Hello and welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays! Today we are going to be squeezing some of the goodness out of the fruit most of us know as an orange.
Oranges originated thousands of years ago in Asia. Today, oranges can be found in various parts of the world. Some of the largest commercial producers of oranges include the Brazil, United States, China, India, and Mexico.
Oranges are round, pulpy flesh fruits that are orange in colour. Oranges are rich in vitamin C. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber. Oranges also provide a good source of vitamin B1, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin A, calcium, copper and potassium.
There are many different varieties of oranges. They are however, classified into basically three categories:
- Sweet orange or (citrus sinensis) – some popular varieties include: Valencia, Navel, Jaffa and Blood oranges.
- Bitter orange or (citrus aurantium)– some well-known varieties include: Bouquet de Fleurs, Chinotto, and Seville.
- Mandarin orange or (citrus reticulata) – have a more flattened look. Some popular varieties are known as tangerines and include: Clementine, Honey and Satsuma.
Oranges are more than just a tasty snack. They do more for us than just provide vitamins and minerals. Some researchers have highlighted some other potential health and beauty benefits of using oranges. Let’s take a look.
- Antioxidant protection
- Immune support
- Lower blood pressure
- Fight cancer – prostate cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer and even colon cancer
- Prevent kidney stones
- Lower cholesterol
- Protect against cardiovascular disease
- Prevent ulcers
- Reduce the risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Aid in digestion
- Prevent diabetes
- Brain development
- Aid in weight loss
- Fight viral infections
- Support bone and teeth health
- Improve vision
- Mild Aphrodisiac
- Improve blood circulation
- Reduce bad breath
- Maintain elasticity and strengthen arteries
- Reduce chronic inflammation
- Rejuvenate the skin
- Treatment of acne
- Remove blackheads
- Treatment of dark spots and blemishes
- Skin whitening properties
- Anti-aging benefits
- Good hair conditioner
- Stimulate hair growth
- Treat dandruff
Some possible health risk include:
- Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. Oranges are high in potassium and should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.
- Consuming too much potassium can be harmful for those whose kidneys are not fully functional. If your kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be fatal.
- Those with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience an increase in symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation when consuming highly acidic foods such as citrus fruit, however individual reactions vary.
- Excessive consumption of the juice can cause tooth decay or wear away tooth enamel due to its sugar and acidic content.
How to use oranges?
- Insecticide sprays are widely applied over most crops and orange crops are no exception unless they are organically grown. Therefore, it is recommended to wash the fruits in cold running water before use.
- Always juice them when they are at room temperature as they will produce more juice when warm.
- Rolling the orange under the palm of your hand on a flat surface will also help to extract more juice.
- If your require orange zest for your skin or a recipe, try to use organically grown oranges since most conventionally grown fruits will have pesticide residues on their skin and may be artificially coloured.
In closing, the potential benefits to be derived from oranges are amazing. However, I recommend using it in moderation rather than in isolation. Remember, it is our overall diet and eating patterns that will help us prevent disease and achieve optimal health. Cheers!
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend! 🙂