Oranges

Orange tree

When ever oranges are mentioned, whether the fruit or juice, we tend to think about the Vitamin C and what it will do for us. The first benefit that they offer is to help our immunity and prevent the common cold or at least, help us to put up a good fight.

Anyone seeing an orange tree for the first time may be forgiven for wondering if it’s actually real. This could be because orange trees have never actually grown naturally. They are a hybrid cross of the pomelo and the tangerine.

The cultivated orange

Oranges are 25% pomelo and 75% tangerine

Orange trees, as we know them, are considered to be the most cultivated trees in the world. They originated around 4,000BC in South East Asia. There are over 600 varieties of oranges around the world. These are found in subtropical and tropical regions. 85% of oranges grown are used for juice.

The name “orange” evolved from the Arabic word “naranj”. In England it became known as “narange” before eventually settling as “orange”. As a colour, Orange, was first adopted in 1542.

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The health benefits of oranges.

Vitamin C

Of all the citrus fruits, oranges contain the highest levels of vitamin C. This vitamin appears to have the ability to remove free radicals which are charged with leading us to chronic conditions including cancer and heart disease.

Good for vision.

This is to do with the vitamin A. This contains compounds like beta-carotene which can help to prevent age-related macular degeneration. This has no cure and affects central vision. Vitamin A also helps the eye to absorb light with an improvement of night vision. There are reports claiming that vitamin C can help to reduce the onset of cataracts.

High fibre.

High in fibre, oranges in the diet can help lower blood sugar levels. This can help people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The high fibre can only help with our general digestion.

Don’t eat too many!

Too much of anything is a bad thing. It’s possible to have too much vitamin C which can lead to an assortment of side effects including nausea, heartburn and even kidney stones.

People who take beta-blockers run the risk of an increased level of potassium in the body system. This can be a problem for those with malfunctioning kidneys. The excess potassium would be difficult to remove from the body’s system.

Can we use the peel?

Yes, orange peel can be found in marmalade. It would be dull without it. The peel is quite flavoursome and is used in a number of recipes. If you want to use the peel as an ingredient, it’s wise to wash the orange before peeling. Use hot water and detergent to remove the protective wax and rinse well.

Oil can be pressed from the peel and used very effectively for aromatherapy, ideal if you are feeling stressed.

orange essential oil

Just a few drops put in a misting diffuser will freshen up a room and make for a much more relaxing atmosphere.

The Radha Beauty Essential Oil Diffuser for Aromatherapy

The peel is packed with a range of vitamins and compounds. Apart from Vitamin C you will find A,B6,B5, calcium, riboflavin, Thiamin, niacin,and folate. The peel shouldn’t go to waste.

Make oranges a habit.

Oranges have a lot to offer. They’re rarely the first choice of fruit to eat in the hand. They aren’t as easy to eat as an apple and you need to be near a tap to wash sticky fingers afterwards. But for the reasons that we’ve seen here I just think that they’re worth the effort.

(Medical disclaimer)

Image sources: Orange Tree Pomelo tangerines orange fruit

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