Oranges are among the world most popular fruits, as they’re both tasty and nutritious.
They are a good source of vitamin C, as well as several other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. For this reason, they may lower your risk of heart disease and kidney stones.
Put simply, this bright citrus fruit is an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
How Are Oranges Good For You?
Oranges are packed with vitamins and minerals, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Their alkalizing and detoxifying properties keep your body healthy. They are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.
High in Vitamins C
Oranges are an excellent source of
vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C, thiamine, folate and potassium. One orange offers 116.2 per cent of the daily value for vitamin C. Good intake of vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer as it helps to get of free radicals that cause damage to our DNA.
Thiamine. One of the B vitamins, also called vitamin B1, thiamine is found in a wide variety of foods. Folate. Also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid, folate has many essential functions and is found in many plant foods. Potassium. Oranges are a good source of potassium. High intake of potassium can lower blood pressure in people who already have high levels and may reduce your risk of heart disease .
Prevents skin damage
Orange are abundant source of water and antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form (as in an orange) or applied topically, can help hydrate the fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of your skin. An orange a day can help you look young even at 50!
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline content in oranges all support heart health.
An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Dr. Mark Houston, an associate clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School and director of the Hypertension Institute at St. Thomas Hospital in Tennessee .
In one study, those who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium (about 1000 mg per day). High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
Keeps blood pressure
Oranges, being rich in potassium and Vitamins B6, help support the production of haemoglobin and also help keep blood pressure under check due to the presence of magnesium. Some studies also suggest that including oranges in the diet can help cut down the risk of ailments linked to high blood pressure .
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), fewer than 2 percent of US adults meet the daily 4700 mg recommendation.
Also of note, a high potassium intake is associated with a 20 percent decreased risk of dying from all causes.
Orages are rich in fiber. This fiber helps prevent your digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol. US and Canadian researchers, a class of compounds found in citrus fruit peels called Polymethoxylated Flavones (PMFs) have the potential to lower cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs without side effects.
Controls blood sugar level
Oranges have a low glycemic index. Fibre in oranges help by keeping blood sugar levels under control thereby making oranges a healthy snack for people with diabetes. Moreover, oranges have simple sugars. The natural fruit sugar in oranges, fructose, can help keep blood sugar levels from rising too high after eating. Its glycemic index is 40 and normally whatever foods fall under 50 are considered to be low in sugar. However, that does not mean you go about eating too many oranges in one go. Eating too much can spike insulin and may even lead to weight gain.
Tips for Preparing and Cooking
Oranges can be eaten as a snack—just peel and enjoy. Before cutting the orange in half horizontally through the center, wash the skin so that any dirt or bacteria residing on the surface will not be transferred to the fruit. Proceed to cut the sections into halves or thirds, depending upon your personal preference.
Thin-skinned oranges can be easily peeled with your fingers. For easy peeling of the thicker skinned varieties, first cut a small section of the peel from the top of the orange. You can then either make four longitudinal cuts from top to bottom and peel away these sections of skin, or starting at the top, peel the orange in a spiral fashion.
Oranges are oftentimes called for in recipes in the form of orange juice. As oranges, like most citrus fruits, will produce more juice when warmer, always juice them when they are at room temperature. Rolling the orange under the palm of your hand on a flat surface will also help to extract more juice.
The juice can be extracted in a variety of ways. You could either use a juicer or do it the old fashioned way, squeezing by hand.
If your recipe calls for orange zest, make sure that you use an orange that is organically grown since most conventionally grown fruits will have pesticide residues on their skin and may be artificially colored. After washing and drying the orange, use a zester, paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the zest, which is the orange part of the peel. Make sure not to remove too much of the peel as the white pith underneath is bitter and should not be used. The zest can then be more finely chopped or diced if necessary.
How Many Oranges Can You Eat In A Day?
There is no concrete research on this – but looking at the high vitamin C levels and the abundance of other beneficial phytochemicals, you can consume one to two oranges a day.
What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Oranges ?
Oranges are great for you, but only when consumed in moderation.
Eating too many oranges in a day can lead to indigestion, abdominal cramps, and even diarrhea – these effects can be attributed to the fiber in the fruit.
As they are highly acidic, oranges may also lead to heartburn if consumed in excess.
Hence, it is important you keep a check on the number of oranges you are consuming in a day.
History of Orange
Oranges have a very interesting history. Oranges originated thousands of years ago in Asia, in the region from southern China to Indonesia from which they spread to India. Although Renaissance paintings display oranges on the table in paintings of The Last Supper, the assumption that they were grown in this region at this time seems to be erroneous since oranges were not cultivated in the Middle East until sometime around the 9th century. Sweet oranges were introduced into Europe around the 15th century by various groups including the Moors, and the Portuguese as well as the Italian traders and explorers who found them on their voyages to Asia and the Middle East. Orange trees began to be grown in the Caribbean Islands in the late 15th century after Christopher Columbus brought the seeds there on his second voyage to the New World. Spanish explorers are responsible for bringing oranges to Florida in the 16th century, while Spanish missionaries brought them to California in the 18th century, beginning the cultivation of this citrus fruit in the two states widely known for their oranges. Before the 20th century, oranges were very expensive and therefore they were not regularly consumed, but rather eaten on special holidays such as Christmas. After more efficient means of transportation were developed, and food processors invented methods for utilizing orange by-products such as citric acid and bioflavonoids, the price of oranges dropped, and they could be consumed on a wide scale, as they are today. Currently, the countries that are some of the largest commercial producers of oranges include the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, China and Israel.