Discover the amazing health benefits of oranges.
After long months exposed to the sun’s rays, the orange is offered in the middle of winter as a juicy gift of vitamins and minerals that strengthens the defenses.
In winter, time for oranges. Taking them as fruit or in juice is one of the best options to fill yourself with energy and protect yourself against infections.
But they also offer a huge variety of possibilities to experiment in the kitchen. The uniqueness of this citrus so present in our daily life is such that it even defines one of the colors of the rainbow, orange.
The sweet orange has its origin in the Far East, from China to the Malay Peninsula, although there are those who place it specifically in Vietnam. Oranges are related to the golden fruits of the Garden of the Hesperides in Greek mythology.
In China it is considered a symbol of good fortune and is usually consumed on the second day of the New Year’s party, and in Vietnam it is given to newlyweds, as a symbol of fertility.
Its cultivation spread throughout the East and the Arabs introduced it to Europe through Spain in the 10th century. Columbus himself, on his second trip, took the seeds to America, to the island of Hispaniola (Haiti).
The word orange comes from the Arabic word narandj or naranch , and this from the Persian narang, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word nagarunga (“the favorite of elephants”, alluding to a legend of a hungry elephant).
This juicy winter treat provides all the vitamin C you need each day. This nutrient is essential for resistance to infections (orange juice is not in vain the most used natural resource to prevent colds and flu); increases the absorption of iron, calcium and phosphorus and has antioxidant properties.
But vitamin C is not the only interesting component. The fiber gives the orange digestive properties and the flavonoids collaborate with the vitamins in strengthening the immune system.
Oranges are also rich in thiamine and folic acid, two B vitamins essential for the health of the nervous system. The Sanguine naranajas , red, are also characterized by its richness in beta – carotene.
Below are the health benefits of oranges:
The peculiar nutritional composition of the orange is related to a series of indications.
Oranges should be in everyone’s diet, but they are especially suitable for those who are low in defenses and are more prone to colds, flu, respiratory allergies or herpes infections. They are antiviral and antibacterial, and neutralize the action of free radicals.
Orange is also advisable for anemic people and young women who suffer from heavy menstruations, since its vitamin C favors the absorption of iron.
The pectin in oranges helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Recent scientific studies, carried out from compounds isolated from the peel of the orange – polymethoxylated flavones – have offered better results in reducing LDL cholesterol than some of the drugs prescribed for it, with the advantage that they do not present side effects.
In addition, due to its richness in magnesium , which thins the blood and prevents the formation of clots, it protects against the risk of cardiovascular disorders and stroke.
Taking oranges regularly is also recommended to prevent varicose veins and hemorrhoids, as they protect blood vessels and promote good circulation.
Another of the health benefits of oranges is that they act as a stomach and intestinal regulator to relieve gastric spasms and slow and heavy digestions or dyspepsia. Also, they are carminative in those who are prone to gas, bloating and flatulence. As it is slightly laxative, it is also suitable for constipation problems.
Their high potassium content makes them suitable for hypertensive.
As a source of vitamin C and calcium, they are very suitable to protect bones and teeth. They are highly recommended to strengthen the joints and reduce the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Oranges favor the elimination of uric acid through the urine and are purifying. They prevent the formation of stones in the kidney and infections in the urinary tract, such as cystitis. They are very useful for people with arthritis and gout problems.
By stimulating the purifying functions of the liver and kidneys, and due to their low caloric value, they are valid for weight loss.
Orange is rich in fast absorbing sugars. That is why it is excellent for outdoor sports activities: hiking, cycling, cross-country races … It is not only well tolerated by diabetics, but even recommended.
Due to its antioxidant effect, some scientific studies link the regular consumption of oranges with the possibility of reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, such as stomach and colon cancer. One of the reasons is that this fruit prevents nitrites provided by food from being transformed into carcinogenic nitrosamines.
The orange on the table
The best way to enjoy the aroma and delicacy of the orange is by taking it natural, as a tabletop fruit, or as juice.
Within the sweet orange tree, numerous varieties are known, included in three basic groups: blood or red oranges, white (such as Valencia Late or Salustiana) and navel-type sweets, with a navel-shaped protrusion at one end.
Navel oranges. They are tasty and do not contain seeds, but they are not very suitable for juice, because they do not contain much juice and they tend to bitter quickly. Instead, its thick crust is excellent for candying.
Valencia Late. It is perhaps the most consumed in the world. It gives a lot of juice, with a subtly acid flavor. It is a somewhat elongated orange, with a thin rind, with or without seeds in the pulp, which ripens in late spring.
Salustiana orange. From the white group, it is a large orange with a sweet taste, with more carotenes, which hardly contains seeds. It is harvested from November to March and is usually used to obtain juice, although it is also very appropriate for salads in the form of loose segments.
Blood orange. With fine and smooth skin, it is very juicy. It is clearly distinguished by being tinted with a precious garnet red, very suitable for highlighting desserts. It is ideal for juices and very antioxidant. Today it is not easily found, as it is only grown in the Mediterranean and requires special conditions, such as low night temperatures.
Sevillana. It is the most important variety among bitter oranges. Medium in size, slightly flattened at the ends and with thick and rough skin. Its bitter taste makes it unsuitable to be eaten raw but it is ideal for preparing jams and certain bittersweet sauces or for flavoring liqueurs.
The zest of the orange peel can substitute the lemon zest in many recipes such as custard, milk pudding, etc. The segments can be added to salads with watercress, endives, beets, red onion, lamb’s lettuce, endive, and other fruits.
When cooking, whether it is sweet desserts or savory dishes, they can be spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, tarragon etc. They combine very well with dark chocolate and carob, and are essential in fruit salad, to which they give juiciness and texture, in addition to helping other fruits such as banana do not blacken.
We hope the article on the amazing health benefits of oranges has been of help to you.