health benefits of the orange

If there were a fruit popularity contest, the orange would be up there with the apple as contender for champion. Oranges are sweet, aromatic and versatile fruits that complement sweet and savory dishes as well as satisfy all by themselves. But it’s not just the taste of an orange that should get you peeling; its health benefits are one and many. Enjoy!

In one orange, there are some 62 calories, 237 milligrams potassium, 3.1 grams dietary fiber, 1.23 grams protein, 6 percent of the RDA of vitamin A, 5 percent of calcium, 116 percent of vitamin C and 1 percent of iron. Low in calories and high in carbohydrates, oranges will give you instant energy, complementing the natural sugar rush with digestion-boosting fiber and vitamins.

Most touted for its vitamin C content, the orange provides heaps of health benefits. Vitamin C is important for so many of your body’s functions – it makes skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels as well as heals wounds, forms scar tissue and repairs and maintains cartilage, bones and teeth. Because it is a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps to turn back aging and prevent the onset of cancer, heart disease and arthritis. And, lo and behold, what they say is true – according to one study, vitamin C was able to decrease cold symptoms by 85 percent compared with the control group.

Meanwhile, the orange’s potassium content allows it to play a role in the lowering of blood pressure and the reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. Potassium has also been shown to manage kidney stones, prevent the onset of diabetes and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

The orange contains citrus limonoids, which have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin,  lung, breast, stomach and colon. Limonin has also shown to lower cholesterol, thus decreasing the risk of heart disease. Additionally, orange juice has been linked to decreasing the risk of developing urinary stones.

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Photo Credit: Keith Willamson