Summer’s here again, time to fill that glass jug with iced, zesty orange juice! Sweet oranges are renowned for their authentic sweetness and although there is much debate about their hybrid origins, oranges are generally considered to be a hybrid of mandarin and pomelo. Although, oranges are typically described as sweet, the fruit bears two distinctive types; bitter (C.aurantium) and sweet (C.aurantium). The bitter variety of oranges consist of trifoliate, Seville, kitchli and nanshodaidai to name, but a few. There is no single categorical location of where oranges originate, but the fruit is thought to have come from regions of China, (called North Eastern India today) and South-Eastern Asia. Read on to discover the Top 5 Health Benefits of Oranges!
1. Aid Digestion
Oranges help alleviate ingestion due to the fruit having both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Both of these fibres are crucial in ensuring our body, stomach and intestines operate sufficiently and is known to mitigate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
A cup (250ml) of juiced oranges is said to contain approximately 14% potassium which helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure. When compared, on average oranges actually have more potassium than that of bananas.
Potassium’s ability to lower blood pressure is linked to increasing vasodilation and the releasing of sodium (excessive amounts of sodium has been associated with heart failure, kidney disease and osteoporosis). Though studies such as the 2018 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) systematic review of the effects of sodium and potassium found such claims to be inconsistent.
They are also high in Vitamin B6, which fosters the support of haemoglobin which regulates blood pressure due to the mineral magnesium. A 2015 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that participants with high blood pressure who took both folate and enalapril (Vasotec) had a reduced risk of developing a stroke than those who only took enalapril throughout the 4 and a half year study.
3. Help Absorb Vital Nutrients
The high content of vitamin C in oranges helps the body to absorb vital nutrients. This is particularly the case for the absorption of non-heme iron (plant-based iron) such as that contained in green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C aids the body to utilise iron in the body from vegetables. The pairing of both oranges (and other fruits high in vitamin c) with green leafy vegetables makes this essential for vegans as the body is unable to sufficiently absorb iron in the absence of vitamin C according to a study ‘Effect of ascorbic acid intake on non heme-iron absorption from a complete diet’ published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
4. Encourage Healthy Skin
Vitamin C greatly enhances collagen production, which is essential in healing the skin and maintaining an aesthetically pleasing glow. An appraisal ‘can dietary intake influence perception of measured appearance? A systemic Review’ (published in Nutrition Research) found that dietary supplementation significantly improved wrinkling, skin elastically and evenness of skin pigmentation.