This citrus fruit is probably one of the most popular fruits worldwide. They can almost seem unassuming considering how common they are. But, did you know that oranges have some amazing benefits? If you’re a fan of oranges, we’ve got some great news for you. They are fruits that contain large amounts of essential nutrients that are integral to our body’s functioning. Not to mention they’re delicious!
Health Benefits Of Oranges
1. Lowers Cholesterol
Oranges contain a good amount of soluble fiber which helps reduce cholesterol levels. In fact, consuming oranges and fresh orange juice with no added sugar is seen to be associated with a lowered level of total cholesterol as well as an increase in HDL (or good cholesterol).1
2. Helps Manage Diabetes
The soluble fiber in oranges can also help control blood sugar. It also shows a decrease in markers of insulin resistance.2 Diabetics can eat this fruit safely without worrying about spiking their blood sugar thanks to its low glycemic index.
3. Maintains Healthy Heart Function
Lowered cholesterol levels help reduce the likelihood of arterial blocks. This spells great news for cardiovascular health. Oranges also contain potassium which can help maintain heart function. Low potassium levels may cause muscle weakness and heart rhythm disturbances.3
4. Builds Immunity
It’s common knowledge that oranges contain a significant amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is needed by the cells that make up our immune system. Contrary to popular belief, taking vitamin C during a cold does not help you recover faster. However, sufficient levels of vitamin C can help prevent illness in the first place.4 So perhaps, you should replace that apple a day with an orange a day instead.
5. Helps Maintain Healthy Vision
Oranges contain nutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin. These are carotenoids which are a type of antioxidant. They are also found in the retina. They are crucial to maintaining eye health. The retina is a place that is prone to damage from free radicals. Lutein and zeaxanthin being antioxidants, help prevent this damage. These along with vitamin C (also found in plenty in oranges) help prevent degeneration in the retina.5
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Oranges contain high levels of potassium which is an important nutrient for several functions in the body. Research shows that potassium also plays a role in lowering high blood pressure by relaxing the walls of blood vessels.6
7. Lowers Risk Of Stroke
We’ve already seen that oranges can reduce blood pressure which is a marker for risk of stroke. Studies have also shown that vitamin C may play a role in reducing this risk. Those who suffered strokes were seen to be deficient in levels of vitamin C. Nutritionists recommend including foods that are rich in nutrients into your diet since it is one that the body is incapable of producing by itself. It relies completely on outside sources. Orange juice is a great way to include vitamin C because a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice can contain up to 117% of your daily required intake.7
Oranges contain high levels of potassium. Too much potassium in your diet could have dangerous side effects like irregular heart beats and may cause issues for people with kidney problems. Consult your doctor if you have any doubts about what foods you can and cannot eat.
Oranges have all these great benefits and average only around 60 calories per fruit. This goes to show that just like most other fruits and vegetables, they’re a great addition to a healthy diet.
|↑1||Functional properties and health benefits of orange juice. University Of Florida.|
|↑2||Functional properties and health benefits of orange juice. University Of Florida.|
|↑3||Heart failure and potassium. Harvard Health Publications.|
|↑4||Ströhle, A., and Andreas Hahn. “Vitamin C and immune function.” Medizinische Monatsschrift fur Pharmazeuten 32, no. 2 (2009): 49-54.|
|↑5||Top foods to help protect your vision. Harvard Health Publications.|
|↑6||Potassium lowers blood pressure. Harvard Health Publications.|
|↑7||Vitamin C may reduce stroke risk. University Of Florida.|