Nutritional Information for Oranges
Oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps boost immunity and protect against free radical damage. In fact, one cup of orange slices has over 100% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Pack some oranges for your next road trip or throw one in your bag for a flight across the country; Oranges are a great traveling fruit! The peels on the oranges helps to protect the fruit from being bruised and easily damaged, but they may also play a role in protecting human skin cells from cancer. So go ahead, wash that skin well and add a little orange zest to your salad!
Benefits of Oranges
Cancer Prevention Benefits
Eating more citrus fruit like oranges have been found to help reduce the risk of cancers of the throat and digestive tract (stomach, colon, etc). Studies looking at large populations and following them for long periods of time to see who gets cancer or not based on how much citrus fruit they eat show that those eating more citrus seem to have lower risk of esophageal and skin cancer. There are many reasons why oranges are protective, but interestingly enough vitamin C has little to do with it! Can you believe that? The carotenoids, beta cryptoxanthin in particular, have an ability to prevent strands of DNA from breaking after it’s been exposed to a damaging agent (i.e free radial, mutagen, carcinogen). By boosting the DNA repair systems in the body there’s a much better chance to prevent carcinogen build-up.
Oranges are high in flavonoids, a group of bioactive antioxidant compounds associated with chronic disease prevention. The ability of flavonoids to quench free radicals is also a major reason why oranges may help prevent cancer. One study showed men and women drinking orange juice helped prevent DNA damage. Even though orange juice can spike blood sugar, it’s still better than coca-cola! The best thing is to eat the whole orange to obtain the juice, phytochemicals (carotenoids), and fiber.
In women, citrus may be even more effective. Combined data shows overall that the more citrus women eat the less risk they have of developing breast cancer.
Men's Health Benefits
Oranges seem to have antimicrobial properties. Eating them may help boost immune function and support a healthy immune system, perhaps even lowering the chances of getting a cold. Men drinking orange juice did have some benefits, such as increased blood flavones and phenolic compounds (basically just types of antioxidants), however, there was no noticeable decrease in heart disease risk, which is really what we’re after. Again, this is why eating the whole fruit is so much more beneficial! Furthermore, as noted above, oranges supply beta-cryptoxanthin – a common carotenoid found in fruit and in our bodies. Tangerines, persimmons and oranges all contain high amounts. Beta-cryptoxanthin is a potent antioxidant that communicates between cells to helps protect them from damage. It’s a precursor of vitamin A – a nutrient that assists with eye health, immunity and proper growth.
Studies show that those drinking fruit juices (especially the corn syrupy and sugar-filled juice concentrates) may have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, however, those eating whole fruits like blueberries, grapes, and apples may have significantly less risk.
Ways to Use Oranges
+ Add to salads
+ Blend them in smoothies
+ Use in chia pudding or overnight oats
+ Enjoy on their own
Resources for Oranges
Nutrition Facts: www.nutritionfacts.org
Physicians Committee: www.pcrm.org
American Institute for Cancer Research: www.aicr.org
USDA Nutrient Database: : Oranges
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