- writer, Nicola Shubrook
- introduction, nutritionist
Oranges are rich in vitamins and minerals, but can they really prevent cold? We take a closer look at how these citrus fruits can contribute to your well-being.
What is orange?
An orange is a round, segmented citrus fruit with a pitted pit.
Their taste can range from juicy and sweet to bitter depending on the variety.
The most common are Valencia, Seville and Hamlin oranges.
Most oranges are available year-round, with the exception of varieties such as blood oranges, which have a shorter season.
1. A good source of protective antioxidants
It is well known that citrus fruits, especially oranges, are rich in vitamin C, which has valuable antioxidant properties and helps protect cells from damage.
They are also high in carotenoids, including beta-cryptoxanthin, which the body converts to vitamin A and provides the blood orange lycopene. Oranges contain health-promoting compounds called flavanones.
Studies suggest that these phytochemicals support the body and help protect us against conditions such as heart disease and cancer – they are also said to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial effects.
Additionally, orange peels contain a certain amount of nutrients compared to the flesh, so recipes that include orange peels will give your diet an extra boost.
2. May support heart health
Studies have shown that one of these antioxidant compounds, called hesperidin, can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
This study also suggests that consuming citrus fruits as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A clinical study has shown that a glass of orange juice per day for four weeks has a blood-thinning effect and can lower blood pressure. Other studies suggest that including citrus fruits in the diet protects against cardiovascular disease by reducing oxidative damage and inflammation and improving blood vessel health.
3. May protect against kidney stones
Oranges are a good source of citrate, which helps prevent the formation of kidney stones.
4. May help prevent iron deficiency anemia
Oranges are not a reputable source of iron, but they are a good source of vitamin C and citric acid, two compounds that, when eaten with iron-rich foods, improve the absorption of this important mineral.
5. May promote improved brain function
Promising research has been conducted on the role of flavonoids in the diet, including improving memory and cognition as well as preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
However, it is too early to say whether oranges, in particular, have significant effects on brain health.
Are oranges safe for everyone?
Most of us can eat oranges safely as part of a balanced diet, but rare cases of allergy have been reported.
Also, if you suffer from heartburn, you may find that eating or drinking orange juice makes your symptoms worse. Finally, if you are prescribed certain medications, including certain blood pressure medications, you should be careful when consuming citrus fruits, including oranges.
This is because nutrients in fruit, such as potassium, can interact with your medications.