Long recognized as a powerful source of vitamin C, oranges are a favourite fruit to include in your 5-a-day. But are we taking this familiar fruit for granted? There are plenty of reasons to get really excited over this tasty and potent superfood.
Oranges contain high levels of vitamin A, antioxidants, flavanoids, phytochemicals, magnesium, calcium and fibre. To get the best out of them, eat the whole orange – not just the juice. This includes fibre, which can grab cancer-forming chemicals and stop them forming .
Oranges are rich in potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Two compounds (hesperidin and naringin) contained in the peel and white pulp have also been shown to lower blood pressure by elevating good cholesterol levels and lowering risks of clots. The hesperidin compound unites with pectin to prevent the body from absorbing fat that contributes to rising cholesterol.
Eating antioxidant-rich oranges after a workout will help manage all that muscle soreness. By controlling inflammation we are helping our muscles recover and repair. The strong anti-inflammatory properties in oranges also make them an excellent choice for painful joint conditions such as arthritis.
Oranges are particularly good glycogen-replenishing carbs, so combining half a glass with half a scoop of protein powder would make a good protein shake. You’ll also get more potassium than you would from a sports drink, which will help your body restore its fluid levels.
Eating an orange every day may be the best way to ward off cancer, according to Australian researchers. Oranges have the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits, and may cut the risk of some cancers by up to 50 per cent.
The antioxidants in all citrus fruits fight cancer by boosting the immune system, fighting the growth of tumours and normalising tumour cells. Oranges in particular get their rich colour from the antioxidant beta-cryptoxanthin. This compound can help ward off lung cancer, even in smokers.
Finally - don’t throw away the peel! The pulp is packed with the phytonutrient d-limonene. Studies show this can stimulate our antioxidant detoxification system, therefore stopping skin cancer before it’s even formed. You can add grated orange peel to meals, or try this Chocolate Covered Orange for a real treat.
Many people don’t associate oranges with building stronger bones. But they are a good source of calcium, as well as vitamin C, and this combination makes them a great food for preventing osteoporosis, bone disease and repairing bone cartilage.
Oranges help keep your skin youthful and healthy. Their high antioxidant levels ‘mop up’ free radicals, stopping them damaging skin cells and creating wrinkles.
There are many tasty recipes including orange pieces or peel. So if you want to boost your health, get in the habit of adding some orange to your meals every week.
I fear candied may not quite be the idea...I haven't had an orange in ages but they'll be on the next shopping list after this article. Reminds me what I am missing!
Does it count if they're eaten candied? I love those at Christmas!
I fear that like everything else, they are now grown for appearance, not flavour. I don't think they can be grown in the UK either except under glass. Pity - this article makes me really want an orange!
Oranges are my favourite fruit, but am regularly let down by the quality of them in recent years. What has happened to the juicy ones with thinner skin we used to have?