Oranges are ranked #3 of the World’s Favorite Flavors, right after chocolate and vanilla. Juicy and sweet and well-known for its high concentration of vitamin C, orange makes the perfect snack and add an exceptional tang to various recipes; it’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular fruits in the world . This fruit is commonly available from winter through summer with certain seasonal variations depending on the variety.
Orange is round citrus fruit with finely-textured skin that is, of course, orange in color just like its pulpy flesh; the surface can vary in thickness from very thick to very thin. Oranges generally range from approximately 2-3 inches in diameter.
Possible Health Benefits of Oranges
Oranges are one of the best sources of Vitamin C in the world 1 . Nutrients in oranges are abundant and diverse. This fruit is low in calories, contains no cholesterol or saturated fats, but rich in important antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals 2 . Here are some of the most impressive oranges health benefits:
- Lower Cholesterol
This fruit is rich in soluble fiber that can help reduce cholesterol levels.3
- Prevent Kidney Diseases
Note: The high acid content could wear away enamel and the high sugar content of fruit juices may cause tooth decay if consumed in excess. Consume orange juice in moderate amounts.
- Protect Against Cancer
Orange contains phytochemicals which protect against cancer. This fruit is rich in citrus limonoids, proven to help fight many types of cancer including that of the colon, stomach, breast, lung, and skin.6
Moreover, orange contains carotenoids, powerful vitamin A compounds. In accordance with 2 studies in Japan, consuming mandarin oranges can reduce liver cancer. 7
- Protect Skin
Orange is full of beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant, which protects the cells from damage. It can protect that skin from free radicals and can prevent the signs of aging.
- Prevent Chronic Diseases
Oranges are an abundant source of Vitamin C that protects cells by neutralizing free radicals, which can cause numerous chronic diseases, like heart disease and cancer.
- Boost Cardiovascular Health
Orange is rich in potassium, which is an electrolyte mineral that is responsible for supporting the heart function. When levels of potassium get too low, you can develop an abnormal rhythm of the heart, known as an arrhythmia.
- Fight Against Viral Infections
The research found that the abundance of polyphenols in this fruit protects against many viral infections.
- Support Eye Health and Protect Vision
As we mentioned before, oranges are rich in carotenoids that are converted to Vitamin A and can help prevent macular degeneration.
- Relieve Constipation
Full of dietary fiber, orange can help stimulate digestive juices and thus, relieve constipation.
- Regulate High Blood Pressure
Hesperidin, the flavonoid found in oranges, can help regulate high blood pressure. Plus, magnesium in this fruit helps maintain normal blood pressure. 10
- Prevent Weight Gain and Don’t Cause Blood Sugar Spike
Orange is a fruit that provides smart cards and doesn’t cause a blood sugar spike. Just like all fruits, orange has simple sugars in it, but it has a glycemic index of 40 (and anything below 55 is considered low). This actually means, as long as you do not consume too many oranges at one time, they cannot spike your blood sugar and cause issues with insulin or weight gain.
- Alkalize the Body
Even though oranges are acidic before we digest them, they actually contain many alkaline minerals, which help to balance out the body after digestion. In this contexts, they are really similar to lemon, which is one of the most alkaline foods in the world.
Orange Nutrition Facts
1 medium orange (about 154 grams) contains:
- 80 calories
- 250 milligrams potassium
- 0 grams’ fat
- 1-gram protein
- 19 grams’ carbohydrate (3 grams’ dietary fiber and 14 grams’ sugar)
One orange can provide 130% of your Vitamin C daily needs, 6% of calcium, 2% of Vitamin A needs, and 0% of iron.
This fruit also contains niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B-6, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, manganese, magnesium, copper, and selenium. Due to their high content of vitamin C content (over twice the daily requirement) oranges are linked with boosting the immune system.
Orange also contains carotenoids, choline, and zeaxanthin.
Choline is a significant nutrient found in oranges, which helps with muscle movement, memory, learning, and sleep. It also aids to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation, helps in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Carotenoids and zeaxanthin have antioxidant properties and have been proven to have an inverse relationship with prostate cancer, in particular, and overall cancer rates.
Selection and Storage
- In the northern hemisphere, the orange season starts in October and typically lasts until February.
- Buy fresh oranges which are steady, yet yield to gentle pressure.
- The greater the navel in an orange, the tasty it will be.
- Avoid overly soft fruits with mold and spots.
- Fresh orange has bright color, no wrinkles on its skin and feels heavy for its size.
- Moro oranges are also known as blood oranges, due to their bright red pulp.
- This fruit can be kept at room temperature for one week or so and keep well for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Place in some cool area away from excessive moisture, as they have a tendency to get mold very easily. Keep them loose in a fruit container.
- Store freshly squeezed juice inside the refrigerator compartment for later use.
- Store dried orange zest in a cool and dry place in a hermetic glass container away from moisture.
Preparation and Serving Tips
It’s simple to consume a fresh orange anytime or anywhere. Remember to wash them under running water to get rid of surface dirt and pesticide residues.
Making fresh orange juice at home is really easy and much better than some commercial beverages that may contain artificial coloring and preservatives. Always juice oranges when they are at room temperature because that way they will produce more juice when warmer. You could roll the orange under the palm of the hand on a flat surface to aid extract more juice. Likewise, it’s best to consume the juice at room temperature. The outmost part of the rind may be grated to make orange zest.
Organic oranges don’t have any chemicals and are best appropriate for zest preparation.
However, the insecticide is sprayed over most crops of oranges. It’s important to, at the very least, rinse the oranges in cold running water before usage, or even better, rinse them in a vegetable and fruit rinse.
People susceptible to foodborne illness should avoid drinking fresh-squeezed or unpasteurized juice that may contain harmful bacteria. These persons should stick to pasteurized juices.
Oranges are an abundant source of Vitamin C. They are also a great source of dietary fiber. Additionally, they are a good source of B-vitamins, such as vitamin B1, folate, and pantothenic acid, as well as potassium, copper, calcium, and Vitamin A. This fruit can prevent many diseases. Orange is on the list of world’s favorite flavors, right after vanilla and chocolate.