The Health Benefits of Oranges

Today I want to share some of the health benefits of oranges.  I eat oranges from time to time, but hardly ever drink orange juice.IMG_20140330_133951_148  It gives me heartburn, which is probably due to acid content.  I do love mandarin oranges though, I eat them 2 or 3 days a week.  They are one of my favorite fruits.

Oranges are known for their vitamin C, but oranges also have other important benefits.

Thanks to healthyeating.sfgate.com and Medical News Today for the information below, as always it is much appreciated.

1.  Oranges are full of soluble fiber, which is especially beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels.  Soluble fiber attracts water in your gut, forming a slow-moving gel.  As this gel substance travels through your intestinal tract, it picks up some of the excess cholesterol compounds and pushes them out through fecal waste.  Your cholesterol levels will go down over time, decreasing your risk of suffering from heart disease.

2.  Oranges provide potassium, an electrolyte mineral responsible for normal heart function.  Potassium works with other electrolytes, including calcium, magnesium and sodium, to carefully maintain fluid levels both in and around cells.  Steady fluid balance allows electricity to conduct through your system, making your heart beat.

3.  This is the one about vitamin C that everyone knows about, but here is some more information as to why vitamin C is important.  One of the roles of vitamin C is to protect cells by neutralizing free radicals.  When free radicals build up in your body, they cling to healthy cells, causing permanent damage.  Free radicals cause chronic diseases, like cancer and heart disease.  Getting adequate amount of daily vitamin C reduces your risk of developing these chronic conditions.

4.  Oranges are rich in vitamin A, which includes a group of compounds that protect your eyes.  Carotenoid compounds of vitamin A, like lutein, beta carotene and zeaxanthin, can help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a condition that leads to blindness.  Vitamin A allows your eyes to absorb light by keeping membranes surrounding your eyes healthy and also lessens your chances of having night blindness.

5.  According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of a compound found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit may lower ischemic stroke risk for women.  Those who ate the highest amounts of citrus had a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least.

6.  The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form (as in an orange) or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.  Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of your skin.

As you can see oranges have more to offer than just vitamin C.  I would encourage you to pick up some oranges, or as I do, mandarin oranges the next time you’re at the store.

Here are some recipes using oranges or orange juice.  Try them out and enjoy!

Orange Glorious

Orange Rosemary Chicken

Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad

Tangy Poppy Seed Fruit Salad

Orange Cilantro Rice

 

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