Diets and NutritionHealth and Fitness

What are the benefits of orange: five properties

What are the benefits of orange: five properties

Why orange is useful, how to use it in cooking and whether it can cause harm, we find out in the article.

  • What you need to know
  • Calorie content
  • Benefit
  • Harm
  • What to cook
  • Expert commentary

The material was commented on:

Yana Kartaeva, gastroenterologist, nutritionist of the company BestDoctor;

Yaroslav Klyuchevsky, brand chef, crisis manager in the restaurant business, chef of the Art-Picnic culinary studio.

What you need to know about oranges

The sweet orange tree can reach a height of 6 m

Orange is the fruit of the orange tree with a bright orange peel and pulp containing seeds. This citrus crop originated in China more than a thousand years ago. Until 1920, the orange was considered primarily a dessert fruit. When it became popular to make juice from the fruit, per capita consumption of oranges increased significantly. Essential oils and pectin are also obtained from oranges, and candied fruits and marmalade are made. And after processing, the waste is used to prepare feed for livestock.

Today, orange trees can be found almost all over the world. There are several types of orange: Chinese (sweet or regular), Seville (bitter) and mandarin. Seville orange is not suitable for fresh consumption; it is grown for the production of marmalade, and is also used in cosmetology, perfumery, and aromatherapy.

The sweet orange tree can reach height 6 m. Trees can bear fruit for 50–80 years. They love warm, sunny climates, but are quite resistant to light frosts. Depending on the variety, the color and shape of the fruit can vary: for example, a sweet orange is usually round with orange flesh, a tangerine is slightly more oval with an orange core, and a red orange has bright red segments. The orange has sweet and sour juicy pulp and a rough peel. The orange is harvested when fully ripe, as it does not ripen after being picked (1).

What are the benefits of orange: five properties

Orange calories and nutritional value

The orange is harvested when fully ripe, as it does not ripen after being picked.

An orange (approximately 140 g) contains 66 kcal, as well as (2):

  • 1.3 g protein

  • 2.8 g fiber

  • 14.8 g carbohydrates

  • 12 g sugar

  • 0.2 g fat

Benefits of orange: five properties

The vitamin C, flavonoids and carotenoids found in oranges may help promote heart health and prevent disease.

The vitamin C, flavonoids and carotenoids found in oranges may help promote heart health and prevent disease.

Oranges are rich in vitamins, microelements and antioxidants, which help the cardiovascular system, are effective in preventing various diseases and anemia, and increase immunity.

1. Contains beneficial substances

Orange, due to its rich composition, can be a source of fiber and antioxidants. Fiber helps improve digestion and also supports microflora – serves as food for beneficial intestinal bacteria. When there is enough of it, there is a chance to reduce the risk of developing obesity and diseases of the cardiovascular system (3), (4), (5).

Vitamin C helps the immune system, is involved in the synthesis of collagen (a protein that helps maintain healthy joints, nails, skin, hair), absorption of iron (6). Folic acid is involved in metabolism and is involved in the development of the fetus and placenta (7).

Oranges also contain flavonoids. They have antioxidant properties, strengthen capillaries, and improve metabolic processes. Hesperidin lowers blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory properties, naringenin improves the condition of blood vessels (8), (9).

Citrus fruits, including oranges, are high in carotenoid antioxidants. Thanks to them, the color of the fruit is deep orange, red or yellow. Beta-cryptoxanthin protects against oxidative stress, and lycopene protects against heart disease (10), (11).

2. Helps Heart Health

Vitamin C, flavonoids and carotenoids found in oranges may help strengthen the heart and prevent the development of cardiac diseases (12), (13), (14). Studies have proven that orange juice lowers blood sugar, LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and the inflammatory marker CRP. If these levels are higher than normal, your risk of developing heart disease is more likely (15).

3. May Reduce the Risk of Chronic Diseases

Adding oranges to your diet can reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as certain types of cancer or type 2 diabetes (16), (17), (18), (19). One study involved more than 7,000 people who were divided into two groups. Those who ate moderate amounts of fruit, including oranges, were 36% less likely to develop diabetes after five years than those who ate little to no fruit (20).

4. May help prevent anemia

Anemia is a condition when the body does not have enough iron. There is little of it in oranges, but a large amount of vitamin C helps absorb it (6). As a result of experiments, it was found that if you add one orange to rice dishes or lentil cakes, you can increase the bioavailability of this element by 10% (21). The juice of the fruit can also be combined with beans and spinach salad.

5. Helps strengthen the immune system

Oranges, like other citrus fruits, saturate the body with vitamin C. It is necessary for immune cells that protect the body from infections. They are also involved in an important process called apoptosis: old damaged cells die off and are replaced by new healthy ones (22). Because vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties, it reduces the risk of oxidative damage to cells. This process negatively affects the immune system and increases the risk of developing various diseases (23). Hesperidin and naringenin, flavonoids found in oranges, have anti-inflammatory properties. And fiber helps maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

Harm of orange

Any citrus fruit can cause an allergic reaction

In moderation, oranges are not harmful. But there are conditions in which you should refrain from using them.

  1. Allergy to citrus fruits. If after eating any citrus fruit an allergic reaction occurs (itching, redness of the skin, swelling of the mucous membranes, runny nose, watery eyes), you must exclude the fruit from your diet and consult a doctor.
  2. Heartburn. Oranges contain organic acids (citric and ascorbic acid) that can worsen this unpleasant condition.
  3. Gastrointestinal diseases. Due to their acidity, oranges can also irritate the stomach lining and worsen chronic and acute conditions. Therefore, it is better for people suffering from stomach diseases to consult a doctor before adding citrus fruits to their diet.
  4. Hypervitaminosis. Taking vitamin C supplements with citrus fruits may result in toxicity. Its symptoms: vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, headache, insomnia. Eating a lot of oranges at once may increase your blood sugar levels.
  5. Hemochromatosis. If the body accumulates too much iron, high doses of vitamin C increase its absorption and aggravate this hereditary disease.

What to cook with orange: three simple recipes

Duck leg confit with orange

Duck leg confit with orange

Orange is a universal fruit that is good in any form. Juices, jams, marmalade are made from it, it is added to desserts and baked goods, as well as hot dishes. Orange zest is a valuable ingredient in sweet dishes, which…

About author

Giovanna Pirri (Nutritional Biologist) Graduated in Biological Sciences with a thesis on the nutritional approach in the diabetic patient, she graduated with full marks in Health Biology at the University of Padua in 2008 . In 2011 she passed the State Exam and qualified for the profession of Nutritional Biologist . She obtained the Master in Human Nutrition in Milan, and remains constantly updated through characterizing courses on the universe of food. [email protected]