Amongst the most popularly consumed fruits, Oranges belong to a sizeable group of fruits called ‘Citrus Fruits’. It is a round and juicy dissected fruit with a pitted peel, and owes its popularity to its natural sweetness.
Grown in warm regions around the world, oranges are speculated to have been cultivated for the very first time in Eastern Asia a few thousand years ago.
They are consumed most popularly as a whole fruit or in the form of juice and are also available in the form of marmalade. Its zested peel is also popularly used to flavour desserts and cakes as well as garnish cocktails.
We all are aware of oranges being a great source of Vitamin C. However, that is not its only nutritional benefit. Continue reading to find out why eating an orange can really help your body.
Types Of Oranges
Some sour, some sweet, there are a variety of oranges available in the market in today’s time. These include:
- Cara Cara
- Blood oranges
Most of these varieties are available throughout the year with the exception of ‘Blood Oranges’. These are very seasonal.
Nutritional Benefits Of Eating An Orange
Vitamins And Minerals
All the different types of oranges listed above are rich in vitamin C. Oranges provide your body with more than 100% of its daily recommended intake. Therefore, it goes without saying that oranges are one of the best natural sources of Vitamin C.
A medium sized orange (130g) will provide an adult male with about 77% of his daily recommended intake of vitamin C. The same will provide an adult female with approximately 93% of the recommended daily intake.
Along with this, an orange also contains Potassium and B vitamins like Thiamin and Folate. These help your body by making sure that all the cells are functioning properly. B vitamins have benefit your body immensely. Their health benefits include better metabolism, maintaining healthy body tissue as well as healthy skin and brain cells.
High In Fiber, Calcium And Low In Calories
Oranges are a great source of fiber and calcium for the body. Pectin, cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin are some of the key dietary fibers found in an orange and have numerous health benefits.
Having a high calcium content, oranges help keep your bones, organs and muscles strong as ever. Calcium is a key nutrient that helps make sure that our heart, muscles and nerves function properly.
Despite being composed mainly of carbs and water, oranges are very low in calories. An average sized orange (130g) contains only 61.6 calories. This makes it the fruit of choice for individuals looking to lose weight.
There’s about 12g of sugar (the dominant carb in an orange) in an average sized orange. However, these sugars are far from the ones you find in your favourite bar of candy. Oranges contain Simple sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose.
Moreover, oranges have a low GI (Glycemic Index). This is a measure of how quickly the sugar enters the bloodstream. With a GI of 31-51, oranges have numerous health benefits owed to its low GI.
Phenolics and Carotenoids are the two pivotal plant based antioxidants that an orange contains. These antioxidants carry numerous health benefits.
Oranges are an excellent source of phenolics, mainly flavonoids. A citrus flavonoid named Hesperidin and an antioxidant flavonoid named Anthocyanins are the two phenolics present in an orange. Anthocyanins are responsible for the red fresh of blood oranges.
Responsible for their rich colour, carotenoids are antioxidants that all citrus fruits contain in abundance. One of these is beta-cryptoxanthin, an antioxidant our body converts into vitamin A. Another carotenoid found mainly in red fleshed Navel oranges is Lycopene. It is a compound that has numerous health benefits which include lowering the risk of certain types of cancers.
Keeps The Heart Healthy And Controls Blood Pressure
An Orange is a good source of fiber, potassium and calcium which are all nutrients that support heart health. A high potassium content can help manage high blood pressure and prevent heart diseases.
Moreover, flavonoids like hesperidin which are present in oranges may also help protect your heart from any diseases. Along with this, certain isolated fiber content in citrus fruits also may help decrease blood cholesterol levels. This helps reduce the risk of heart problems.
Prevents Kidney Stones
citric acid and citrates are both believed to be effective in preventing the formation of kidney stones, and lucky for us, oranges contain both of these.
Therefore, please do not hesitate to eat a tasty orange to reduce the risk of developing a kidney stone. It’s a win-win situation!
Helps In Preventing Anemia
Anemia is a health condition in which the body does not have a sufficient amount of healthy red blood cells. This means that the level of hemoglobin in the blood is low, which results in a decrease in its ability to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Iron deficiency is the root cause of Anemia. Although oranges are not rich in iron, they’re a reliable source of organic acids like ascorbic and citric acid. This pair of organic acids is known to improve the body’s ability to absorb irons from the digestive tract. Therefore, although not a direct source of iron, oranges do help prevent anemia if paired with iron rich foods.
Your body experiences inflammation when your immune system is under attack. In the long run inflammation can cause further and more serious health complications. Vitamin C helps greatly in strengthening your immune system. Therefore, as oranges are a great source of vitamin C their consumption helps in strengthening your immune system. This will help in reducing and preventing inflammation in the body. Oranges also contain choline which is a crucial nutrient. Choline accommodates better transmission of nerve impulses and also helps the body in reducing chronic inflammation.
The health benefits of oranges extend further than the ones we’ve mentioned in the article. Some other health benefits include managing diabetes, better skin quality, preventing certain types of cancers and many more.
One of your favourite fruits out there is not only a very tasty one but also a very healthy one. They are an amazing source of vitamin C. Moreover, they also contain other crucial Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that carry numerous health benefits.
So go ahead and add an orange to your daily meal. Savour its amazing flavour whilst also reaping all the health and lifestyle benefits it offers!