Oranges are citrus fruits found all over the world. Its origin is traced to Southeast Asia from where it spread to other parts of the world. Orange has three parts-outer peel which is green/pale yellow in colour and tough, inner white peel and the pulp.
The family of oranges includes grapefruits, tangerines and the most commonly seen ones, pomelo. Oranges are available the whole year round and serve as deserts and snacks to a lot of people.
Oranges contain water, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals. However, oranges do not have fat, cholesterol and sodium.
The inner peel (like the outer peel) of oranges contain fibre (lots of it), flavonoids, vitamins A and C . Naicin, folates and several others. However, the outer peel though not poisonous is not readily eaten; the inner peel is quite delicious and very rich in fibre. Drinking the juice alone is not enough.
The greatest producers of oranges in the world are Brazil, USA,, Mexico, India and China.
There are two main varieties of oranges:-sweet and bitter.
We must add that too much orange can be harmful; two or three oranges a day are enough. When consumed in large quantity, oranges can cause diarrhea because of the fibre; the acid in oranges can cause heartburn and bloated stomach; the sugar in orange when several oranges are consumed at once can increase the blood sugar; and finally, plenty of potassium which can result from excessive consumption of oranges is dangerous to the heart.
Oranges are best stored in the open or in the fridge to avoid molding.
1. Rehydrates body and supplies nutrients
Oranges are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body to eliminate toxins. Oranges also have carbohydrates, mainly sugar and fibre. Thus oranges are a source of energy. Oranges also contain a little protein, a lot of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and some minerals such as calcium. The body needs all the nutrients for proper functioning.
2. Cares for your skin.
Oranges contain a lot of anti-oxidants which are known to fight free radicals in our body. Free radicals are partly responsible for the accelerated aging of the cells in our body including the cells of the skin. Oranges therefore can slow down the aging of the skin, making the skin fresh and healthy.
3. Fights cancers –
Oranges contain a lot of fibre which encourages bowel movements. In this way oranges help prevent cancer of the colon. Oranges also contain plenty of vitamin C which is an anti-oxidant, this reduces damage to cells of the colon by free radicals; in this way oranges again help to prevent cancer of the colon.
4. Strengthens our body defense.
Oranges help to increase our immunity and hence our ability to fight infections especially viral. This is due to vitamin C and flavonoids in oranges.The vitamin C in orange stimulates the production of white cells in our body, the cells that fight viruses and bacteria in our body.
5. Aids in weight loss and Bowel Movement
Due to its low calorie and high water content, orange is ideal for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber in oranges are very effective in riding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of oranges can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation. The fibre contained in orange makes one feel full easily and longer without taking in plenty of calorie.
6. Reduces cholesterol and Regulates Heart Function
Oranges contains dietary fiber, folate, pectin and herperidin, which directly promote the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. Eating an orange a day helps to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Hesperidin and the pectin in oranges have been shown to lower bad cholesterol, the concentration of hesperidin is considerably higher in the inner peel, rather than in orange flesh.
Pectin appears to slow the body’s absorption of fats and lower cholesterol levels.
Oranges have plenty of soluble fibre; high intake of soluble fibre reduces absorption of cholesterol and bile acid (which are also rich in cholesterol) from the small intestines, thereby reducing blood cholesterol level.
When soluble fibres are broken down by bacteria in the intestines, some fatty acids released are said to reduce the production of cholesterol by the liver. By lowering blood cholesterol, fibres help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Oranges also help in lowering blood pressure by its fibre and also because of flavonoid contained therein; studies have shown that a flavonoid called hesperidin and magnesium in oranges can lower high blood pressure.
7. Promotes joint health, Relieves arthritis pain.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, oranges help in relieving arthritis pain and stiffness of muscles and joints. In a study at the Arthritis Research Campaign Epidemiology Unit in the UK, suggested that one glass of freshly squeezed orange juice per day is associated with a reduced risk of developing inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Orange Helps Reduce Risk of Stroke
Oranges contain a lot of fibre as said earlier; by lowering blood cholesterol, fibres help to reduce the risk of stroke which is associated with high blood cholesterol Level. Stroke results from narrowing/blockage or rupture of blood vessels supplying blood to the brain.