Health Benefits of Orange

imagesThere’s no way you can take good care of your health without you eating right. And for you to eat right, you must know the basic health benefits or even disadvantages of what you eat. Fruits are very vital to the overall health of the body. This is largely because of the vitamins, fiber and minerals they contain.

    Talking about fruits, orange is a citrus fruit that contains nutrients that are very important to the human body. It contains nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, flavonoids, dietary fiber, folate (vitamin B9), thiamine (vitamin B1). It also contains antioxidants and minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Different phytochemicals are also present in the orange fruit. “Phytochemicals” are chemicals that occur naturally in plants. Some of the phytochemicals in oranges include carotenoids, flavonoids and terpenes.

      Before we move further, it is important to note that orange cannot be used to replace professional medical care in treating health problems. However, (like I stated above) its nutrients play a vital role for the optimal working of the body system.

     What are these health benefits of orange? The health benefits have been grouped into two. They are;

Immune system: The Immune system like we all know is the body’s defense system against diseases and infectious organisms. Nutrients in orange play a major role for the optimal working of the immune system. Vitamin C which is present in oranges protect against immune system deficiencies. For example, Vitamin C is very important for the prevention of scurvy and it is also an antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals (free radicals can cause damages to the cells).

Again, Vitamin A and C promote the development of white blood cells. White blood cells are the cells that help the body to fight off infections and foreign bodies. Orange also has more than 60 flavonoids that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Limonoid, a major phytochemical in orange helps in the stimulation of a detoxifying enzyme system. And it also inhibits tumor formation.

Cardiovascular diseases: Cardiovascular diseases have to do with the narrowing or blocking of blood vessels. This can cause a heart attack or stroke. A study has shown that an increased intake of vitamin C will reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer and cataract. According to the study, a non-smoking adult man or woman should take about 90 to 100mg vitamin C per day for optimum reduction of the risk of having chronic diseases (like cardiovascular diseases). And a medium-sized orange contains about 62 to 70mg of vitamin C. This means that increasing your vitamin C intake through oranges will help you to stay healthy.

Speaking of heart diseases, studies have also shown that people with high blood levels of a substance called homocysteine are at risk of heart disease. Folate which is present in orange helps to reduce the level of homocysteine.

So when looking for fruits to add to your meal, don’t forget to get an orange.