Oranges: Everything you need to know

Table of Contents

Oranges are a type of low calorie citrus fruit which is highly nutritious. Oranges contribute to good, clean skin as part of a balanced and varied diet, which can help lower the risk of many conditions for a individual.

Oranges are common because of their natural sweetness, the many different varieties and the variety of uses available. A person can use them in juices and marmalades, use them whole, or use zested peel to add a tangy taste to cakes and desserts, for example.

This famous citrus fruit is best known for its content with vitamin C. Oranges, however, contain a number of other plant compounds and antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and work against illness.

We look at the many health benefits of oranges in this article, their nutritional profile, and how to incorporate more in the diet.

Benefits

The orange nutrients provide a variety of benefits for the wellbeing. Those benefits are explored in more detail in the following sections.

Cancer

Oranges

As an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, oranges can help fight cancer-causing free radicals.

While an adequate intake of vitamin C is necessary and very helpful, the amount that a person will need for the desired therapeutic effect on cancer is more than they should consume in practical terms.

One research, for example, suggested that medical scientists could harness the power of vitamin C from oranges to inhibit potential colorectal cancer cells. The writers admit, however, that it will require 300 oranges worth of vitamin C.

That said, a report in 2015 linked grapefruit and orange juice to an increased risk of skin cancer. Researchers noticed that people who ate large quantities of whole grapefruit or orange juice were more likely than those who ate small amounts to develop melanoma for over a third. This may have been attributed to citrus compounds conducting photocarcinogenic properties.

The effects of orange intake on cancer risk need to be verified by further studies.

Blood pressure

Oranges do not contain sodium, which helps to keep an person below their daily limit. On the other hand, a cup of orange juice will increase the daily intake of potassium by 14%.

Maintaining a minimum intake of sodium is important in lowering blood pressure. However, increasing potassium intake can be just as effective in reducing a person’s risk of high blood pressure, as it can help promote blood vessel relaxation and opening.

— potassium intake will minimize the risk of high blood pressure and stroke, the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) says.

Heart health

Oranges are a good source of potassium and fiber which can also help heart safety.

Consuming enough fiber will dramatically reduce the risk of developing and fatal heart disease, according to one 2017 analysis of previous meta-analyses. The analysis links the effect to their ability to reduce blood cholesterol levels.

One cup of orange juice will supply 14 percent of the daily potassium requirement of a human.

The ODS found that people with higher intakes of potassium may have lower risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. They attribute this primarily to potassium’s effects on blood pressure.

Diabetes

A medium orange weighing 131 grams (g) contributes 3.14 g of fibre, almost 10 percent of the daily fiber requirement of an adult. Several studies have found that fiber can improve certain factors which contribute to the development and progression of diabetes.

For example, one study in 2019 showed that consuming 4 g of a dietary fiber supplement a day did not reduce blood glucose but improved how insulin is reacted to by the body. Low sensitivity to insulin can help with type 2 diabetes.

Weight management is also important in reducing the risk of diabetes, because obesity and overweight can contribute to type 2 diabetes development. The body absorbs fiber more slowly than other nutrients and it can make a person feel fuller for longer and decrease their desire to eat snacks all day.

Following a diet that includes a high proportion of fruits and vegetables will help regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and development of the disease. Having said that, a diabetes-friendly diet would include nutritious foods from a number of food groups.

Skin

Consuming adequate vitamin C will help preserve a person’s skin health and appearance.

Vitamin C helps to generate collagen. Collagen protects the skin, facilitates wound healing and strengthens tissue.

The result of a 2015 study indicates that dietary vitamin C has changed how people interpret their skin health and how healthy it has actually been, including texture, wrinkling, elasticity, and roughness.

Nutrition

One medium orange weighing 131 g provides:

  • 61.6 calories
  • 0.16 g of fat
  • 237 milligrams of potassium
  • 15.4 g of carbohydrate
  • 12.2 g of sugar
  • 1.23 g of protein

According to United States Department of Agriculture recommendations, the same orange contains the following percentages of a person’s daily requirement for many essential vitamins and minerals:

NutrientPercentage of daily requirement for adults
Vitamin C92.93% for females and 77.44% for males
Thiamin10.36%
Folate9.83%
FiberAt least 9.34%, depending on age and sex
CalciumBetween 4.36% and 5.24%, depending on age
Potassium5.04%

Oranges also contain choline and zeaxanthin.

Within oranges, choline is an essential nutrient that helps with sleep, muscle function, learning and memory. Choline also helps relay nerve impulses, helps consume fat and decreases chronic inflammation.

Zeaxanthin is a form of antioxidant carotenoid, which can reduce inflammation. It can be beneficial for heart, liver, skin and eye safety, according to a 2019 study.

Diet

During the height of their maturity it is possible to choose oranges. Like some other fruits, after picking they don’t mature or increase in price. People can store oranges away from direct sunlight, at room temperature.

Ripe fruits and vegetables can be hard to find in winter. It is also the best time to buy citrus fruits. With oranges, and other citrus, winter is the best season.

Several forms of orange are available including:

  • navel
  • mandarin
  • Cara Cara
  • blood oranges
  • Valencia
  • Seville
  • Jaffa

Here are some tips for using orange in the diet:

  • Place a bowl filled with new seasonal fruit on a kitchen table or counter. Seeing readily available fruits would probably influence people choosing them as a snack, rather than searching the cupboards for a less healthy choice.
  • Using strawberries, pineapples, mandarin oranges and grapes to make a fruit salad.
  • For lunch or dinner add some orange slices to a salad. Walnuts or pecans, a crumbled cheese, and a light balsamic or citrus vinaigrette dressing accompany the oranges.
  • Make homemade juice. Freshly squeezed orange juice can be a flavorful, refreshing, and nutritious addition to a person’s morning routine. Squeezing orange juice at home will mean that there are no added preservatives or sweeteners.

Risks

People with gastroesophageal reflux disease may experience increased symptoms when eating citrus fruits, such as heartburn and regurgitation. That is because of their high content of acids.

A individual can achieve and maintain good health by consuming a varied diet containing many different types and food groups.

Q:

Do oranges provide more benefit than lemons?

A:

When comparing foods, compare what people normally consume. For example, people rarely eat lemons, but they might drink their juice. Therefore, compare fresh lemon juice to orange juice.

Lemon juice has several advantages over orange juice: It is lower in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar, and it has slightly more vitamin C and water content.

Consuming a variety of plants is ideal for health. In this case, eating oranges — which contain fiber that slows down carbohydrate absorption — and enjoying fresh lemon juice in water, on fish, or over vegetables is the best of both worlds. Natalie Butler, R.D., L.D.

Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

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