Florida is known for its oranges. In fact, the state flower of Florida is the orange blossom. Florida’s oranges are shipped all over the country and world. Besides being an important export for Florida’s economy, oranges are in fact a very healthy and tasty food, especially when eaten whole. Oranges have a great nutritional profile, and the health benefits of eating oranges are widespread.
Oranges are best known as a source of vitamin C. In fact, an average orange can provide about 130% of the daily recommended vitamin C needs. These high levels of vitamin C can help to boost the immune system. Oranges are also a source of choline, which primarily helps in the transmission of nerve impulses. But Choline also helps the body absorb fat and maintain a healthy cholesterol profile, in addition to aiding in sleep, muscle movement, and maintenance of the body’s cells. Another important nutritional element of oranges is dietary fiber, which helps the body in waste removal and to slow the absorption of carbohydrates and cholesterol. Oranges are also a good source of many other vitamins and nutrients, such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, and many others. All of these nutrients help the body in maintaining its natural and healthy functioning.
There are many health benefits from oranges that have been documented in various sources. Oranges have been linked to several benefits relating to the cardiovascular system. Eating citrus fruits like oranges has been linked to lowering the risk of ischemic stroke in women, and the nutritional profile of oranges is consistent with a diet that reduces the risk of heart disease, including higher levels of potassium and lower levels of sodium. This same profile can help reduce blood pressure.
Additionally, eating oranges in early life has been linked to reduced incidence of childhood leukemia. Vitamin C has been shown to fight against the formation of the kind of free radicals that might lead to cancer. Nutrients that reduce free radicals are known as antioxidants. Although eating oranges is not a cure for cancer, it may help in prevention or reduction of cancer. Sufferers of diabetes can have benefits from eating oranges, including reduced blood glucose levels for those with type 1 diabetes. Those with type 2 diabetes have shown improved blood sugar, lipids, and even insulin from a diet that includes oranges, eaten whole so that the pectin fiber in the fruit can slow the absorption of the sugar that provides the sweetness that is so tasty..
Overall, oranges can help a healthy diet. Obviously, like any other food, oranges can’t do all the work on their own, but as part of a larger healthy diet, they can be quite beneficial. If you have any questions about your own health or about planning a healthier diet, be sure to contact Internal Medicine, Lipids, and Wellness at (239) 362-3005 (ext. 200) today. We have a dietician on site who can help counsel patients with diet changes and help maintain a healthy diet.
For a quick, helpful reference for the health benefits of orange, click here to check out this great infographic from Positive Health Wellness.