So much more than a “Daily Dose of Vitamin C”!
Oranges are undoubtedly one of the most popular citrus fruits. They are the leading fruit crop in the United States and are also largely produced in Mexico, China, Brazil, and India. Who doesn’t love biting into a juicy slice of orange citrus! Not only does it make our taste buds dance with its sweet tangy flavor, but it also has an incredibly energizing effect on our bodies!
But there is more to the beloved orange than taste – peel back the thick fibrous husk and discover a wealth of health benefits!
Oranges are packed with many phytochemicals, flavonoids and of course Vitamin C, all of which play a major role in reducing inflammation and enhancing the immune system.
Hesperidin, an important flavonoid found in oranges, has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as improve the health of capillaries. Hesperidin has been used to reduce symptoms associated with allergies by inhibiting the release of histamine. It is also being studied for its potential anti-cancer activities. Hesperidin is most concentrated in the inner white pulp of the fruit, as opposed to its orange flesh.
In addition to supporting the immune system, Vitamin C is vital for the synthesis of collagen which helps to improve skin texture and prevent premature aging and wrinkling. It also promotes wound healing and is a constitutional component of tendons, ligaments, bone and blood vessels.
Oranges are also a great source of Thiamine, Folate, Potassium, and Dietary Fiber. Thiamine is important for glucose (sugar) metabolism and proper functioning of the brain, heart, and nervous systems, while potassium helps to balance the effects of sodium on the body which is important for regulating blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. A study conducted by the American Heart Association found that
“postmenopausal women who eat foods higher in potassium are less likely to have strokes and die than women who eat less potassium-rich foods.”
Trivia Question: Which came first, orange the color or orange the fruit? Surprisingly the fruit existed before the word for the color!
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the fruit was recorded in English in the fourteenth century. The word as it applies to the color appeared at the beginning of the seventeenth century. So what did people call the color before it had a name? Simply, “yellow-red” of course! The color’s name is derived from the Sanskrit word for the fruit naranga, which transformed into the Arabic and Persian naranj, and eventually the Old French pomme d’orenge.