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Health benefits of consuming Oranges

One of the most popular fruits in the world is oranges. Oranges are low in calories, filled with vitamin C, and high in healthy fiber. Oranges are also sweet and delicious. The popularity of oranges is due in part to its great taste but also due to the many health benefits of oranges. 

We tend not to take notice of these common fruits precisely because they are so common. When looking to bolster our health or add something to a healthy diet, we can easily overlook the many health benefits of oranges. 

In addition to the vitamin C boost, oranges contain antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and can help prevent many serious diseases. The health benefits of oranges go well beyond the vitamins they contain. 

What exactly are oranges? What are the health benefits of oranges? How much nutrition do we get from oranges? This guide will give you all the information you need to get the most out of simple oranges. We will explain how to turn oranges into a powerful and healthy part of a daily diet. 

What are oranges?

Oranges are one of several fruits that belong to the plant family Rutaceae. The oranges we know are generally referred to as the sweet orange to distinguish it from another type of orange called the bitter orange. There are different varieties of sweet orange that arise from mutations in the main plant.  

Oranges originated in Southern China, Northeast India, and Myanmar. The earliest known mention of oranges is in the 4th century in China. Oranges are now the most cultivated plant in the world, growing in tropical and subtropical climates.  

The cultivation of sweet oranges accounts for 70 percent of the cultivated fruits in the world. Brazil cultivates the most oranges than any other country. 

Oranges benefits

Oranges can be eaten fresh off the tree, juiced, or preserved through canning. This partially accounts for the vast popularity of oranges but the popularity of oranges is also due to the health benefits. Most of us know oranges are healthy, but there are more health benefits to oranges that many of us know. 

The health benefits of oranges extend to nearly every part of our body and health.  

Fight cancer

We know oranges are a great source of vitamin C. What we may not know is that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can actively fight cancer. Vitamin C works as an antioxidant in the body. This binds with free radicals that can form and damages cellular tissue, including cellular DNA. This kind of cellular damage is one leading cause of many types of cancer. 

The massive dose of vitamin C eliminates these free radicals by binding with them and making it possible for the kidneys and liver to process them.

Help regulate blood pressure

Since oranges contain no sodium, they can help keep your sodium intake well below the recommended levels. Oranges do have a high potassium content—as much as 14 percent of the recommended daily amount. 

The combination of zero sodium and high potassium provides the ideal nutritional conditions for regulating healthy blood pressure. Sodium can elevate blood pressure and potassium is necessary for healthy blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. The natural mineral balance of oranges works to lower and regulate blood pressure. This significantly reduces your risk of strokes. 

Good for your heart

The abundance of potassium along with plentiful healthy fiber that is in oranges makes them great for your heart health. It is medically known that consuming sufficient fiber significantly reduces your risk of heart disease. 

In addition to the fiber, oranges contain 14 percent of the RDI of potassium. Potassium is known to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. 

Eases symptoms of diabetes

Just one medium-sized orange of about 130 grams provides more than 3 grams of healthy fiber. This is about 10 percent of your daily fiber requirement. Research has shown that getting enough fiber can ease symptoms of diabetes and slow the progression of diabetes. 

One study showed that as little as 4 grams of dietary fiber can reduce blood glucose levels in the body, and it improves the body’s receptivity to insulin. This greatly reduces the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. 

Another way to control diabetes is to avoid obesity. Obesity is one of the major causes of type 2 diabetes. Since the body processes fiber more slowly than other nutrients, it has the effect of making you feel full longer. This helps control appetite, and, by extension, helps reduce your risk of obesity. 

Good for your skin

The vitamin C in oranges is good for many aspects of your health. Vitamin C is also good for the health of your skin. Vitamin C helps with the production of collagen, which promotes the healing of wounds and improves the strength of your skin. 

A review of research from 2015 showed that the vitamin C in oranges can help skin health by promoting the production of collagen. This study found that people who consumed plenty of vitamin C had better skin elasticity, fewer wrinkles, and their skin was generally smoother. 

Prevents kidney stones

Kidney stones occur due to a build-up of crystals in the urine that eventually block the kidneys.  Oranges are a good source of citric acid and citrates, which are believed to help prevent kidney stone formation. Potassium citrate is often prescribed to patients with kidney stones. Citrates in oranges seem to have similar effects.

Oranges nutrition facts

The basic table of nutrients in a 100-gram orange are below:

  • Calories: 47
  • Water: 87%
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 11.8 grams
  • Sugar: 9.4 grams
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams

There is more information when we look at specific nutrients. 

Carbs

Oranges are mainly made up of carbs and water. There are little protein and not many calories. The sweetness from oranges comes from simple sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose. However, oranges have a relatively low glycemic index. This measures the rate at which sugars enter your bloodstream. The simple sugars in oranges give it this healthy glycemic index. 

Fiber

Oranges are loaded with healthy fiber. A large orange, about 180 grams, contains roughly 18 percent of your RDI of fiber. The main fibers found in oranges are pectin, cellulose, and hemicellulose. These are great for weight loss, maintaining digestive health, and cholesterol levels.  

Carotenoids

All citrus fruits are high in carotenoids antioxidants, which are responsible for their rich color.

  • Beta-cryptoxanthin. This is one of the most abundant carotenoid antioxidants in oranges. Your body converts it into vitamin A.
  • Lycopene. An antioxidant found in high amounts in red-fleshed navel oranges (Cara cara oranges), lycopene is also found in tomatoes and grapefruit. It has various health benefits.

Vitamins and minerals

Oranges are a fantastic source of some important vitamins and minerals. The main nutrients in oranges are:

  • Vitamin C. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. One large orange provides over 100% of the RDI.
  • 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. A high intake of potassium can lower blood pressure in people who already have high levels and may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Types of oranges

Like most common fruits, there are many varieties of oranges—too many to list here but some of the most popular varieties of oranges include:

Navel Oranges: This is the most popular variety. They are known for being sweet, seedless, and easy to peel. Navel oranges are loaded with vitamin C.

Blood Oranges: The blood orange stands out because of its bright red flesh. Blood oranges are similar to navel oranges in flavor and sweetness, but they have a unique additional flavor that is evocative of blackberries. Blood oranges are great in salads because of their unique flavor and appearance. Blood oranges are also great for making orange juice.  

Tangerine: This is a smaller variety. Tangerines have a soft skin that is easier to peel than a navel orange. Tangerines are high in vitamin C. 

Acidless Oranges: Known for what the name implies, acidless oranges are low in citric acid. Because they lack citric acid, acidless oranges tend to spoil easier than other varieties. 

Mandarin Oranges: Mandarins are smaller than regular oranges. They have loose skin that is easy to peel, and they are sweet. These are commonly eaten as snacks since they are seedless, easy to peel, and taste great. Because of the sweetness, mandarins are also popular in desserts.  

Seville Oranges: These are not as popular since Seville oranges tend to be on the sour side. But this same flavor signature makes them great for marmalades, relishes, and sauces. 

Bergamot Oranges: Bergamot oranges have a yellow to green color that is similar to a lime. They have a bitter and acidic taste. Bergamot oranges are grown primarily for their scent and are used in perfumes and in Earl Grey tea. 

Clementines: Clementines are a hybrid fruit. They are a cross between a willow-leaf orange and a sweet orange. Clementines have a deep orange color. They are smooth and glossy in appearance. Clementines are another great snack orange since they are sweet and easy to peel. 

Cara Cara Navel Orange: The Cara Cara navel orange, or red-fleshed navel orange, is like a combination of blood orange and a navel orange. It has a deep red flesh that’s sweet and low in acid. It has a complex flavor profile with hints of cherry and blackberry.

Trifoliata Orange: Trifoliate oranges native to northern China and Korea. They’re particularly interesting because they’re a bit downy, or fuzzy. They’re tiny oranges and are used most often to make marmalade.

Oranges side effects

The only known risk of consuming oranges is due to the acid content. People with gastroesophageal reflux disease may experience an increase in symptoms as a result of consuming oranges. These symptoms are primarily heartburn and regurgitation.  

Oranges FAQs

What are oranges? 

Oranges are one of several fruits that belong to the plant family Rutaceae. The oranges we know are generally referred to as the sweet orange to distinguish it from another type of orange called the bitter orange.

Are oranges good for my health? 

Oranges are loaded with vitamin C and healthy fiber and are a great part of a healthy diet. 

What are the health benefits of oranges? 

Oranges are known to help fight cancer, reduce blood pressure, reduce the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, promote heart health, and prevent strokes. 

Is there more than one type of oranges?

There are multiple varieties of oranges. The most popular are the sweet orange, navel oranges, and tangerines. Many types of oranges are used in cooking. 

Are there any risks to eating oranges? 

Oranges are generally safe for anyone to eat. People who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease may experience an increase in symptoms as a result of consuming oranges.

Conclusion

Oranges have long been a staple in most households. The simplicity of oranges and the great taste makes them ideal snacks for kids and just about everyone else. And orange juice at the breakfast table is another American favorite. 

But perhaps we overlook just how important oranges can be for our health. We all know that vitamin C in oranges is good for us. But oranges pack much more than a simple jolt of healthy vitamins. Oranges can help prevent cancer. Eating oranges can reduce our risk of developing cancer and heart disease. Oranges can help reduce the risk of stroke. 

There are also many types of oranges to choose from. The common navel orange is just one choice among many. Some oranges are even used to make certain types of perfume. Others are great for cooking and baking. A simple orange has much more to offer than a simple kid’s snack. They are incredibly healthy, and they are delicious. 

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