Orange you getting hungry?
By: Leanne Ely
They’re juicy and sweet, they’re featured in fruit baskets everywhere and they’re the unofficial poster-fruits of cold prevention-let’s talk about oranges!
Last week I wrote about bananas being the perfect portable snack. Oranges are also an excellent snack, but they’re not quite as easy to peel when you’re on the go, so they lose points for convenience. But what they lack in peel appeal, they make up for in nutrition. (Tip: Oranges are easier to peel if you roll them around on a flat surface with the palm of your hand to help loosen the peel from the fruit!)
So sweet and juicy, oranges are one of nature’s most indulgent desserts.
Sugary sweet and readily available year-round, oranges are a taste of sunshine anytime you need one. We’re very lucky, considering that once upon a time, oranges were very expensive and, as such, were enjoyed by the wealthy and only eaten by paupers on very special occasions.
Now we know that oranges are full of Vitamin C (one orange gives you more than 115% of your daily recommended dose of the stuff!), but why is Vitamin C so important? Because it’s great for our immune systems, it can reduce the risk of colon cancer and it can prevent colds. And scurvy (though that disease doesn’t seem to be a very big concern anymore! LOL).
But did you know oranges also have anti-inflammatory properties and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol? If that’s news to you, then you’d also probably be interested to know that oranges have also been shown helpful in aiding against Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, cataracts, gingivitis, cholera, MS, gallstones, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma and arthritis.
Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional benefits we can gain from these beautiful orange orbs:
Cancer prevention. Besides that Vitamin C helping to reduce the risk of colon cancer, citrus fruit can also protect against esophageal, stomach, laryngeal and phayngeal cancers. The beta-cryptoxanthin in oranges can help protect against lung cancer.
Antioxidants. There are more than 170 different phytonutrients in an orange and over 60 flavonoids. These have anti-tumor and antioxidant properties.
Fiber. An orange can give you 12.5% of your daily recommended amount of soluble fiber. That helps keep your blood sugar levels in check and helps keep you regular!
Kidney stone prevention. Eat an orange every day to help prevent the formation of painful kidney stones.
In addition to all of these nutritional benefits, oranges are also a rich source of calcium, potassium, Vitamin A, folate and thiamin.
Health benefits aside, oranges are high in sugar, so don’t overdo it on your daily fruit consumption!
Anyone else craving an orange right now?
When it comes to selecting the perfect orange, make sure you select organic oranges, especially if you’ll be zesting them. And avoid oranges with any trace of mold. Eew!
The oranges you bring home should be nice and heavy for their size—that means they’re juicy!
Peeled, segmented and snacked on, diced into a salad or juiced into a glass . . . what’s your favorite way to eat an orange? http://www.facebook.com/savingdinner