It is believed Christopher Columbus brought orange seeds to the Caribbean during his second trip to the 'New World' in the 15th century, now oranges are found throughout the United States and are one of the world's most popular fruit crops. They are delicous, healthy, come in many varieties and should be a part of any healthy diet!
Bursting with healthy nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, thiamine, folate and potassium, one orange supplies 130 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Citrus flavanones are found only in citrus fruits, and the flavanone herperidin found in oranges lowers inflammation and may reduce blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Oranges also contain choline, zeaxanthin, and carotenoids. All that for approximately 80 calories!
Oranges offer a wealth of health benefits, including:
Oranges -- a great choice for a healthy snack!
- Stroke Prevention and Heart Health. The American Heart Association found that women who ate the highest amounts of citrus have a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who ate the least. Eating oranges can help increase potassium intake, which along with a decrease in sodium intake is an important dietary change that for anyone who wants to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Healthy Metabolism. Oranges are a good source of thiamine, or vitamin B-1. Thiamine is known to activate the enzymes necessary for a healthy metabolism and helps you convert fats and carbohydrates into energy.
- Cancer Prevention. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that consuming bananas and oranges during the first two years of life may reduce the risk of developing childhood leukemia. Rich in the antioxidant vitamin C, oranges help prevent the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Research from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research found that eating one orange a day can reduce the risk of mouth, larynx and stomach cancers by up to 50 percent! Additionally, the high fiber found in fruits and vegetables have been associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer. The zeaxanthin and carotenoids found in oranges may help in the prevention of prostate cancer.
- Cholesterol Maintenance. Compounds called polymethoxlated flavones found in citrus fruit peels may have the potential to lower cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
- Skin Health. The vitamin C in oranges is vital to the production of collagen, and can help fight skin damage, reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture.