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!

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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.

Oranges, grapefruit, and lemons all fit into a healthy diet and may help reduce the risk of multiple cancers.

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

Citations
  1. Giaconi J, Yu F, Stone K, et al. The Association of Consumption of Fruits/Vegetables with Decreased Risk of Glaucoma among Older African American Women in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Am J Ophthalmol. 2012;154(4):635–44.
  2. Hussain KA, Tarakji B, Kandy BP, et al. Antimicrobial effects of citrus sinensis peel extracts against periodontopathic bacteria: an in vitro study. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2015;66(2):173-8.
  3. Kozłowska A, Przekop D, Szostak-Węgierek D. Flavonoids intake among Polish and Spanish students. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2015;66(4):319-25.
  4. Hakim IA, Harris RB, Ritenbaugh C. Citrus peel use is associated with reduced risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Nutr Cancer. 2000;37(2):161-8.
  5. Collins AR, Azqueta A, Langie SA. Effects of micronutrients on DNA repair. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Apr;51(3):261-79. doi: 10.1007/s00394-012-0318-4. Epub 2012 Feb 24.
  6. Turati F, Rossi M, Pelucchi C, Levi F, La Vecchia C. Fruit and vegetables and cancer risk: a review of southern European studies. Br J Nutr. 2015;113 Suppl 2:S102-10.
  7. Szeto YT, To TL, Pak SC, Kalle W. A study of DNA protective effect of orange juice supplementation. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013;38(5):533-6.
  8. Astley SB, Elliott RM, Archer DB, Southon S. Evidence that dietary supplementation with carotenoids and carotenoid-rich foods modulates the DNA damage: repair balance in human lymphocytes. Br J Nutr. 2009;91(1):63-72.
  9. Sivagami G1, Vinothkumar R, Bernini R, et al. Role of hesperetin (a natural flavonoid) and its analogue on apoptosis in HT-29 human colon adenocarcinoma cell line–a comparative study. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012;50(3-4):660-71.
  10. Sullivan MJ, Scott RL. Postprandial glycemic response to orange juice and nondiet cola: is there a difference? Diabetes Educ. 1991;17(4):274-8.
  11. Song JK, Bae JM. Citrus fruit intake and breast cancer risk: a quantitative systematic review. J Breast Cancer. 2013;16(1):72-6.
  12. Rodrigo MJ, Cilla A, Barberá R, Zacarías L. Carotenoid bioaccessibility in pulp and fresh juice from carotenoid-rich sweet oranges and mandarins. Food Funct. 2015;6(6):1950-9.
  13. Schär MY, Curtis PJ, Hazim S, et al. Orange juice-derived flavanone and phenolic metabolites do not acutely affect cardiovascular risk biomarkers: a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in men at moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(5):931-8.

 

Burri BJ. Beta-cryptoxanthin as a source of vitamin A. J Sci Food Agric. 2015;95(9):1786-94.

 

Muraki I, Imamura F, Manson JE, et al. Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies.
BMJ. 2013;347:f5001.

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