Oranges: The Winter Superfruit
Winter is here, so that’s the season of oranges. Oranges are one of the most delicious and commonly available fruits in the market during the winter. That’s why, as winter starts, the fruit market starts to look more orange in color. This citrus fruit is not only full of flavor and a treat for your taste buds but it is also packed with many health benefits. Having them on a regular basis helps your body in several ways, as they are full of fiber, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. In this article, we will discuss the potential health benefits of this winter superfruit so that when you munch on it next time, you are well aware of how good they are for you.
What are the health benefits of oranges?
Oranges are loaded with different nutrients. They are mostly known as a good source of vitamin C, but they also contain other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, potassium, flavonoids, folic acid, etc. All of these nutrients help our body in several ways to stay healthy.
A few of the many health benefits of oranges are discussed in detail below.
Boost Immune System
Oranges are full of vitamin C, which is best known for boosting the immune system of our body. Vitamin C not only promotes the production of white blood cells (lymphocytes and phagocytes) that help our body fight infections but also enhances the performance of these cells by protecting them from free radicals.
Oranges also contain many phytonutrients that give a punch to our immune system. So having them, especially in winter when our immune system is already compromised, gives our body the potential to combat infections. It reduces the severity of colds, congestion, and other similar complications and ensures a quick recovery.
Oranges have many amazing benefits for our skin. The vitamin C in oranges plays a vital role in the production of collagen, a protein that is needed for tissue repair and provides our skin strength, and elasticity, making it healthier.
Oranges are also full of vitamin A, which also does magic for our skin. It helps in collagen production, increases skin cell turnover rate, reduces wrinkles and breakouts, and keeps our skin healthy by increasing blood flow.
Another content in oranges that help our skin is citric acid. It works as an exfoliant to get rid of dead skin cells and helps in cleaning the debris and unclogging the pores of the skin.
Oranges are also a good source of potassium, which helps in regulating the water content in our body and keeps our skin well hydrated.
Contribute to Cardiovascular Health
Oranges are also good for cardiovascular health. They contain potassium, which helps in the regulation of blood pressure through different mechanisms, such as
- Potassium increases the excretion of salt from your body through urine.
- It decreases the tension of the vascular bed, leading to vasodilation.
- According to one study from 2017, potassium also helps in reducing the calcification of the arteries, which prevents them from becoming stiff.
However, only eating oranges will not satisfy your daily recommended intake of potassium, and you have to add other sources of potassium too to effectively manage your blood pressure.
Oranges are also rich in flavonoids such as hesperidin, which is also beneficial for the heart as it helps in reducing oxidative stress and preventing endothelial dysfunction, which prevents many heart disorders.
Another health benefit that you can achieve from snacking on oranges is better digestion. Oranges are rich in fiber, which is good for your gut health and also helps with weight loss.
Oranges contain both types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.
The soluble fiber in the gut dissolves in the liquid and transforms into a gel-like substance, which slows down the digestive transit time. This delay helps our digestive system absorb nutrients more adequately in our body, and this process of slow digestion also helps prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber is also good for gut flora as it nourishes them.
Whereas insoluble fiber drags water into the gut but doesn’t get dissolved in it instead it increases the bulkiness of the stool and makes it soft. In this way, insoluble fiber prevents constipation and gastrointestinal blockage.
Help in Fighting Cancer
Research suggests that oranges can also protect against or help in the treatment of different types of cancer. The antioxidant nutrients in oranges boost the immune system’s ability to fight cancer cells and also prevent the tumor’s growth and spread.
Prevent Kidney Stones
Orange and its juice are also considered beneficial for kidney stones. They are rich in citric acid, and sometimes it is the deficiency of citrate in the urine that may become the reason for kidney stones. Oranges increase the citrate concentration in the urine and diminish the risk of kidney stone formation. According to one study, orange juice is comparatively better than lemonade in terms of reducing kidney stone formation.
Eating oranges also improve your eye health. A study shows that people who eat oranges regularly have a lower chance of developing macular degeneration as compared to people who don’t eat oranges. The flavonoids present in oranges play an important role in protecting against this disease. Flavonoids are potent antioxidants that give protection to your body against free radicals, including your eyes. Oranges also contain vitamins C, A, and E, which are also good for your eyes.
Helpful in the Treatment of Anaemia
Oranges are also helpful in the treatment of anemia. They are loaded with vitamin C, which improves the absorption of iron in our bodies. They are also considered good for megaloblastic anemia, which is caused by a lack of folate, as they also contain folic acid.
Oranges are one of the tastiest and most nutritious gifts of nature that hold many benefits for our well-being. They nourish us with different nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They improve the health of our heart, skin, hair, and eyes, in short, the health of our overall body. They are also helpful in preventing kidney stones, fighting cancerous cells, and boosting our immune system.
We hope that after reading this post, you can acknowledge the importance of this fruit in your diet and that this winter, along with its tangy and sweet flavor, you will also enjoy all of its health benefits.
1- How many calories are present in an average-sized orange?
A- Almost 60 calories are present in an average-sized orange.
2- Which fruit contains more vitamin C, lemons, or oranges?
A- The amount of vitamin C is almost similar in both lemons and oranges, with the latter having a slightly higher level. However, when we compare their juices, lemon juice has more vitamin C.
3- Can oranges cause or intensify acidity?
A- Yes, like other citrus fruits, oranges also contain a high level of acid content. So it is advised to take it in moderation if you are already suffering from acidity.
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