What are Oranges?
Oranges are some of the most popular fruits due to its sweet and famous taste.
It belongs to the same family as; tangerines, yuzu, pomelo, grapefruit, and lemon, oranges under the genus, citrus.
The orange tree is a semi-tropical, small flowering, evergreen plant that grows to about 5-8m tall.
Most people don’t know this, but oranges are categorized into two types, sweet and bitter oranges.
A variety of traditional sweet oranges include; Navel, Valencia, Blood orange and a variety of Persian oranges.
Oranges juice is a staple all over the world. Anyone can picture breakfast with oranges juice and for good reason.
Packed with vitamin C, orange juice can be a perfect morning or afternoon boost of energy and nutrients.
Tangerines are also a common type of citrus that is similar to oranges.
Their skin is more natural to peel (pericarp) and their flesh sweeter than peaches.
In Europe, they are known as Mandarin and Satsumas in Japan.
The exact origin of oranges is a mystery, but their cultivation is believed to have started in Eastern Asia thousands of years ago.
Today, oranges are grown in any warm region.
Oranges Calories and Nutrients
Oranges pack up a punch as far as nutrients are concerned. One orange contains about 45 calories within it.
These succulent bounties are also rich in;
- Vitamin C
Oranges Benefits and Uses
The benefits of oranges extend itself far beyond the breakfast counter or soccer practice. The best part about this fruit is how you can use it in a variety of different ways, including using the peel.
The orange can also be distilled to an essential oil that can be used in a variety of ways as well, we will further cover this throughout the article.
Oranges for Prevention of Cancer
The high concentration of Vitamin C in oranges is responsible for its healing benefits.
This vitamin is a vital water-soluble antioxidant in the body that disarms free radicals and prevents damage within and around cells.
Oranges are believed to play a part in preventing cancer because it may potentially occur when free radicals destroy cells from within.
The intervention of Vitamin C in cell repair and protection, especially in parts of the body where cellular turnover is rapid hence preventing DNA mutations, for instance, the digestive system, chances of colon cancer can be reduced.
Oranges Relief from Inflammation
Without the intervention of Vitamin C, free radicals can cause damage to other cellular structures.
In this case, you will experience painful inflammation as your body works hard to flash out the damaged parts.
When there is a steady and sufficient supply of vitamin C, cellular damage caused by free radicals will be non-existent hence inflammatory cases will be prevented.
Inflammatory illnesses, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis can easily be managed or prevented.
Oranges Lower Cholesterol
Did you know that eating oranges could help lower cholesterol levels and event prevent heart-related illnesses?
It neutralizes free radicals hence avoiding the oxidation of cholesterol.
Free radicals are notorious for oxidizing cholesterol.
When this happens, the cholesterol sticks to the walls of your arteries.
Over time, these build up plaques which gradually grow in size and obstruct blood flow or rupture the vessels hence a stroke or a heart attack.
Oranges Strengthen Immune System
Vitamin C is popularly known for its efficacy in preventing and its healing effects against colds.
This is because it is highly effective in strengthening the immune system.
It also comes in handy in avoiding recurring ear infections.
Oranges Rich in Fiber
Besides the juice, oranges are suitable for their flesh. This part is rich in fiber which has been shown to reduce/lower cholesterol levels. This goes a long way in preventing atherosclerosis.
The thread in oranges is also useful in keeping blood sugar at healthy levels.
It explains why oranges are considered a healthy snack for diabetics. Also, fructose, a natural sugar in fruits such as oranges, is effective in preventing blood sugar from rising after snacking on an orange.
This fiber can also prevent cancer-causing chemicals from getting into the cells in the colon hence preventing colon cancer.
If you are experiencing diarrhea or constipation, fiber from oranges can aid in digestion.
Oranges are highly recommended for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
Oranges Prevention of Kidney Stones
Drinking a glass of orange juice every morning could help lower your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Women who drink 1/2 a cup of apple, grapefruit or orange juice can increase their citric acid excretion and urinary pH value hence lowering the risk of forming calcium oxalate stones.
Oranges for Ulcers
According to a study conducted on a group of individuals showed that those who had the highest blood level of vitamin C had a 25% reduced chance of infection with the h-pylori.
This is the bacteria responsible for the development of peptic ulcers which further increases chances of peptic ulcers.
Oranges for Respiratory Health
Beta-cryptoxanthin is a carotenoid present in oranges, tangerines, pumpkin, corn, red bell peppers, papaya, and peaches may come in handy in lowering your risk of developing lung cancer.
This is according to a study published in the publication; cancer epidemiology, biomarkers, and prevention showed that people who frequently consumed foods rich in cryptoxanthin had a 27% reduced chance of developing lung cancer.
This also applies to smokers who regularly ate foods rich in this carotenoid had a 37% reduced chance of lung cancer compared to those who didn’t.
Oranges for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Enjoying a glass of orange juice at the breakfast table or after a meal can go a long way in preventing rheumatoid arthritis.
This is according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
This is because of the phytonutrients in oranges; carotenoids, beta-cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin.
Those with the highest intake of zeaxanthin were the highest at 52% while those who recorded the highest intake of cryptoxanthin were second at 49%.
It’s amazing what a glass or orange juice will do, isn’t it?
Is consuming a vitamin C supplement equal to eating an orange or drinking orange juice?
No, it’s not. According to studies by Italian Researchers in the division of human nutrition at the University of Milan in Italy, drinking a glass of orange juice is healthier than consuming a vitamin C supplement.
This is because the absorption of a Vitamin C supplement is not reliable.
Some studies show that only 16% of the nutrients in a supplement is absorbed while the body consumes 96% of vitamin C from an orange or orange juice.
It is important to note that freshly squeezed orange juice is better than store-bought orange juice.
This is because the latter is processed and contains concentrates that are solid from the processing floor.
It also has additive, such as formaldehyde. Additionally, studies show that drinking this nutrient singly as it is in supplements hinders absorption as opposed to consuming the fruits a whole.
An orange contains more than just vitamin C which enhances the absorption of each phytonutrient to its maximum.
Benefits of Oranges Peel
Do you throw out the peels after peeling an orange? Millions of people do which is quite unfortunate. The rind is where all the goodness is. For a long time, I thought oranges were good for their juice and flesh only. Little did I know that their kindness was in their rind. You’ll be surprised to learn all about all the goodness that’s hidden in the orange peel.
Orange peels are loaded with compounds that are vital for our health.
These bright colored peels are packed with more than 170 phytonutrients and 60 types of flavonoids.
This is more than any good you’ll find inside. Expect vitamins, pectins, fiber and minerals from the peels of orange.
As much as this will go a long way in boosting your health and preventing specific illness, there are other unexplored benefits of orange peels.
Cooking with Oranges
You’ll never imagine how much flavor is in an orange peel.
For a long time, lemon rind has been used to flavor dishes especially pastry.
What you didn’t know is that an orange peel is as good with rich flavors in addition to its health benefits.
It also adds some level of sweetness which isn’t there with lemon rind.
Some people prefer to add it in the late stages of cooking to soften it a bit without killing the nutrients or the sweet flavor.
Chefs in fancy restaurants are known to put an orange rind on top of fish, steak or lamb when baking.
The meat may be wrapped in foil to allow all the goodness from the skin to sweat into the meat hence enriching its flavor.
In pastry, shaving it and putting it in along with the other ingredients will enhance its flavor and appeal.
Home chefs and other food fanatics have learned the trick of putting some orange shavings in their stews during the last stages of cooking.
The sweet yet distinct flavor from the rind os was appetizing.
So, next time you want to bake or stew your favorite dish, put some orange peel shavings in there.
Oranges for Digestive Complications
Orange rind is rich in insoluble polysaccharides, such as tannins, pectins, and hemicellulose.
This is a type of dietary fibers that prevents constipation by reducing contact time of the food with the intestines.
It also comes in handy in reducing acidity, soothing heartburn and preventing acidosis.
The more you make use of orange peels, the longer you can enjoy a healthy digestive system.
Oranges Freshen the Air
Baking some orange flavored cookies will give your home a pleasant smell.
However, you do not always have to cook whenever the air around your home needs to be freshened.
Boiling some orange rind will instantly give your house that creamy, tangy fragrance.
Alternatively, you can add some cinnamon and cardamom in the orange peel water to provide it with a twist.
Instead of pouring this water out when it cools, put it in a spray bottle and use it as an ordinary air freshener.
You can also warm it in the microwave for 5 minutes then wipe the walls down.
The sweet, tangy aroma will make a big difference. I also found rubbing the juices from the orange rind on lit fluorescent tubes quite helpful.
Oranges for Acne
Are your store-bought acne treatments ineffective? You’ll be pleased to know that a cheap ingredient such as an orange peel might be just what you need.
These contain phenolic antioxidants which are active in fighting against acne-causing bacteria just like any other antibiotic.
The peel has much more vitamin C than the juice so rubbing it on the pimple will reduce pain and swelling.
People with oily skin may benefit from using orange peels more than those with dry skin.
When used for an extended period, the flavonoid nobiletin in the peel will gradually reduce the production of sebum.
This will prevent blocked pores from oil and dirt.
Oranges for Weight Loss
Orange rind is low in calories and a good source of fiber which is essential for weight watchers.
When consumed, it will fill you up hence reduce hunger pangs and food cravings.
When snacked on before meals, you will notice that little amounts of food fill you up thus fewer calorie intake.
With time, you will lose weight and manage to keep it long term.
Oranges to Improve Oral Health
Is terrible breathe ruining your social life or interfering with your self-esteem?
I recently discovered that chewing on orange rind instead of glue works in freshening my breath.
This is a healthy alternative as opposed to gum as it is sugar-free and doesn’t strain your gum.
It may also whiten your teeth and reduce teeth sensitivity over time.
Oranges Relieve Respiratory Problems
An orange peel might be all you need for respiratory relief.
People with asthma have found great comfort in this medicinal peel.
It triggers a ling cleansing activity by breaking down and getting rid of phlegm.
Orange rind is also rich in histamine and antioxidants which are a relief for various respiratory complications such as lung cancer, flu, bronchitis, and cold.
Oranges Natural Skin Lightener
Useful skin care products contain vitamin C as a vital ingredient. In fact, it has been proven to be highly beneficial for the skin.
Getting this essential ingredient in its natural form grants you even more benefits.
Shave some rind and mix with your scrubber once a week for a fresher face.
When combined with milk or curd, it can lighten dark spots on your skin.
When used routinely, this is a great toner, naturally, cleanse your pores and will efficiently remove sun tan.
Oranges for Dry Scalp
I’ve struggled with a dry scalp and dandruff since I was a teenager. After trying out thousands of products without any relief, I decided to give natural remedies a try.
Orange peel came through for me in a big way.
For this, grate some rind and soak them in warm water overnight.
In the morning, sieve the concoction and wash your hair with the water.
Repeat once a week depending on the dandruff problem.
Moisturise the hair and observe the changes.
With time, this remedy got rid of this problem as it also helps to cleanse the scalp.
Oranges In Tea
The beauty of tea is that it can be enjoyed with any additive you wish.
Some people enjoy theirs with cinnamon while others prefer the rich flavor that cardamom brings about.
If you are looking for a new taste for versatility, then some orange rind will do.
For this, crush some peel and diffuse it into your cup of tea.
The tangy awakening flavor sure will tantalize your taste buds.
Oranges for Nausea
The orange rind has a sweet, tangy taste that will instantly get rid of nausea.
You can chew the peel or diffuse it in your tea. Smelling the rind is also useful.
Organic oranges are a healthier option as the fruit is free of chemicals
Before eating or using the rind, wash, dry and pat it dry
Orange rind is best used fresh.
If you do not intend to use it at that moment, do not peel it as it will lose some nutrients
Oranges with thin skin are a better choice
Oranges Essential Oil
It is true to say that an orange is a fruit that keeps giving.
Besides giving its juice, flesh, and rind, it also provides an oil that’s known for several of its benefits.
Orange oil, also known as sweet orange oil, is derived from the rind of an orange fruit through a process called cold compression.
Orange flavored beverages may contain orange essential oil.
The components of this essential oil include; alpha-pinene, Geraniol, sabinene, myrcene, Limonene, neral, Linalool.
Orange essential oil has various properties that contribute to your overall health; anti-inflammatory, antidepressants, antiseptic, diuretic, sedative, aphrodisiac, tonic, cholagogic, carminative and antispasmodic.
This essential oil is used for industrial, medicinal and domestic purposes.
Domestically, orange oil is used to flavor desserts, beverages, and sweetmeats.
Industrially, it is used in making lotions, soaps, anti-aging creams, and wrinkle lifting applications, room fresheners, drinks, deodorants, sprays, chocolates, biscuits, confectionery, and pastry.
Medicinal Properties of Orange Oil
The medicinal properties of orange oil can be very helpful for all those who wish to use it. The oil should be diluted in the beginning like any essential oil in order to make sure your body can tolerate the oil.
The oil should be used as stated on whatever bottle you bought, consulting your doctor would also be the best bet before moving forward.
Oranges Oil Essential Treat Spasms
Orange essential oil can be used to treat spasms and its symptoms which include; muscle cramps, convulsions, constant cough, and diarrhea.
This oil is useful for relaxing muscular and nervous contractions.
Oranges Oil Essential Natural Sedative
Orange oil will help alleviate anxiety, depression and soothe inflammation.
As a natural sedative, it will relax your mind and help you relax and sleep better.
Oranges Oil Essential Aphrodisiac
Orange oil is believed to have mild aphrodisiac properties. Continuous use can help cure erectile dysfunction, frigidity, loss of sexual interest, impotence and low libido.
Oranges Oil Essential Relieve Inflammation
This natural oil will offer quick relief from internal or external inflammation caused by; spicy food, infections, fever, a reaction from antibiotics, indigestion or gas.
Oranges Essential Oil As a Cholagogue
It stimulates secretions from all glands, endocrine and exocrine.
It is useful in regulating lactation and menstrual flow as well as digestive juices, hormones, bile, and enzymes.
Oranges Essential Oil Prevent Infections
When you have a cut, burn or wound, chances of infection are high. However, orange oil inhibits microbial growth and helps to disinfect the wound, therefore, prevent diseases and tetanus.
Oranges Essential Oil Relieves Depression
Pleasant smells are known to trigger happy thoughts hence alleviating depression.
This explains why orange oil is used in aromatherapy and massage rooms. It can also be used to relieve anxiety, stress and panic attacks.
How to Use Oranges Essential Oil
Adding a few drops of orange oil in your final rinsing water will freshen up your laundry.
Adding a few drops of it in your air freshener will give your house a fresh and tangy aroma.
Rubbing it on your skin will improve its appearance and even reduce the visibility of eczema or acne.
If you have a blocked nose, boil some water and add a few drops of this oil and inhale the steam.
Also Read: 25 Lemon Balm Uses and Tea Benefits
Oranges have proven to be more than pure fruits. If well utilized, they can boost your health, appearance and even moods.
When shopping for oranges, it is best that you opt for organic ones. This is especially so if you intend to use the rind.
With large quantities, orange rind can be dried and used later. However, refrigeration is not recommended.
If you prefer using orange essential oil, you can buy some from natural or whole food health stores.
It is commonly used for aromatherapy, massage rooms, and with herbalists.
Anyone can enjoy and reap benefits associated with orange fruits, rind, and oils.
Oranges are affordable and easily accessible, and peels are free after enjoying the succulent fruit.
As productive and beneficial this oil is, it is also affordable.