Oranges – the whole story
Oranges, what’s not to like? A great source of vitamin C, vital for a healthy immune system and an important vitamin because it helps neutralise free radicals and assist in the oxidation of cholesterol. What’s more, eating oranges delivers vitamin C in a way that’s best for the body, as supplements don’t provide the same health benefits. In fact, according to Australian research group CSIRO, actually eating fruit provides significant protective effects against cancer, such as stomach and oesophageal, while also showing potentially positive benefits in the case of arthritis, asthma and cognitive impairment. The reason why? Fruits are much more than just the juice.
For example, you can eat the pith, the inner white part, as it’s a good source of pectin, fibre and vitamin C, while even the peel is nutritious. While it’s not very appetising to eat it on its own, if you zest it, add to smoothies or hot tea, or use it in cooking or baking, it can add texture and flavour while also providing nutritional benefits.
The whole story
With over 170 different phytonutrients, and more than 60 flavonoids (important for anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits) oranges are rich in antioxidant properties. They also contain:
- potassium; associated with a reduced risk of stroke, loss of muscle and assistance in preserving bone mineral density
- choline; a relatively recent discovery, it’s a vitamin-like essential nutrient (still being studied) needed for maintaining a healthy metabolism, normal brain development and cognitive function in later life. Deficiency can cause muscle damage and abnormal deposition of fat in the liver. Like vitamin C, choline must be consumed daily. Other good food sources include eggs, shrimps, cod, salmon, chickpeas and cauliflower
- limonin, a powerful antioxidant that acts as a potent anti-carcinogen
According to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, eating oranges, bananas and drinking fresh orange juice in the first two years of a child’s life may reduce the risk of developing childhood leukaemia.
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