Juicy, sweet and a virtual reservoir of vitamin C, oranges are a baseball-sized food simply packed with nutrition. Cultivated since ancient times, oranges belong to the family of citrus species. (Orange trees are the most cultivated fruit trees in the world.)
It is believed that oranges first originated in India. In Europe (Spain, Portugal and Italy) sweet oranges were first imported from India. From there, Spaniards brought oranges to South and North America.
Oranges contain a wealth of nutrients including calcium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber and much more. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of eating yummy and nutritious oranges:
SKIN: As we grow old, our skin tends to lose its elasticity. With some 170 different phytochemicals and more than 60 flavonoids, oranges are loaded with powerful antioxidants (including vitamin C) that help slow down the aging process, keeping your skin looking healthy and glowing. The secret to a radiant skin and wrinkle prevention doesn’t lie in expensive creams, but rather what you choose to put into your mouth. So for beautiful looking skin, its simple – eat oranges!
VISION HEALTH: The presence of vitamin A and carotenoid compounds in oranges are known to contribute to eye health by improving vision and protecting against age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in elderly Americans).
HEART HEALTH: This delicious fruit contains soluble fiber and flavonoids such as hesperidin that work together to keep your arteries smooth and flexible. The soluble fiber removes toxins (including cholesterol) from the body and thus brings cholesterol down.
BLOOD PRESSURE: Oranges are a fantastic source of potass
ium, the mineral superstar that is highly effective in bringing blood pressure down. The one two punch of eating oranges: lower cholesterol and blood pressure, makes this a superb food for preventing heart disease.
CANCER: Oranges boasts of a compound known as D–limonene that helps prevent skin, lung and breast cancer. In addition to the presence of vitamin C, numerous other powerful antioxidants in this fruit further boost immunity to combat cancer cells.
BOWEL HEALTH: Oranges are packed with dietary fiber that help relieve constipation and maintain a healthy digestive system. The combination of fiber and powerful plant antioxidants are thought to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Oranges are true heart healthy food that not only boost immunity but protect against several chronic diseases and reduce cholesterol. At a mere 60 calories per fruit, oranges can also help in weight loss.