Oranges are a delicious fruit with a tangy flavor and an uplifting smell. They are packed with vitamins A, B and C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, choline and other nutrients.
Plus, the fruit has more than 170 phytochemicals and over 60 flavonoids with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Thus, it combats diseases, provides nutrition and fights aging effects.
Most health benefits of this citrus fruit have been attributed to its high vitamin C content. Interestingly, Italian researchers found that drinking a glass of orange juice provides better protective benefits than merely taking vitamin C supplements.
However, to use orange juice effectively for your health, drink it in moderation. Excessive consumption of the juice can cause tooth decay or wear away tooth enamel due to its sugar and acidic content.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of oranges.
1. Boosts Immunity
Being a citrus fruit, oranges are loaded with vitamin C that is essential for strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C promotes the production of white blood cells that fight against viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders.
Moreover, oranges contain plenty of polyphenols that protect against viral infections. Plus, they provide vitamin A, folate and copper, all nutrients that play a crucial role in boosting immunity.
Eat a few oranges or drink a glass or two of orange juice daily to give a boost to your immune system.
2. Rejuvenates Skin
The high vitamin C content in oranges makes them an excellent fruit for clear and flawless skin. This antioxidant vitamin combats skin damage caused by exposure to sun and environmental pollution. In addition, it plays a key role in the formation of collagen, thereby improving skin elasticity and reducing wrinkles.
To derive the skin benefits of this citrus fruit, you can eat oranges, drink orange juice and also apply orange juice to your skin.
You can even use the peels of the fruit to make a face mask. The citric acid in the peels lightens and brightens the skin and also opens up clogged pores. Check out our recipe for a homemade dried orange peel face mask.
3. Lowers Cholesterol
Oranges contain pectin, a soluble fiber that traps cholesterol and eliminates it from the body before it is absorbed in the bloodstream. Plus, they contain the flavonone hesperidin that has been found to lower cholesterol as well as blood pressure levels.
In fact, research indicates that the flavanones present in orange juice lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and also increase the ratio of good-to-bad cholesterol.
So, include an orange as well as a glass of fresh orange juice in your regular diet to combat cholesterol problems. Drinking two glasses of fresh orange juice daily will also help lower high blood pressure.
4. Heart Healthy
Being rich in antioxidants, folate and potassium, oranges are great for heart health. The antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, present in oranges protect the arteries from free radicals and prevent the oxidation of cholesterol.
Also, oranges have phytochemicals that prevent platelets from sticking together and strengthen blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells.
Folate, or vitamin B9, processes the amino acid homocysteine in the body. High levels of homocysteine may cause a heart attack, irrespective of a person’s cholesterol levels.
Potassium is another crucial nutrient for heart health as it plays a key role in heart functions and muscle contractions. Plus, research has found that the flavonone hesperidin present in the fruit and its juice contributes to vascular protective effects.
So, eat a fresh orange or drink a glass of orange juice daily to maintain heart health.
5. Protects Against Rheumatoid Arthritis
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking one glass of freshly squeezed orange juice daily can assist in reducing the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Being a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C, orange juice helps reduce swelling and inflammation of the joints. Moreover, its phytonutrients zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin protect against oxidative damage that can result in inflammation.
6. Backents Kidney Stones
The high vitamin C present in oranges is excellent for kidney health too. It helps reduce the risk of developing calcium oxalate kidney stones by increasing the level of citrate in the urine, which neutralizes acids and inhibits kidney stone formation by reducing the crystallization of uric acid and calcium oxalate.
In fact, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center suggest that drinking a glass of orange juice daily can be more effective in preventing kidney stones than other citrus fruit juices.