Oranges are one of the world’s most popular citrus fruits. Originally from Southeast Asia, they are now grown in almost every area that has an appropriate warm climate. While many people prefer to enjoy just the juice of this fruit, the whole orange has more impressive nutrition stats when consumed whole.
While oranges may vary in size, it is possible to take some average nutritional values by examining at the content of 100 grams of this fruit. In this portion, there are roughly 50 calories and no fat at all. Additionally, some 87% of the orange is made up of water. This makes the orange a very diet-friendly fruit. Additionally, 100 grams of oranges are 12 percent carbohydrates, mostly from natural fruit sugars. However, some of these carbohydrates also come from fiber, and an average orange has 5 grams of this important nutrient. Since fiber is only found in the pulp, though, orange juice only has carbohydrates from sugar. Lastly, oranges have more protein than some other fruits, with almost 2 grams per orange.
Oranges are best known for being rich in vitamin C. In fact, 100 grams of the fruit can provide more than 80 percent of the recommended daily value of this nutrient. Vitamin C is important for preventing cell damage and is particularly associated with a decreased risk of colon cancer. It can also diminish inflammation associated with arthritis, asthma, and other uncomfortable conditions. Oranges are also a great source of potassium, which is essential in aiding muscle growth and health. A single orange has roughly 10% of a person’s daily potassium needs. Oranges also contain some vitamin A, calcium, and even a minimal amount of iron.
Oranges are especially powerful antioxidant foods because antioxidants increase effectiveness when they interact with vitamin C. Thus, oranges have been associated with preventing cancer and other dangerous diseases. They are loaded with bioflavanoids and carotenoids, which are known to protect the body from cancer, as well as phytochemicals that fight heart disease. Oranges are also high in herperindin, which is associated with helping to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Other nutrients found in oranges include folate, potassium, and even some small percentage of calcium. Folate is a B vitamin that is especially important to pregnant women. Meanwhile, potassium aids in muscle performance and can also counteract excess sodium in one’s diet. Finally, calcium helps build strong bones and is essential for all people.
Ultimately, oranges are one of the world’s most common and healthiest fruits. In fact, a study done in Finland found that orange eaters halved their risk of heart disease. Meanwhile, other studies showed oranges, with their high fiber and water content, can suppress a dieters’ appetite for up to four hours at a time. These are just a few of the orange’s many benefits, and it should be included as part of a healthy diet.