Oranges have long been a symbol of
health and vitality, in part because of their vibrant color (what fruit
could be that color and not be good for you?), but mostly due to their reputation as the king of vitamin C. While many fruits and vegetables are a source of this potent antioxidant, few offer such a wide range of health benefits as the smile-inducing orange.
Read on to find out why oranges get a healthy thumbs-up from us here at The Alternative Daily…
We’ll kick things off with an oldie but goodie. Everyone knows that oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, but it’s worth discussing nonetheless.
The average-size orange provides
approximately three-quarters of your daily vitamin C needs. Eating
additional fruits and vegetables makes it easy to meet your daily
requirement of vitamin C.
Getting your daily quota of vitamin C
means that you’re supplying your body with one of the most critical
antioxidants, responsible for protecting your cells against free radical
oxidative damage (and hence slowing down the process of aging),
reducing inflammation in joints and muscles, and bolstering your immune
system so that you’re more resistant to colds, flu, and other illnesses.
- They support your immune system
Vitamin C isn’t the only antioxidant
contained within the humble orange. Oranges are also high in vitamin A,
which supports healthy eye mucus membranes. Comprised of the compounds
lutein, beta carotene and zeaxanthin, the vitamin A found in oranges protects against macular degeneration associated with aging. According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation,
macular degeneration “is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting
more than 10 million Americans — more than cataracts and glaucoma
combined.” Another good reason to eat oranges!
- They keep your eyes sharp
- They improve male fertility
Here’s one for the guys — the potent concoction of antioxidants found
in oranges helps to support the production of healthy, more motile
sperm. This means that if you’re trying to conceive with your lady,
consuming oranges will improve your fertility, and hence your chance of
reproductive success. Throw in the folic acid found in our friend the
orange, and you’ll be further promoting healthy sperm and protecting
them from genetic damage.
Once again, the high concentration of
vitamin C found in oranges comes to the rescue. This time, it’s with
regards to your cardiovascular health. The free radical damage we
mentioned earlier can result in the oxidation of cholesterol, causing
these molecules to stick together and adhere to the walls of your
The buildup of plaque can ultimately block the flow of blood and put you at risk of heart attack, stroke or heart disease. Vitamin C is a known enemy of oxidative damage to cells, neutralizing free radicals while simultaneously lowering inflammation and keeping your cholesterol levels healthy.
- They fight heart disease
- They lower your chances of cancer
Oranges contain a curious compound called D-limonene, which can play a
pivotal role in preventing the development of certain types of cancer,
including lung cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer. The antioxidants
found in oranges also help in the fight against cancer, strengthening
the immune system to wage war against potentially cancerous cell
The folic acid and vitamin B9 contained in oranges promote healthy brain development,
while the polyphenolic compounds also contained in oranges support the
development of learning and memory functions in the brain. The same
orange-derived folate that promotes brain development in adults and
sperm health in males can also provide an important nutrient for
pregnant women, lowering the risk of neurological disorders in the
- They support healthy brain function
- They kick constipation
Putting plenty of food in, but not seeing any result on the other
side? Oranges can help with that. The high levels of both soluble and
insoluble fiber found in this colorful fruit support a healthy stomach
and digestive tract. This fiber adds bulk to digested food and speeds up
the transit time of food in the digestive tract, thereby fighting
constipation and making your time on the toilet a whole lot easier. Not
only that, the high levels of fiber in oranges help to prevent the
development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- They maintain a healthy pH
Oranges are similar to lemons in that, when consumed, they help to
balance the pH of your body by providing a range of alkaline minerals.
An acidic environment in the body provides the perfect conditions for
disease and health problems. These minerals help to redress the pH
balance in the body. It might seem a little counterintuitive,
considering oranges contain high levels of citric acid, but you’re going
to have to trust us on this one.
It’s important to note that while
oranges are very healthy, they are also one of the most
pesticide-sprayed fruits on the market. For this reason, try to go
organic whenever possible — not only is it better for your health, it’s
better for the land, too.
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