The humble orange, with its tart-sweet taste and distinctive fragrance may be one of the most common of fruits, but it is packed with goodness. Each part of this fruit is useful. This fruit has been cultivated in tropical and sub tropical regions for thousands of years; it is thought that oranges were being cultivated in China as far back as 2500 BC.
The orange is unique in that not only the sweet fruit, but even the peel is utilized for various different purposes. Even the orange blossom is very useful in for creating fragrances, teas, etc. and the leaves and wood of the orange tree are useful too. To get all the benefits of an orange it is best to actually eat the fruit rather than to consume it in juice form (even with the pulp). Here are just some of the benefits of oranges.
Vitamin C and other vitamins
We all know that oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, which is known to improve immunity and help the body fight infection, particularly viral infections. Certain compounds in oranges are converted into Vitamin A which is beneficial for the eyes. Oranges are also rich in Vitamin B6, which is important for various body functions including healthy hemoglobin levels.
Eating oranges is a great source of dietary fiber (juicing typically means that you lose out on the fiber). This is not just a way to prevent common problems such as constipation; the soluble fiber that oranges contain is also thought to help to lower cholesterol naturally.
Oranges contain antioxidants known to fight free radicals. This helps the skin look younger for longer since the body is able to withstand the aging process owing to the high beta-carotene content of oranges. It is also thought that some of the compounds found in oranges have properties that protect against certain cancers and heart problems.
Medicinal uses of leaves and rind
Orange leaves and the rind of the fruit are often used to brew teas and herbal concoctions. Orange peel is thought to be natural insect repellant – helping gardeners reduce the nuisance of slugs.
Other health benefits of oranges
Potassium is vitally important for heart health and oranges are a great source of this nutrient. Though oranges contain significant amounts of sugar, it is the type of sugar that doesn’t create a spike in blood sugar; rather it offers slower, sustained release of energy. The pectin (acidic compound) found in oranges is also very beneficial for digestive health and is thought to have many protective impacts.