Health Benefits of Oranges
The beloved fruit for which the colour Orange was named, is literally bursting with nutritional goodness including Vitamin A (as a result of Beta-carotene), Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, alkaline minerals, calcium, carotenoids, citrus limonoids, flavonoids such as hesperidin, folate, magnesium, polyphenols, potassium and soluble fibre like pectin.
This juicy fruit is perennially popular with the general public at large due to its striking colour, sweet and tangy juiciness and outstanding health benefits including but not limited to;
Alkalization Much like lemons, oranges are also pretty acidic and actually alkalize, or provide proper PH balance, to the body.
Anti-cancer properties Oranges contain carotenoids (responsible for producing Vitamin A in the body) Vitamin C, and limonoids, all of which fight off numerous forms of cancer including those of the breast, colon, larynx, liver, lungs, mouth, pharynx, skin and stomach.
Arthritis Vitamin C reduces the painful inflammation commonly associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Blood health Both Vitamin B6 and iron produce healthy hemoglobin in the body, increase blood oxygen and purify the blood.
Bone and teeth health Calcium intake is crucial for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums and can prevent gingivitis. Vitamin C also repairs bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
Brain health Ingesting citrus fruits such as oranges have indicated promising benefits for the brain including effectiveness against Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Diabetes Oranges have a low glycemic index, or GI, of 40 and they will not cause problems with blood sugar or insulin, provided they are eaten in moderation.
Digestive health The decent but not overwhelming amount of fibre in oranges help keep the digestive tract and colon flushed of toxic wastes and can relieve constipation, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Eye health Vitamin A maintains healthy eye tissue, promotes better vision and protects the eyes against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Healthy pregnancy Folate is a highly doctor-recommended B vitamin for pregnant women because it stimulates proper growth of the baby and prevents birth defects. Vitamin C also aids in healthy development of the fetus.
Heart health The orange’s wealth of fiber (namely Pectin) Vitamin C and hesperidin help to lower high cholesterol and combat atherosclerosis. Potassium prevents arrhythmia and can lower and regulate high blood pressure. Magnesium also plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Oranges are a cholesterol-free, sodium-free and almost fat-free food.
Immune system health Vitamin A, Vitamin C and carotenoids all boost your immune system and can fend off a slew of ailments ranging from the common cold to the flu to ear infections. The polyphenols in oranges are particularly effective in staving off viral infections.
Kidney disease Oranges have been shown to reduce the risk of contracting kidney disease and can prevent the development of kidney stones.
Respiratory system health Oranges, which contain important phytonutrient compounds and limonoids, can protect us from quite a few respiratory illnesses including asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis and cancers of the lungs and mouth.
Anti-oxidant properties Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Beta-carotene are all strong anti-oxidants which war against cell-damaging free radicals, prevent the signs of premature aging and promote radiant, supple skin, healthy, bouncy locks and strong, resilient nails.
And ladies the skin is excellent for the skin
Energy Athletes in the know use oranges for quick bursts of energy. They are the perfect pre-workout snack.
Fibre One medium size orange contains an abundance of 3.1 grams. Fibre will keep your body and bowels regularly flushed out which results in a more steady weight loss.
Nutritional intake One medium orange contains only an approximate 62 calories, no sodium, no saturated or trans fat and a minuscule 0.2 grams of total fat, making it an almost perfect treat for waist-watchers.
COOKING / CONSUMPTION
There is nothing quite like keeping it simple and sinking your teeth into a sweet and tangy orange and gleefully letting its juice dribble down your throat and chin, my best tip is in the skin, its fantastic for cooking with great health benefits, personally I peel the skin away and reserve in olive oil in my fridge that way I always have zest on hand when I need it and a handful added to your favorite hot pot, curry or soup adds an extra component of healthy flavor. The peel contains more than four times as much fibre as the fruit inside, and more tangeretin and nobiletin—flavonoids with anticancer, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you want to try an oldie but a goodie, oranges make for incredible marinades and sauces for your favorite lean proteins. Try this Chicken and orange dish on for size:
Juice and zest one orange into a bowl and set aside. Combine 2 Tbsp of buckwheat flour and ¼ tsp salt and pepper each into another bowl, dredge four skinless boneless chicken breasts in the mixture and pan-fry in some peanut oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm. In that same pan, add 1 cup of green ginger wine and let burn off for a minute. Take the remainder of the flour, 1 cup of chicken broth, the orange juice and zest, ½ cup of raisins, 2 tbsp of honey, a tiny pinch of cinnamon and ¼ tsp salt and add to the pan. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to a simmer, return the chicken breasts to the pan and let them soak up all that thickening sauce for a good ten minutes. This outrageously delicious concoction is terrific served over black rice, quinoa and a smashing of your favorite seasonal salad ingredients and a dollop of Greek style yogurt.
Poach them in your favorite spices, I love them with star anise, cinnamon and five spice and ricotta cream.
Stuff the middle of your roast bird whatever it is, an with orange and squeeze the delectable juices into your sauce.wrap in prosciutto and roast with green olives, currants and almonds.
Zest up your salads add fennel, watercress, beetroot and some Australian Aniseed Myrtle spice and pomegranate seeds for great tasting Zing.
For a sweet and satisfying treat, particularly quenching on a hot summer’s day, whip up a healthiness version of the classic Orange Julius, which is essentially a cross between a smoothie and a milkshake. In a blender, add 3/4 cup of frozen orange juice, 1 cup of coconut or milk kefir, 1 tsp chai seeds, ½ cup of water, ¼ cup of Manuka honey, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 1.5 cups of ice cubes and blend until smooth and frothy. Enjoy!
“A man ought to carry himself in the world as an orange tree would if it could walk up and down in the garden, swinging perfume from every little censer it holds up to the air.” ~Henry Ward Beecher