How much do you know about oranges? We’re assuming you savour one every now and then - but are you acquainted with the fruit’s benefits? Laden with a medley of nutrients, oranges deliver a bewildering spectrum of benefits to the body, skin, and hair - from calcium to vitamin C, the advantages are many. But how do you reap them? Is it as simple as eating one at a random hour of the day? No. Is it healthy to eat more than one every day? No. Should you be aware of any side-effects? Yes. We’re deep-diving into the benefits of oranges - and how to work them into your diet.
- 1) What’s the nutritional value of oranges?
- 2) Is it better to drink orange juice as compared to eating the fruit?
- 3) What are the different types of oranges?
- 4) How do you add oranges to your diet?
1) What’s the nutritional value of oranges?
Oranges are loaded with vitamin C. This nutrient is essential for the growth, development, and repair of the tissues. It promotes the formation of collagen as well as the absorption of iron, supports the functioning of the immune system, and encourages the healing of wounds - along with other things. The fruit is packed with fibre as well. This maintains the health of the digestive system, and prevents issues like constipation, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), diabetes, obesity, and heart-related diseases from surfacing.
Oranges contain folate too. Folate is a vitamin B compound that produces DNA and RNA as well as WBCs and RBCs in the bone marrow, and transforms carbohydrates into energy. A deficiency of folate leads to fatigue, weakness in the muscles, ulcers in the mouth, vision-related issues, problems with judgement, memory, and understanding, depression, and confusion - among other symptoms. Other than folate, vitamin C, and fibre, oranges contain potassium, calcium, and thiamine as well.
2) Is it better to drink orange juice as compared to eating the fruit?
Let’s dispel a misconception: drinking juice is never healthier than eating the fruit. Regardless of how fresh it is - even if you’ve just extracted juice out of an orange. It’s just not the same. According to science, regular consumption of juice leads to a sharper and quicker spike in blood sugar levels, and increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And if you’re consuming a fructose-based juice from a store, you’re more susceptible to developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver disease in the future. Supermarket juices undergo multi-step processing as well.
A glass of orange juice is packed with more calories and carbohydrates than an orange. To put it into perspective, one cup of juice accounts for double the calories of one orange. And packs within it a smaller proportion of fibre as compared to the fruit. This means that the juice leaves your system quicker than usual - and you realise your cravings haven’t been satiated. And you end up drinking more juice, and consuming more calories than you intended.
3) What are the different types of oranges?
- Navel oranges
These oranges are sweet - and slightly bitter. You can identify one through a mark at the bottom of the fruit resembling a belly-button. One of the most common types of oranges, they're perfect for juicing (due to their inherent sweetness) as well as adding to salads (due to a lack of seeds). You can eat them raw as well.
- Cara cara oranges
These are sweeter than navel oranges. Cara Cara oranges, red-fleshed in nature, are like a cross between a blood orange and a navel orange. They're also sought after for their low acidity levels, and are perfect accompaniments to snacks, juices, and raw dishes.
- Blood oranges
This crimson-fleshed orange is added to cocktails and preserves because of its colour. They're smaller than navel oranges but bigger than tangerines. There are 3 types of blood oranges - Moro, Taracco, and Sanguinello. They're perfect for sauces, salads, and marmalade.
- Seville oranges
These oranges are bitter in nature. And they're used in the preparation of marmalade, salad dressings, and sauces. Because they're acidic in nature, they're not eaten as snacks. They're used for cooking instead.
- Lima oranges
Also known as acidless oranges, lima oranges are extremely sweet with negligible acid. Their skin is thicker in nature, and they contain seeds, but they're perfect for snacking on raw, because of how soft and juicy they are.
- Mandarin oranges
Even though they're referred to as oranges, mandarins aren't oranges at all. Oranges, interestingly enough, are a hybrid of pomelos and mandarins. Mandarins are small and sweet with a flattened appearance, making them perfect for salads and snacks.
Clementines don't contain any seeds. And they're popular for their sweetness. They're smooth and glossy in appearance. They're not as acidic as other oranges. This makes them very easy to snack on.
Tangerines are small, sweet, and snackable. They're just like clementines - just less sweeter and with more seeds. They have a soft and thin skin, making them easy to peel. They're also very high in vitamin C.
Tangelos have tight skin, and they're not easy to peel. But they're juicy, sweet, and tart on the inside. And even though they might be tough to eat raw, they're perfect for juicing.
4) How do you add oranges to your diet?
You can consume one orange every day - in the morning, evening, or after a workout. Or incorporate the fruit into your diet in other ways. Add slices of the vitamin C-laden fruit to your go-to salad. A platter replete with oranges, kiwis, strawberries, and apples. Just add a dollop of honey, a pinch of chilli powder, and a dash of lemon to spice it up. And if you’re fond of greens, add a few boiled leaves of spinach to a cup of oranges, and conclude by sprinkling a little salt as well as mango powder over the mix.
Do you like lemonade? Combine freshly-squeezed orange with freshly-squeezed lemon, and you have yourself a beverage complete with a tangy twist.
Benefits of oranges
- Oranges contain a multitude of nutrients and plant-based compounds like vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenoids that reduce your risk of developing heart-related diseases, and improve the health of your heart.
- According to studies, any diet that contains higher levels of citrus fruits protects you against chronic diseases like diabetes as well as certain types of cancers - liver, neck, mouth, head and stomach cancer.
- Although oranges aren’t excellent sources of iron, they contain vitamin C. And vitamin C enhances your body’s ability to absorb iron. This reduces your risk of developing anaemia.
- Regular consumption of fruits containing vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients can support the functioning of your immune system, and make you more resilient.
- It aids your body in the production of collagen, and this accelerates the rate at which your body heals wounds.
- Since it contains calcium, it keeps your bones, muscles, and organs strong. And the potassium in oranges lowers your blood pressure.
- Because oranges contain antioxidants, it’s safe to say that they protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals, and help promote a youthful glow on your face. And the vitamin C in oranges can lead to a reduction of loss of hair, and boost growth. Oranges can treat dandruff as well.
- The vitamin A in oranges contributes to the health of your eyes by maintaining the health of your mucus membranes, and prevents age-related vascular damage that can even lead to blindness.
Another way to add oranges to your daily routine aka your skincare diet is to invest in Himalaya Tan Removal Orange Face Wash. It actively removes tan and also smoothens out your skin while removing dead cells. This results in healthy, radiant and glowing skin all year round!
What is the best time to eat an orange?
It’s best not to eat an orange - or any citrus-y fruit - right after a meal. This will lead to an increase in acid formation in the stomach, and result in heaviness and digestion-related issues - along with minimising the absorption of nutrients. The best time of the day to eat an orange is in the morning or as a snack in the evening; and the worst time is to eat one right before bed. You don’t want to go to sleep with a heavy stomach, do you? It’s ideal to slip a fruit into your diet in the morning - since your stomach is empty, absorption of the fruit’s nutrients is optimum. You can snack on one before or after a workout to refuel your body as well.
Is it healthy to eat an orange every day?
Remember that moderation is key. Even though consuming oranges is a healthy practice, and the fruit is packed with a lot of benefits, you mustn’t over indulge. The fibre content in oranges can affect digestion, trigger abdominal cramps, and lead to diarrhoea; but eating one orange a day can boost your immunity, improve the appearance of your skin, maintain your vision, prevent heart-related diseases, reduce the development of ulcers in the stomach, prevent loss of hair, and so much more.
What are the side-effects of eating oranges?
As mentioned previously, it’s never wise to consume anything in excess - especially a citrus-y fruit laden with vitamin C that’s heavy on the stomach. If you’re eating too many oranges every day, you might experience side-effects like diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, heartburn, bloating, cramps, and insomnia. There are certain disadvantages associated with oranges as well - apart from causing issues in the stomach, they can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, and trigger acid reflux.