Available in the market all round the year, oranges are the most common citrus fruits consumed in India. They are not only popular for their raw pulpy slices, juicy nature, and tangy and sweet flavour but also for their goodness of Vitamin C. Also called the golden apple, oranges offer numerous benefits covering health as well as beauty aspects.
Here are the top 10 health benefits you can derive by eating oranges.
#1 Boosts immunity
Oranges is an excellent source of vitamin C. A single medium-sized orange can fulfil about 72% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. Since vitamin C plays a crucial role as an antioxidant by protecting your body against the damage caused by free radicals generated in the body. It therefore reduces inflammation in immune related conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Although debatable, researchers suggest that vitamin C also plays an important role in strengthening immune responses of the body, protecting against recurring cold and cough or any other common infections.
#2 Helps prevent ageing of skin
There’s a reason why oranges are popularly used in the beauty industry. Several beauty products including face packs, masks and creams that are available contain orange extract as a key ingredient. That’s because vitamin C present in oranges also helps prevent skin damage, by eliminating free radicals. Vitamin C, being involved in synthesis of collagen, an important component to maintain skin’s overall appearance and texture, prevents premature aging and wrinkling of the skin. Apart from vitamin C, oranges are packed with vitamin A that help keep the skin membranes healthy.
#3 Protects the eyes
Vitamin A in oranges helps keep mucus membranes in the eyes healthy. Available in the form of carotenoid compounds like lutein, beta carotene and zeaxanthin, vitamin A is protective against age-related macular degeneration, a vision-related condition that causes blindness. Besides, it also plays an important role in allowing your eyes to absorb the light.
#4 Help prevents heart disease
This is yet another health benefit of oranges which is attributed to its vitamin C level. Free radicals generated during various reactions taking place in the cells can trigger oxidation of cholesterol, causing the oxidised molecules to aggregate and stick to the walls of the arteries. This leads to build up of plaques that eventually block the arteries, causing heart attack, coronary artery disease or even stroke. Vitamin C in oranges takes care of these free radicals and neutralises them, thus playing a role in preventing heart disease. Besides they also contain flavonoids like hesperidin that lowers cholesterol level and prevents the arteries from getting blocked.
#5 Helps brain development
Folate/folic acid or vitamin B9 present in oranges promote brain development and keep the vital organ in mint condition. In fact, these nutrients also make orange a healthy fruit for pregnant woman as it prevents the baby from having neurological disorders later. Oranges also contain phytonutrients called polyphenols that play a role in development of learning and memory functions of the brain.
#6 Helps prevent cancer
Oranges contain a compound called D – limonene that has been shown to play an important role in preventing various types of cancer like lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, etc. Additionally, the antioxidants and Vitamin C help promote the body’s immunity which helps in fighting cancer cells. Oranges are highly fibrous fruits, which contributes to its cancer-protecting effect. A study revealed that about 10 to 15 per cent of colon cancer cases are caused by mutations in the DNA. These mutations can prevented by consuming vitamin C rich sources like oranges.
#7 Prevents constipation
Oranges are a very good source of soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps keep your stomach and intestines healthy by preventing problems like irritable bowel syndrome. The fibre content in them adds bulk to the digested food and reduces transit time of feces, preventing constipation and straining.
#8 Improves sperm quality
Death is inevitable, but our legacy may live on through our offspring. The antioxidants and Vitamin C present in most fruits, including oranges improves the quality and motility of your sperm thus keeping you fertile. Another vitamin called folic acid also is an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy sperms that you can obtain from oranges. It also protects the sperm from genetic damage, which might lead to birth defects.
#9 Great for diabetics
The rich fibre content of oranges has the ability to keep a track of sugar levels in the body, preventing diabetes. It is also a good option for those who are diabetic. Also worth mentioning is that good oranges have a sweet taste, and since diabetics aren’t allowed to eat sweets or other sugary foods, they can eat oranges to tingle their taste buds.
#10 Prevents hair loss
Orange has high Vitamin C content which is required for producing collagen which, in turn, is responsible for keeping the tissues in your hair together. Nobody likes bald patches on their head, and eating oranges can ensure that you do not have to part with your lovely hair as you grow older.
Healthy eating tip: When you cut an orange, make sure you do it in a way that the inner peel doesn’t come off since it is very nutritious and has higher amounts of hesperidin than the flesh itself. You may also want to know the top 10 health benefits of orange peel.