What rhymes with orange? By now, you know the answer is nothing, but there are many, many benefits to this summer citrus fruit, even if it is terrible for writing poetry or songs. This bright citrus fruit contains a plethora of health benefits to help you get yourself on a healthy diet that will help elongate your life.
The number one thing people think of when it comes to the health benefits of oranges is the large amount of vitamin C it contains. Citrus fruits are certainly a terrific source of vitamin C, which can help your immune system to stay strong, and may even help you recover from a cold faster, which makes oranges a great addition to your daily diet. However, there are even more benefits to this delicious fruit.
Health Benefits of Oranges
- They are water-rich fruits. One medium-sized orange has half a cup of water in it, which makes this a great snack, especially during those hot summer days when you may be breaking into a sweat more often. Our bodies are made up of around 70% of water, so while it’s important to be sipping on water all day long, it helps to get some from a delicious snack too.
- They have a good amount of fiber. One orange can have up to 12% of your daily fiber that you need. Fiber is a must-have in your diet to help keep your digestive system on track, as well as help with feeling full and regulating blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Oranges have potassium and folate. Most people think of a banana when it comes to potassium, but oranges are a great option for getting enough of that in your diet as well. Potassium helps with muscle contractions as well as heart function, making this a must-have for your diet. Folate, on the other hand, is a must for brain and nervous system health to ensure that all parts of your body are healthy and working the way they should.
- They are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are wonderful for helping to keep free radicals that may develop in your body at bay and keeping inflammation down as well. Free radicals can damage and attack your body’s cells, but when you have enough antioxidants, you can protect yourself from this damage, which is important since free radicals are found everywhere. There are ways to limit exposure to free radical damage, but it’s in the environment, it’s in smoke, it’s in unhealthy foods, so ensuring that you have enough antioxidants to help balance that out is important.
It’s Not Just the Orange Itself
Orange peels also have their fair share of health benefits! Many know about the benefits of the fruit and the juice, but not as much is known about the orange peels. These peels have flavonoids that may help prevent the development and growth of cancer cells. A study done by the University of Arizona found that eating one tablespoon of orange zest a week can decrease the risk of squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer by 30%. There’s also some research about another compound found within the peel called hesperidin, which may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s.
If you choose to start making orange zest a part of your weekly diet, ensure that you choose organic oranges, to help reduce any pesticides that may be on the orange peel. You can also scrub them down or even soak them in vinegar to ensure that any dirt or germs are removed from the peel before adding them to your diet.
There are so many ways to add oranges or orange zest into your healthy plant-based diet. You can add the zest to dressings or hummus or avocado dips, eat the orange as a snack with some nuts and nut cheeses, and even add oranges to salads and wraps for a sweet twist on a standard recipe.