Delicious, juicy and rich in nutrients, oranges are the ideal fruit for general well-being and for preventing numerous pathologies. Let's discover together the characteristics and properties of this extraordinary citrus fruit.
Oranges are mainly composed of carbohydrates and water, have a low glycemic index and are a good source of fibre, so they are the ideal fruit for everyone, even for those suffering from glycemic imbalances.
Nutritional values per 100g of Oranges: Water 86.75 g kcal 47 Proteins 0.94 g Fats 0.12 g of which saturated 0.015 g Carbohydrates 11.75 g of which sugars 9.35 g Fiber 2.4 g Potassium 181 mg Calcium 40 mg Vitamin C 53.2 mg Choline 8.4 mg Glycemic index 43 Cholesterol 0 g
Fiber: Oranges are a good source of fiber, especially pectin, cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. A large fruit provides approximately 18% of the recommended daily dose, the benefits of which are the increase in the sense of satiety, the improvement of intestinal transit and the reduction of the absorption of simple sugars and fats, especially cholesterol;
Vitamin C: also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant very common in fruit and vegetables. One large orange can provide more than 100% of the recommended daily dose of this vitamin. Vitamin C represents an essential co-factor in the synthesis of proteins and hormones, contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, to the normal function of the immune system (even during and after intense physical exercise), to the formation of collagen, to the metabolism energy, the function of the nervous system, the reduction of fatigue and the increase in the bioavailability of dietary iron;
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): it is essential for cardiac, muscular and nervous function;
Folic acid (vitamin B9): Oranges are a good source of folic acid, an essential element for cell function and tissue growth. It is also useful for reducing both physical and mental tiredness and is very important for women's health, especially during pregnancy;
Potassium: Oranges are a good source of potassium, the essential mineral involved in blood pressure control, cardiac health, nerve transmission and hydro-salt exchange at the cellular level;
Calcium: it is the most abundant mineral in our body, essential for bones, muscles and nerves;
Hesperidin: one of the characteristic flavonoids of citrus fruits which is concentrated above all in the peel and in the albedo (the whitish internal part of the peel), associated with a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases;
Beta-cryptoxanthin: One of the most abundant carotenoid antioxidants present in oranges, precursor of vitamin A; Lycopene: carotenoid with a powerful anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and protective effect on the cardiovascular system, found in high quantities in red-fleshed oranges. Oranges: health benefits The synergy of the elements present gives oranges useful properties to support our health on various fronts. Let's see in detail.
✓ Oranges for heart health Studies have shown that regular consumption of oranges can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease which is currently the most common cause of premature death in the world.
✓ Cancer prevention According to a 2004 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the consumption of bananas, oranges and orange juice in the first two years of life can reduce the risk of developing childhood leukemia. As an excellent source of vitamin C, oranges can also help fight the formation of free radicals, which are responsible for the development of tumors. Additionally, adequate fiber intake is associated with a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.
✓ Oranges and prevention of kidney stones Oranges are a good source of citric acid and citrates, which are believed to play an important role in the prevention of kidney stones. This was also demonstrated by a 2013 survey, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, which followed over 194,000 people for eight years. The study would have demonstrated how the consumption of tea, coffee and orange juice would have a protective action against this condition.
✓ Prevention of anemia Anemia refers to the pathological reduction of hemoglobin (Hb) below normal levels which determines a reduced ability of the blood to transport oxygen and is often caused by iron deficiency. Although oranges are not rich in iron, they are an excellent source of organic acids, such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and citric acid which have the ability to increase the absorption of iron from the digestive tract. Therefore, when you have an iron-rich meal you can finish it off with an orange to help prevent anemia.
✓ Skin health Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant capable of helping fight skin damage caused by sun exposure and pollution, reduces wrinkles and improves the general structure of the skin. Furthermore, vitamin C plays an essential role in the formation of collagen, the main support system of the skin.
✓ Oranges strengthen the immune system. Drinking orange juice a day helps support the immune system. This effect is mainly due to the action of vitamin C, which protects against infections, stimulates the formation of antibodies and strengthens the immune system.
Oranges: how to use and store them
The orange season begins in October and ends in April/May;they can be stored at room temperature for about a week or up to two weeks in the fruit/vegetable compartment of the home refrigerator. Orange juice is a much loved drink all over the world but should be consumed immediately as exposure to oxygen causes the oxidation of its precious vitamins. Always prefer a healthy and delicious homemade juice over a packaged product, rich in preservatives and artificial colourings!
Here are some tips for adding oranges to your diet:
Oranges are a simple and complete snack, which can be consumed anywhere; just rinse them under running water to remove surface dirt and any pesticide residues and peel them;
Orange segments can be added to your winter salads or fruit salads;
You can use oranges to prepare a jam;
Orange juice can be used in your confectionery preparations as an alternative to sugar;
Orange peel can be used as a flavoring agent in the preparation of many dishes, sweet or savory;
Dried orange flowers and leaves can be used in the preparation of a herbal tea.