Health benefits of oranges

Health benefits of oranges

  • Oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the world. With their sweet tangy, and refreshing taste, they make a great fruit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Oranges have many health benefits, most notably their high levels of vitamin C.
  • Let’s look at the health benefits of oranges.
  • Rich in vitamin C:
  • From our childhood days, our parents told to us how good oranges are. They even brought orange juice to our bedside when we were sick.
  • They were absolutely right. Vitamin C is excellent for your health, and not just for colds.
  • Vitamin C  is a water-soluble substance that acts as an antioxidant.
    Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of oxidative stress, which may help strengthen the immune system and ward off diseases. Dr. Andrew Weil explains, “oxidative stress is the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear (natural and artificial radiation, toxins in air, food and water; and miscellaneous sources of oxidizing activity, such as tobacco smoke).”
  • The effects of oxidative stress are often linked to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and many types of cancers. One orange fruit contains an impressive 116% of the recommended daily value.
  • Heart health:
  • Oranges are great for the heart due to a variety of nutrients and factors. In a recent report by The World Health Organization, citrus fruits including oranges help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Potassium helps lower blood pressure, which lessens the risk of stroke or irregular heart beats; folate lowers homocysteine, which is linked to heart disease, and vitamin C is well known as a heart protective antioxidant. One study from the University of East Anglia showed that the flavonoids in citrus fruits can significantly reduce the risk of stroke.
  • High in limonins:
  • Oranges contain compounds called limonins, which have been shown to fight many types of cancers. What makes them unique cancer-fighting agents is their long- lasting nature. A USDA study showed that limonins even lasted up to 24 hours in some of the participants. More research by the USDA is now being performed on the ability of limonins to lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Lower cholesterol:
  • The peel of the orange contains compounds called polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs), which may be able to lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). An animal study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, showed that levels of cholesterol were significantly reduced when fed a diet with PMFs. These benefits are found mainly in the peel of the tangerine and orange. You can grate some of the peel into salads or teas for flavor and possible cholesterol lowering benefits from PMFs. More studies need to be conducted with humans, but the results are promising.
  • Dietary fiber:
  • Oranges are an excellent source of fiber, containing 13% of the recommended daily value in just one fruit. Dietary fiber is known to reduce high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. This is extremely important for the heart. The American Heart Association explains, “High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Fiber may also reduce the risk of colon cancer by removing potential cancer-causing toxins in the colon.
  • Kidney stones:
  • In a study published by the British Journal of Nutrition, women who drank 1/2 to 1 liter of orange juice a day had an increase in urinary pH value and citric acid, which reduces the risk of calcium oxalate stones in the kidneys.
  • Stomach health:
  • Oranges may reduce the risk of develop developing ulcers. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, showed that those with a higher level of vitamin C in the blood had significantly less levels of H. Pylori, a bacterium that may cause peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.
  • Respiratory system:
  • Carotenoids are yellow, orange, and red pigments synthesized by plants. The most common carotenoids in North American diets are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. Oranges are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, which may be beneficial to the respiratory system. According to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, participants who ate a diet high in crytpoxanthin had a 27% reduced risk of lung cancer.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis:
  • Due to their high carotenoid levels, oranges may help lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the participants who consumed higher levels of dietary carotenoids had a significantly lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • For a kidney stone juice with oranges.
  • For a body cleanse juice with oranges.
  • REFERENCES
  • 1. “And Analysis for Oranges, Raw, All Commercial Varieties.” WHFoods.org. The World’s Healthiest Foods, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.
  • 2. “DIET, NUTRITION AND THE PREVENTION OF CHRONIC DISEASES.”  World Health Organization, Feb. 2002. Web. 4 Aug. 2013. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/trs/who_trs_916.pdf
  • 3. “Dietary Flavonoids and Risk of Stroke in Women.” Stroke.ahajournals.org. American Stroke Association, 15 Dec. 2011. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.
  • 4. “Hypolipidemic Effects and Absorption of Citrus Polymethoxylated Flavones in Hamsters with Diet-induced Hypercholesterolemia.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.
  • 5. “Why Cholesterol Matters.” Heart.org. American Heart Association, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.
  • 6. “Quantitative Assessment of Citric Acid in Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Commercially-Available Fruit Juice Products.” US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health, 22 Mar. 2008. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.
  • 7. “Relation of Serum Ascorbic Acid to Helicobacter Pylori Serology in US Adults: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.
  • 8. “Dietary Cryptoxanthin and Reduced Risk of Lung Cancer: The Singapore Chinese Health Study.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.
  • 9. “Dietary β-cryptoxanthin and Inflammatory Polyarthritis: Results from a Population-based Prospective Study.” Ajcn.nutrition.org. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 23 Mar. 2005. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.
  • 10. “Citrus Compound: Ready To Help Your Body!ARS.USDA.gov. USDA, n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.
  • 11. Weil, Andrew, M.D. “Stumped by Oxidative Stress?” DrWeil.com. DrWeil.com, n.d. Web. 04 August 2013.

 

 

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