Scientifically termed as Citrus x sinensis, oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Many are unaware that oranges are in fact a cross between the pomelo and mandarin fruit. A storehouse of nutrition and various other beneficial compounds, oranges can benefit your health in numerous ways.
The most popular types of oranges are blood oranges, navel oranges, acidless oranges and common oranges. Low in calories and packed with nutrients, these fruits can improve one's overall health. The wide popularity of oranges can be attributed to the natural sweetness and versatility, making it an ingredient for juices, jams, pickles, candied orange slices and even cosmetics .
A healthy source of fibre, vitamin C, thiamine, folate, and antioxidants, these fruits are a must include in your daily diet . So, continue reading to know about the various health benefits as well as the uses of these orange coloured sweet citrus fruits.
Nutritional Information Of Oranges
100 grams of oranges contain 0.12 g fat, 0.94 g protein, 0.087 mg thiamine, 0.04 mg riboflavin, 0.282 mg niacin, 0.25 pantothenic acid, 0.06 mg vitamin B6, 0.1 mg iron, 0.025 mg manganese and 0.07 mg zinc.
The remaining nutrients in raw oranges are as follows:
- 11.75 g carbohydrates
- 9.35 g sugars
- 2.4 g dietary fibre
- 86.75 g water
- 11 mcg vitamin A equiv.
- 30 mcg folate
- 8.4 mg choline
- 53.2 mg vitamin C
- 40 mg calcium
- 10 mg magnesium
- 14 mg phosphorus
- 181 mg potassium
Health Benefits Of Oranges
From improving your heart health to providing relief with dehydration, these fruits are a must include in your diet. Read on to know the different ways through which oranges can benefit your health .
1. Relieve constipation
A very good source of fibre both soluble and insoluble, oranges are good to keep your bowels moving. The fibre in them will bulk up your stools, thereby preventing irritable bowel syndrome. They also stimulate the production of digestive juices, improving digestion.
2. Regulate high blood pressure
Oranges are a rich source of magnesium, which will help regulate blood pressure. The flavonoid called hesperidin, which is naturally present in oranges also keeps our blood pressure under control.
3. Prevent cancer
These citrusy fruits are a powerhouse of vitamin C, which is a powerful anti-oxidant and immunity-boosting agent. Also, a compound called limonene, widely found in oranges, has been known to possess cancer-inhibiting properties. This compound works where our immune system fails. It detects cancerous cells and destroys them, preventing the onset of cancer.
4. Protect cardiovascular system
The anti-oxidants present in oranges fight the free radical damage and help prevent oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidised cholesterol tends to stick to the inside of the arteries and restrict blood supply to the heart, triggering a heart attack. The anti-oxidants help neutralise the effects of these free radicals and protect the heart from diseases. Regular consumption of oranges can help protect your body against heart diseases and promote heart health.
5. Boost immunity
Packed with vitamin C, oranges are known for its immunity boosting abilities. With a strong and stable immune system, our body is able to fight off infections better and prevent illness. Also, the polyphenols present in them is anti-viral, killing the virus entering our body before they can cause infections .
6. Purify blood
Oranges are natural cleansers. The flavonoids present in the fruits initiate enzyme activity in the body and help the liver flush out the toxins. The dietary fibre in them keeps the bowels moving, thereby eliminating the waste and unwanted substances out of the body. The detoxification property of oranges helps purify your blood .
7. Boost bone health
Oranges possess a good amount of vitamin D, which ensure the proper absorption of calcium and helps it reach the bones. Oranges also contain ascorbic acid, which helps in better absorption of calcium .
8. Improve oral health
Oranges are excellent in gum health. They strengthen blood vessels and connective tissue. They also prevent the development of plaque and coat the teeth in a protective layer, preventing corrosion . The vitamin C in orange reduces inflammation and also keeps the breath fresh for longer by killing bacteria responsible for bad breath and help keep white coated tongue at bay.
9. Prevent kidney disease
Studies have found that regular consumption of orange helps prevent kidney stones by expelling the excess citrate in the urine and reducing its acidity. Oranges also help the kidney function properly by preventing high blood pressure and controlling sugar levels, reducing the stress on them .
10. Prevent asthma
Regular consumption of oranges is known to decrease the frequency of asthma attacks. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the inflammation of airways . They also neutralise the oxidation damage by free radicals as they are known to increase inflammation and cause asthma. The flavonoids present in oranges decrease bronchial sensitivity.
11. Promote brain health
Oranges are also loaded with phytonutrients and folic acid that play an instrumental role in promoting the development of your brain. Be it your ability to concentrate or learn new things, this fruit can enhance your brain's ability to do things .
Healthy Orange Recipes
1. Fruit and cucumber relish
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped orange segments (2 medium oranges)
- ½ cup chopped cucumber
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeÑo pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine strawberries, orange segments, cucumber, onion, jalapeÑo, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, orange juice, honey and salt in a medium bowl.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
2. Orange and asparagus salad
- 8 ounces fresh asparagus
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Dash of ground pepper
- 1 medium orange, peeled and sectioned
- Discard the woody bases from asparagus and scrape off the scales.
- Cut the stems and cook it in a small amount of boiling water in a covered small saucepan for 1 minute.
- Drain it and cool the asparagus immediately in a bowl of ice water.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Whisk together orange juice, olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Add asparagus and orange sections and mix gently.
Side Effects Of Oranges
Controlled and small amounts of these fruits do not cause any adverse effect on your body. However, when consumed in large quantities - it can have some negative effects.
- Eating too much of oranges can cause constipation, diarrhoea or general stomach upset, due to the high amounts of fibre.
- The high acidity content in the fruit can worsen the symptoms of GERD.
- Avoid consuming oranges if you are taking medicines for high blood pressure because the fruit can cause your potassium levels to rise too high.