advised to eat fruit alone or leave it alone, as fruits react with all dairy products and cause metabolic waste that remains undigested in the gut, but nuts and fruits come from the same food group. Nuts also contain protein and are a good source of nutrients and take longer to digest. Pairing with orange juice will slow down digestion, absorption and assimilation of orange juice. You can also add a pinch of black pepper and cinnamon, as these are anti-inflammatory spices that prevent sugar spikes. And cinnamon slows down sugar levels and is great for diabetes,” says Jangda.

Who should have orange juice and who should avoid the drink?

“You can have orange juice as a hydrating drink, if you are physically active and do sports activities. However, if you have acidity or burning sensation, skin ailments, bleeding disorders and pitta disorders, it is best to avoid citric fruits. Instead, you can eat a bowl of orange in the early evening as a snack,” says the Ayurveda expert.

“Orange juice is good for vata (ectomorph) body type but can increase pitta imbalances (overheat the body) for a pitta body type,” she adds.

Should you start your day with green tea?

Dr Jangda says that green tea is considered one of the best sources of polyphenols and antioxidants. So, should you start your day with green tea?

“While it is believed that green tea can help reduce weight, type 2 diabetes, and liver disorders, it also contains caffeine. It is best to avoid caffeine on an empty stomach and reserve green tea as a drink post meals,” says the Ayurveda expert.

Green tea substitutes for morning

“Green tea contains flavonoid called catechins which stimulates metabolism and helps break down excess fat. Ayurveda has a variety of other herbal and spice teas made from cumin, fennel, coriander seeds, cardamom, and carrom seeds to aid digestion. There are also warm spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, pepper, star anise that can be boiled in water along with lemon grass and cardamom to stimulate metabolism,” she adds.

So, in nutshell, green tea would be more beneficial for you post meals, while orange juice can be paired with dry fruits in the morning to prevent sugar spikes.

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