Oranges are the most popular and most consumed citrus fruit in the world. And with its juicy flavor and rich nutritional content, it’s easy to see why.
Loaded with vitamin C, oranges are also chock-full of other important vitamins and minerals that offer incredible health benefits.
From boosting your immune system to promoting dental and skin health, oranges prove to be a worthy addition to your nutritious meal plans.
Read on as we take a closer look at how this citrus fruit can boost your health by way of improving your digestion, protecting your heart, and reducing your cancer risk among its abundant impressive health rewards!
What is Orange?
Orange is one round citrus fruit that belongs to the Rutaceae family. Its rinds are leathery and oily, and its edible inner flesh is juicy.
Orange as citrus fruit, is acidic in nature with pH levels ranging from 2.9 to 4.0. Its taste depends on its sugar/acid ratio, which is more likely to improve later in the harvest.
This popular citrus fruit is commonly cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas. It is, however, extremely common no matter where you are in the world.
At present, Brazil leads the global production of oranges, producing about 30 percent of the world’s output. It is followed by the U.S., accounting for about 10 percent of the world’s production, and China at 8 percent.
Oranges also come in different varieties such as the navel orange, which is the most common variety sold in many supermarkets, particularly in America. Other varieties include blood orange, mandarin, tangerine, and clementine.
Orange: Nutrition Facts
Other than vitamin C, oranges are also an excellent source of other key nutrients. What’s more, it is also one of the most hydrating fruits with 87% water content.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database, oranges are an abundant source of vitamin A, containing 225 IU per 100 grams. This essential vitamin is crucial for eye health.
Aside from vitamin A, oranges also contain significant amounts of potassium, a mineral that also acts as an electrolyte. It is also a good source of vitamin C, calcium, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, and dietary fiber.
What are the Health Benefits of Oranges?
With its impressive nutritional profile, it’s no longer surprising why oranges are good for your health. Let’s dig deeper into the health perks of eating this nutritious citrus fruit:
Orange protects eye health
Eating foods that are loaded with vitamin A such as oranges can benefit your eye health. Vitamin A is integral for a healthy vision, reducing the risk of common eye impairments, especially among the elderly.
Aside from being rich in this important nutrient, oranges also have flavonoid compounds that guard the eyes against cataracts, macular degeneration, and even blindness.
Adding oranges to your regular nutrition can help protect the membranes lining your eyes, and as a result, maintain your eye health for years.
Orange relieves constipation
Oranges can also help prevent and relieve constipation, which occurs when you don’t get enough fiber and water in your diet.
Luckily, this citrus fruit is rich in both! Aside from being a good source of dietary fiber, which has been used for years to treat constipation, oranges are also abundant in water.
Containing 87 percent water, oranges help to make the passage of stool easier, preventing constipation.
Orange enhances mood
Looking for a mood booster? Try oranges! This fruit may also assist in reducing depressive symptoms and enhancing mood, especially when it is used for aromatherapy.
Its depression and anxiety-relieving benefits are attributed to its warm citrus aroma, which gives off a calming vibe.
The citrus flavonoids contained in oranges are also thought to improve serotonin levels, further contributing to the enhancement of mood.
For years, oranges have been used as a stress reliever as it is thought to also help decrease the levels of cortisol, which is the body’s stress hormone.
Orange helps to regulate blood pressure
Oranges also help to regulate blood pressure as they are a rich source of mineral-electrolyte potassium. This important nutrient helps to lower blood pressure by balancing the effects of sodium.
Aside from this beneficial effect, the potassium contained in oranges also helps improve kidney function by ridding the kidney of residue that may cause stones.
A healthy kidney also plays a crucial role in the regulation of blood pressure.
Orange boosts immunity
Looking to strengthen your immune system? Apparently, oranges also play a vital role in boosting your immunity.
Most of us probably already know that oranges are a great source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that strengthens immune defense by supporting cellular functions of the immune system.
Vitamin C contained in citrus fruits like orange was also found to help prevent and treat systemic and respiratory infections.
Orange promotes dental health
If you’re looking to keep your teeth and gums healthy, add oranges to your diet! Citrus fruits help to strengthen the tissues and blood vessels that support your teeth and gums.
Citrus orange also helps to reduce inflammation in the gums, thanks to its vitamin C content. Because it is loaded with vitamin C, oranges also prevent the risk of scurvy, a disease caused by the lack of this essential vitamin.
Orange prevents the growth of cancer cells
One of the prized benefits of oranges is its potential to prevent the risk of cancer.
As an abundant source of antioxidant vitamin C, oranges help to combat free radical damage, which is known to cause cancer.
Orange promotes heart health
Oranges also help to keep your heart healthy. The essential vitamins and compounds contained in oranges including vitamin C, fiber, and potassium all help to promote heart health.
Experts say that an increase in potassium consumption coupled with a decrease in sodium intake can significantly cut the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Oranges are also an excellent source of mineral-electrolyte potassium. Studies show that potassium reduces blood pressure in hypertensive people. Higher potassium intake was also linked to a lower risk of stroke.
Orange boosts sexual performance
Want to improve your performance in the sexual arena? Oranges may help, too! This citrus fruit is believed to contain mild aphrodisiac properties that can help boost sexual performance in both men and women.
Oranges help to address sexual problems like decreased libido and erectile dysfunction. Aside from boosting erection potency and sex drive, oranges also promote sex hormone secretion, contributing to a better sex life.
Orange boosts skin health
Good news to all skin care and beauty enthusiasts: Oranges are your friend!
Vitamin C also has beneficial effects on the skin as it supports the synthesis of collagen, the main structural protein found in your connective tissues and skin.
This essential nutrient also acts as a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your cells against oxidative damage, which causes skin aging.
Orange, being one of the richest sources of vitamin C, therefore help to give you healthier skin.
How to Add Oranges to Your Diet?
If you want to savor the amazing health benefits of oranges, it is essential to add them to your regular nutrition. Here are some delicious ways you can add this citrus fruit to your diet:
Mix chopped orange and orange peel with tomato, green onion, tomato, walnuts, and lime juice to make an orange salsa! Top your grilled chicken with this salsa for a zesty masterpiece!
Add oranges and nuts to your oatmeal for breakfast. This will surely perk up your day!
Enjoy the rich flavors of a grilled orange and chicken kabob! It’s a great lunch and dinner idea for a family lunch or dinner.
Throw some oranges to your salad bowl! It’ll surely please your taste buds and tummy.
Simply peel oranges and enjoy them as they are!
What are the Potential Risks of Eating Oranges?
As with other nutrient-dense foods, you should take oranges in moderation. While it is considered generally safe, eating excessive amounts of oranges may cause troublesome side effects.
These possible side effects include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, vomiting, and headaches.
People who have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications are also advised to watch their orange intake.
If you are taking beta-blockers, remember not to consume too many oranges. These medications increase the levels of potassium.
Mixing them with potassium-rich foods like oranges may cause excessive potassium in the blood, which could possibly lead to hyperkalemia.
Oranges prove to be a worthy addition to your regular nutrition, especially if you want to enjoy health perks such as better skin and dental health, stronger immunity, and reduced risk of heart disease and even cancer.
But while oranges exhibit promising health effects, it is important to consume them in moderate amounts, especially if you have a health condition or are taking certain medications.
It is still best to speak with your doctor first regarding adding oranges to your regular nutrition if you have these concerns.
Also, experts believe that it is best to eat a variety of nutritious foods than to focus on a single healthy staple, and to couple it with exercise, and adequate rest for optimum health.