We all know the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but how many people know the health benefits of oranges? Oranges are a juicy and delicious fruit that can be enjoyed in many ways. They are delicious on their own or used as part of a meal. You can also add natural orange juice into smoothies or use them in cooking. In this FITin56 article, we will discuss 11 health benefits of oranges.
Health Benefits of Oranges
1. Natural virus fighter and helpful in disease prevention
The polyphenols found in oranges help protect the body against viruses, reducing the risk of infection and helping to heal faster if infections are contracted. Vitamin C in oranges also helps prevent free radicals from damaging the body, reducing the risk of a number of diseases.
2. Can help protect against cancer
Oranges are full of limonoids which are phytochemicals that help the body ward off lung, skin, stomach, breast, and colon cancers. Mandarin oranges can help reduce liver cancers as well because they contain carotenoids.
3. Help prevent kidney disease
Drinking pure orange juice on a regular basis can help prevent kidney stones from developing and also reduce the risk of kidney disease. Orange juice does contain a lot of sugar which is bad in large doses, so enjoy a glass daily but don’t go overboard with your juice intake.
4. Oranges are smart carbohydrates
Oranges will not cause your blood sugar to drastically increase when eaten, as they have a glycemic index of 40. This means that eating an orange will not necessarily cause raised insulin levels or cause you to gain weight. This only counts if you limit your intake to one at a time, though. Eating too many at once will negate this effect.
5. Protect the skin from aging
Oranges contain beta-carotene, which is a known anti-oxidant that helps the human body fight off free radicals. The damage from free radicals can cause premature aging of the skin. An orange a day will help you keep that youthful glow for longer.
6. Good for your eyes
Oranges are full of carotenoids which the body converts into vitamin A. This helps protect your eyes against macular degeneration and keeps your eyes healthy for longer.
7. Good for your cholesterol levels
The soluble fiber found in oranges naturally helps lower cholesterol levels in your body. The fibers also helps with digestion and prevention of constipation.
8. Good for your heart
Oranges are packed full of potassium which helps the heart function properly. Getting enough potassium in your diet helps avoid arrhythmia.
9. Oranges are a natural alkalizer
Minerals found in oranges help the body achieve balance once they are digested. Even though they start out acidic, they become alkaline once eaten and help balance the pH levels in the body.
10. Help keep blood pressure normal
Hesperidin, a flavonoid found in oranges, helps regulate your blood pressure and prevent hypertension. Magnesium in oranges also helps keep blood pressure stable.
11. Oranges are full of nutrition
Besides Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, B2, B6, Vitamin E, and the Vitamin A precursors found in oranges, there is calcium, magnesium, folate, potassium, pectin and various antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein (both of which are great for eye health), alpha- and beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These add to the many health benefits of oranges already discussed.
Some Interesting Facts about Oranges
Oranges are the largest of all citrus crops currently grown worldwide. Citrus fruits were instrumental in preventing scurvy aboard ships in the 18th century. Oranges were actually a well-received gift in England during the reign of Queen Victoria. Out of all possible flavors, orange comes in third, only beaten out by chocolate and vanilla.
Besides the many health benefits of oranges, they are fun and tasty to eat and are quite easy to come by. Aside from eating this delicious fruit, you can also make your own fresh orange juice at home to enjoy all the benefits without added sugars.
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