If you are a citrus fruit lover, you probably love your oranges. Citrus sinensis, or sweet orange, is a variety that people often like for its freshness and flavor. The sweet orange tree originated in China thousands of years ago and now grows in many parts of the world, including the India, United States, Mexico, and Spain.
Oranges are a treasure trove of nutrients and protective compounds, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Research shows that eating oranges regularly can benefit your health in many ways.
This article explains everything you need to know about oranges, including their nutritional value, potential health benefits, and more.
Here is the nutritional breakdown for 1 orange (140 grams):
• Calories: 66
• Water: 86% by weight
• Protein: 1.3 grams
• Carbohydrates: 14.8 grams
• Sugar: 12 grams
• Fiber: 2.8 grams
• Fat: 0.2 grams
• Vitamin C: 92% of the daily value (DV)
• Folate: 9% DV
• Calcium: 5% DV
• Potassium: 5% DV
Like most fruits, oranges are high in carbohydrates and water, low in protein and fat, and low in calories.
Orange is a good source of fiber. One orange (140 grams) contains about 10% of the DV. Getting enough fiber every day is essential for overall health and helps keep your digestive system healthy by regularly supporting and replenishing beneficial bacteria.
Additionally, fiber-rich foods have many benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and obesity. Oranges are also high in some nutrients, especially vitamin C and folate. One 140 gram orange covers 92% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
This water soluble food is important for your health. Your body uses it for immune function, collagen synthesis, iron absorption, etc. Folate is a B vitamin that plays a role in metabolism, fetal and placental development, and many other important processes. In addition to vitamin C and folate, oranges provide a few other nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and thiamin (vitamin B1).
Oranges are a good source of fiber and a great source of vitamin C and folate, among many other beneficial nutrients.
Rich and valuable garden Oranges are a good source of various bioactive plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These include flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C.
Oranges are full of phenolic compounds, especially flavonoids, which provide many of its anti-inflammatory properties.
• Hesperidin. A citrus flavonoid that is one of the main antioxidants in oranges, hesperidin can have hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects in the body.
• Naringenin. Naringenin is another citrus flavonoid that has been linked to health benefits. Drinking orange juice containing naringenin can help improve blood vessel function and boost the body's defenses.
All citrus fruits are rich in carotenoid antioxidants, responsible for the rich orange, red and yellow colors. One study found that drinking fresh orange juice helped increase the body's levels of carotenoids, which are good indicators of adequate antioxidant levels.
• Beta-cryptoxanthin This compound works as an antioxidant in the body, protecting cells against oxidative damage. Additionally, your body can convert beta-cryptoxanthin into active vitamin A.
• Lycopene Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in many of the red navel oranges (Cara Cara oranges). It has various health benefits, and getting enough of it in your diet can help protect you from heart disease.
Vitamin C is one of the best known and most studied antioxidants. It is important to continue eating foods and drinks rich in vitamin C such as oranges. High dietary intake and blood levels of vitamin C have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and death from all causes.
Oranges are the source of many plant compounds that may account for their many health benefits.
Health benefits of oranges
According to research, regular consumption of citrus fruits, such as oranges, can benefit your health in many ways.
Helps promote heart health
Heart disease is now the leading cause of premature death worldwide. Many nutrients and compounds in oranges, including vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenoids, can help improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease if you eat them at optimal levels. In addition, drinking oranges and orange juice regularly can help reduce the risk of heart disease. A review of 10 high-quality studies found that drinking orange juice reduced several risk factors for heart disease, including levels of:
• Blood sugar
• LDL (bad cholesterol)
• C-reactive protein (CRP)
A citrus-rich diet can protect against chronic disease
In addition to protecting heart health, drinking oranges and other citrus fruits regularly can help reduce the risk of other health problems, including some types of cancer and diabetes. Studies show that a diet rich in citrus fruits can help reduce the risk of various types of cancer, including:
• lung cancer
• oral cancer
• Stomach cancer
• Cancer of the neck
In addition, a diet containing fruits, including citrus fruits, can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study of more than 7,000 Australian adults found that those whose total fruit intake included oranges and other citrus fruits were 36% less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes at age 5, compared to those who ate lowest fruit. Keep in mind that this study found benefits from eating fruit, in general, and did not exclude benefits from eating whole oranges, specifically. Also, he did not find the same beneficial effect in those who drank fruit juice. This is because fruit juice contains less fiber and has a greater effect on blood sugar levels than whole fruit. Although citrus fruits can help reduce the risk of certain health conditions if you eat them regularly, remember that your diet and overall lifestyle are more important than any one food. .
Prevention of anemia
Eating foods rich in vitamin C can help prevent anemia, a condition that occurs when your body doesn't have enough iron. Although oranges are not a good source of iron, they are a good source of vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron.
One study found that adding 120 grams of oranges to meals containing rice or flat bread containing lentils or saag increased iron bioavailability by 10.7%. Try adding a little orange juice to lentil and bean dishes, or add orange segments to vegetable salads to help improve iron absorption.
Can help in immunity
Regular consumption of fruits, which are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds, can help boost the immune system. Oranges and other citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin C. This nutrient is important for the functioning of immune cells such as killer cells.
It is also important for a process called apoptosis, in which old, damaged cells die, and are shed and replaced with new, healthy cells. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and helps protect against the process of oxidative damage, which can affect health negatively and increase disease. Several other compounds in oranges, including hesperidin and naringenin, have anti-inflammatory activity.
Chronic illness can negatively affect the body's immune response, so regularly eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties can help support immune function. Fiber is another nutrient that oranges provide that can help improve overall health. Your body needs fiber to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria, which affects the development and function of the immune system.
Oranges can be beneficial for heart health, reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, improve iron absorption and support the immune response.
The bottom line
Oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the world - they are as nutritious as they are delicious. They are a good source of vitamin C, as well as many other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Some studies show that eating citrus fruits such as oranges regularly can help reduce the risk of certain health problems, such as heart disease. Simply put, this bright citrus is a great addition to a healthy diet.