There are plenty of delicious oranges in the shops at the moment and, with Christmas well and truly on its way (sorry but there can be no denying), there are bags full of juicy tangerines, satsumas and clementines too.
I’m sure you already know that oranges are packed full of vitamin C and are fantastic for fighting off colds but do you have any idea just how many other health benefits and how much other juicy goodness they hold?
So what’s in them?
A-Z of Vitamins and Minerals
A, B1, B6 beta-carotene, C, calcium, chlorine, copper, folate, folic acid, iodine, iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, zinc and citric acid
What are the health benefits?
Particularly good for helping to:
- Lower high cholesterol
- Destroy free radicals that cause signs of skin ageing
- Scour the intestine and flush toxins from the body
- Prevent cancer
- Prevent heart disease
- Lower high blood pressure
- Boost the immune system
Caution! Be aware there is a possibility oranges may aggrevate heartburn
Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron in the body happen more easily. So … drinking a glass of delicious, fresh orange juice (not the stuff from cartons ok!) can double the amount of iron available for your body to use
Oranges are fantastic put through the juicer on their own and once you’ve tasted truly fresh orange juice and just how amazingly delicious it is you won’t want anything from a carton ever again!
Just REMEMBER to peel the orange because the oils in the skin are not digestible by humans BUT leave as much of the pith on as possible as lots of the juicy goodness is just below the skin.
The membranes between the segments also contain pectin, a soluble dietary fibre which helps lower blood cholesterol, and bioflavanoids which have antioxidant properties.
Another option is to peel the oranges and put them in the blender to add some texture and substance to a smoothie, but if you don’t like ‘bits’ just add the juice.
Researchers from the University of Western Ontario, Canada found a link between orange and grapefruit juice and the treatment of breast cancer and high cholesterol.
According to Najla Guthrie, lead researcher on the centre’s cancer study, ‘Mice that received orange juice or grapefruit juice in place of drinking water had 50% fewer tumours and metastases. The study groups receiving flavonoids also had a reduction in tumours, but not to the extent of the group receiving juices. This leads us to believe that in the juice study groups, the flavonoids were working with other components in the juices to reduce the tumours.’
My note on this: All too often science attempts to find a single component, ingredient, factor, something within a fruit or vegetable which can be extracted and used as a stand alone (sometimes synthetic) solution to a health problem. Nature is an incredibly powerful thing and manages to put together powerful combinations of ‘ingredients’ that work incredibly well together. In short – eat or juice the whole fruit in its raw, natural state to get the full benefit of nature and all its goodness.
Watch this space …
for more details about one of those key ingredients in oranges - Vitamin A – and how it benefits the body
PLUS a delicious juicy orange recipe