Nutrients in oranges are plentiful and diverse. A natural orange is superior to any pharmaceutical preparation as a source of vitamin C. Today it is known that in addition to vitamin C, oranges contain about 170 phytochemicals that potentiate and complement the action of this vitamin in the body and more than 60 flavonoids, which have been shown to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and strong anti-oxidant properties.
- Oranges, like other citrus fruits, is an excellent source of vitamin C, this is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood. A compound found in oranges and other citrus fruits, called D-limonene has been shown to be effective in the prevention of some cancers such as skin cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, mouth cancer and colon cancer. The high vitamin C content also acts as an anti-oxidant that protects cells from damages by free radicals known to cause signs of aging.
- Oranges also contain very good levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid antioxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Orange is a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
- Orange fruit also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, iodine, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, chlorine and zinc. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure through countering sodium actions.
- Orange is rich in dietary fiber, pectin. One of the most important flavonoids in oranges is hesperidin. Hesperidin and the pectin in oranges have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. The concentration of hesperidin is considerably higher in the inner peel, rather than in orange flesh. Pectin appears to slow the body’s absorption of fats and lower cholesterol levels.
- Oranges are extremely low in calories. A medium orange contains just 65 calories, making it a good addition to a healthy diet for weight loss. They also have a high fiber content, which can make you feel full longer, so you eat less.
- Oranges should always be part of the diet of anyone with an infectious disease, or those who which to avoid them.
When eating an orange, the white inner peel(mesocarp) should be included as well as the pulp fibre.