Oranges: Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts
“Oranges strengthen your emotional body, encouraging a general feeling of joy, well-being, and cheerfulness.” – Tae Yun Kim
From their vibrant colour to their zesty flavour, oranges are a delicious and juicy snack for people of all ages. Loaded with health-friendly nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Potassium, and Pectin, this fruit is a perfect addition to your diet if you are looking for a snack which provides quick energy. Oranges also offer the following health benefits:
Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts of Oranges:
1. Minimises The Risk Of Cancer
Citrus limonoids are found abundantly in oranges. This nutrient has the ability to combat cancer of the skin, breast, lung, stomach and colon.
2. Fights Liver Cancer
Research and study related to mandarin oranges have proven that they can help you fight liver cancer. According to two studies that took place in Japan, the ability of oranges to fight liver cancer may come from the presence of Vitamin A compounds known as carotenoids.
3. Boosts Heart Health
Oranges are a rich source of the electrolyte mineral, potassium which can help in the healthy functioning of your heart. A heart condition known as arrhythmia which causes an abnormal heart rhythm is known to develop when the potassium in your body drops to very low levels.
4. Lowers Cholesterol
The soluble fibres in oranges are effective in lowering cholesterol. Since high cholesterol increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, you can keep your cholesterol levels under control by adding this perky fruit to your diet.
5. Regulates High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure related health conditions are becoming increasingly common. With oranges included in your diet, you will be able to combat abnormalities in blood pressure more effectively. The flavonoid hesperidin in oranges regulates high blood pressure while the magnesium in the fruit ensures that the blood pressure levels in your body are maintained.
6. Prevents Kidney Diseases
Orange juice helps you maintain a healthy kidney by preventing undue diseases related with the organ. It is also known to reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.
Note: Moderation should be practiced when drinking any fruit juice because of the high sugar content in them. Drinking too much orange juice may eventually lead to tooth decay and the acid content of the juice may have a detrimental effect on the enamel.
7. Increases Your Immunity
The Vitamin C in orange helps in neutralizing free radicals which are often associated with the development of chronic diseases, like cancer and other cardiac diseases.
8. Protects You From Viral Infections
One of the nutrients found abundantly in oranges are polyphenols. These nutrients are known to give your body the ability to ward off viral infections, hence reducing the chances of your falling ill.
9. Improves Eye Health
Oranges are a great source of carotenoid compounds that are converted into Vitamin A which is helpful in maintaining the health of your eyes and protecting your vision by preventing macular degeneration.
10. Relieves Constipation
The dietary fibres in oranges improve the digestion process by stimulating digestive juices. This results in better bowel movements which relieves constipation.
11. Adds Radiance To Your Skin
Over a period of time, your skin cells get damaged and free radicals begin to age your skin. This takes away the natural glow of your skin. Oranges are a great source of beta-carotene which protects your skin from the harmful effects of the free radicals and helps prevent signs of aging.
12. Balances The Alkalize Content Of Your Body
Although oranges are acidic before you digest them, just like lemons, they contain many alkaline minerals that help your system balance the alkaline content of your body after the fruit has been digested.
13. Provides Smart Carbohydrates
Oranges have a glycemic index of 40. Foods with a glycemic index less than 55 do not spike your blood sugar unless you have too many of them at one time. This means that you do not have to worry about problems with weight gain or insulin when eating this juicy fruit.
Interesting Orange Facts:
• Oranges are actually modified berries.
• Oranges are known to be the largest citrus crop cultivated in the world.
• Brazil is the largest producer of oranges.
• Two most popular varieties of oranges are Valencia and Navel oranges.
• Navel Oranges get their name from the shape of the belly button that forms at the bottom of the fruit.
• Orange is considered to be the third most likable flavour around the globe after chocolate and vanilla.
• Oh, and the fruit came before the colour.
History of the Orange:
• Oranges trace their history back to 2500 BC when they were first cultivated in China. The fruit is known to have originated in Southeast Asia, Northeast India and Southern China.
• Romans introduced oranges to their people in the first century AD when young orange plants travelled all the way from India to Rome. Oranges were grown in North Africa starting the first century AD as well.
• In 1493, Christopher Columbus carried orange seeds with him across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain’s Canary Islands to Haiti. He planted orange orchards there. The fruit gradually began to be introduced to other regions like Panama and Mexico before it finally reached Brazil.
Insecticides are commonly used to protect these luscious fruits from harmful insects. It is recommended that you wash the fruit under cold running water and rinse it in a fruit &vegetable rinse before consumption. If you are planning to prepare some orange zest then organic oranges which do not have insecticides sprayed on them would be best suited.
Preparation and Serving Tips:
The best thing about oranges is that they do not require a lot of preparation before you eat them. Wash them to clean the fruit from dust, dirt and insecticides or pesticides – peel them and enjoy the juicy fruit.
Another way to benefit from the fruit is to drink healthy, fresh orange juice. It is easy to make and I vouch for its healthiness which is definitely more than any of the market juices which are laced with preservatives and artificial colouring.
Keep the oranges at room temperature before you juice them because you will be able to extract more juice from the fruit when they are warm. Before you begin juicing it, simply roll the fruit on the palm of your hand to make it warm. Drink the juice at room temperature.