Oranges are actually considered native to Southeast Asia, India and China, and it wasn’t until the 11th century that there was a revival of the orange trade to Europe which eventually made its way to the Americas. Oranges are the most sought after fruit of the world and for good reason: they are sweet and juicy, a taste treat with a lot of nutritional value. I’m sure you know they are a rich source of Vitamin C, and good for your health.
You definitely do not have trouble recognizing oranges across the produce section of your local grocery store. They are the well-known round-shaped, orange-colored, thick-skinned citrus fruit that is easily segmented, and you can enjoy the pulp as well as the juicy fruit.
There are two classifications of oranges – either Sweet oranges which are sweet in flavor and are largely consumed as fruit, or Bitter oranges which are mainly used as ornamental trees and valued for their essential oils. Keep that in mind as we further divide sweet oranges into four classes, each with distinct characteristics: the common oranges, blood or pigmented oranges, navel oranges, and acid less oranges. We’ll look at each of these as we continue in our study.
An interesting side note is that they used oranges for many years in Chinese medicine to treat colds, coughs, and even anorexia. That shouldn’t be any surprise to us today because we know how important Vitamin C is for our health.
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Health and Nutrition of Oranges
Keep in mind that Vitamin C is absolutely necessary for a healthy lifestyle, and oranges are an excellent source. Here’s what Vitamin C will do for you as a primary water-soluble antioxidant in your bodies. The antioxidant disarms free radicals in your body and helps prevent damage both inside and outside cells. Regarding prevention on inside cells certainly refers to cancer, which expert believe is a result of free radical damage to DNA. Vitamin C also aids with inflammation that can include asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Free radicals also help to oxidize cholesterol so it won’t build up in plaques that could eventually block blood flow.
Vitamin C is also vital for a good function of a healthy immune system, for preventing colds, and preventing ear infections. Many professionals feel that only consuming Vitamin C supplements do not provide the same benefits as drinking a glass of orange juice. If true, I do wonder if the Orange growers and producers supported it? Nonetheless, oranges are full of Vitamin C. We can’t forget the other great vitamins and minerals – Vitamin B1, and Vitamin A, and calcium, as well as fiber (12.5%) and folate.
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