Oranges are one of the most popular fruits around the world. While they are delightful as asnack or as a recipe ingredient, for many Americans, it is their juice that is most associated with good health, having a reputation for being an integral part of a healthy breakfast.
Oranges are round citrus fruits with finely-textured skins that are, of course, orange in color just like their pulpy flesh. They usually range from about two to three inches in diameter.
Oranges are classified into two general categories—sweet and bitter—with the former being the type most commonly consumed. Popular varieties of the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) include Valencia, Navel and Jaffa oranges, as well as the blood orange, a hybrid species that is smaller in size, more aromatic in flavor and has red hues running throughout its flesh. Bitteroranges (Citrus aurantium) are oftentimes used to make jam or marmalade, and their zest serves as the flavoring for liqueurs such as Grand Marnier and Cointreau.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 197 kJ (47 kcal)
Carbohydrates 11.75 g
Sugars 9.35 g
Dietary fiber 2.4 g
Fat 0.12 g
Protein 0.94 g
Vitamin A equiv. (1%) 11 μg
Thiamine (B1) (8%) 0.087 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (3%) 0.04 mg
Niacin (B3) (2%) 0.282 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) (5%) 0.25 mg
Vitamin B6 (5%) 0.06 mg
Folate (B9) (8%) 30 μg
Choline (2%) 8.4 mg
Vitamin C (64%) 53.2 mg
Vitamin E (1%) 0.18 mg
Calcium (4%) 40 mg
Iron (1%) 0.1 mg
Magnesium (3%) 10 mg
Manganese (1%) 0.025 mg
Phosphorus (2%) 14 mg
Potassium (4%) 181 mg
Zinc (1%) 0.07 mg
Water 86.75 g
Possible health benefits
Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering , however increasing intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2 percent of US adults meet the daily 4700 mg recommendation.
Also of note, a high potassium intake is associated with a 20 percent decreased risk of dying from all causes.
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline content in oranges all support heart health. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Mark Houston, M.D, M.S, an associate clinical professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School and director of the Hypertension Institute at St. Thomas Hospital in Tennessee.
In one study, those who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic compared with those who consumed less potassium (about 1000 mg per day).
High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of .
The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form (as in an orange) or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of , the support system of your skin.
Interesting Orange Facts:
· Oranges are the largest citrus crop in the world.
· Brazil produces more oranges than any other country.
· Navel Oranges are named after the belly button shape near the bottom.
· About 25 billion oranges are grown each year in America.
· In the 18th century British sailors took sauerkraut and citrus fruits on the ships to prevent scurvy.
· Florida produces about 70 percent of the total U.S. crop, and 90 percent of its production goes to make juice.
· In Queen Victoria’s day, oranges were given as Christmas gifts in England.
· Two most common varieties of oranges are Navel and Valencia oranges.
· Orange is the world’s third favorite flavor after chocolate and vanilla.