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The health benefits of oranges are impressive and more than just vitamin C. Oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the world and one of the most nutritious. A single orange contains over 60 different flavonoids and more than 170 different phytonutrients. These powerful compounds have a wide array of healing properties.
Studies have found that eating oranges is a better way to reap their health benefits than taking supplements. Citrus fruits like oranges are believed to help the body to absorb nutrients. Eating whole oranges is also a much better source of essential vitamins and minerals than drinking orange juice because many of the nutritional compounds of oranges are lost in the juicing process. Eating the whole orange also provides fiber which helps to slow the absorption of the sugar in the juice.
Here are 11 health benefits of oranges:
Citrus fruits are believed to help fight cancer. An Australian study found that citrus could reduce the risk of stomach, mouth, larynx and pharynx cancers by 40 to 50 percent. Oranges are a potent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer and other types of cancer as well. Oranges contain many other healing properties as well as phytonutrients like anthocyanins that have anticancer properties.
Lung Cancer & Respiratory Health
Oranges contain high amounts of a carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin. A 2003 study published in "Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention" found that foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin like oranges supported respiratory health and reduced the risk of lung cancer by 27%.
High In Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the primary water soluble antioxidant in the body, responsible for preventing free radical damage to the cells and DNA. Just one orange (or 131 grams) provides 116% of the DV of vitamin C. Vitamin C is well known for its ability to boost the immune system. It has also been purported to help lower blood pressure, reduce lead levels in the blood and support eye health, which may reduce the risk of cataracts.
High In Antioxidants
Oranges are full of the potent antioxidant vitamin C as well as many other phytonutrient compounds believed to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and premature aging by neutralizing free radicals and preventing oxidative stress to the body.
The high concentration of vitamin C found in oranges is believed to help boost the immune system, which can help ward off sickness and disease. Regular consumption of oranges may be a great way to help prevent the common cold and flu.
Oranges are a good source of dietary fiber, providing about 12.5% of the DV per orange. Fiber helps support a healthy digestive system and may aid in weight loss by balancing the metabolism. Fiber also helps reduce cholesterol and balance blood sugar levels.
The natural fructose in oranges is believed to help balance blood sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes.
Oranges are a good source of potassium. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure and supports overall heart health. It is also essential for maintaining good bone density. Potassium deficiency is associated with bone disease like osteoporosis.
Studies show that oranges may provide anti-inflammatory benefits thanks to a phytonutrient called herperidin. Lab studies and animal tests have found that herperidin can reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation can contribute to cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis and many other conditions. Vitamin C is also associated with a reduced risk of inflammatory diseases like asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The herperidin in oranges has also been found to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol in animal studies. The anti-inflammatory properties of herperidin and vitamin C also offer great cardiovascular support. The potassium obtained from oranges can also help to reduce blood pressure and the fiber they contain is essential in maintaining good heart health.
Last but not least of the health benefits of oranges is stomach health. Studies have found that oranges may help to treat stomach conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. They are also believed to help fight stomach ulcers and may help to reduce the risk of stomach cancer. Studies have found that daily consumption of oranges can lower the occurrence of H. pylori bacterium and reduce the risk of infections.
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