Orange is a fruit that is scientifically known as Citrus sinensis. Botanically, it belongs to Family of Rutaceae of Kingdom Plantae. Orange is a round juicy fruit that is popular worldwide because of its tasty pulp. It is a tropical to semitropical, small flowering tree that is ever green and grow about 5 to 8 m tall. It bears seasonal fruits that weigh about 100-150 g and measure about 3 inches in diameter. It is classified into two general categories that are sweet and bitter oranges. Sweet oranges are the most common type of oranges used globally specially in Asia. Sweet-varieties that are popular include Persian variety, Valencia, Navel, and blood orange.
This fruit consists of wide variety of nutrients and is considered all around the world as an important source of Vitamin C. People who are diet conscious eat healthy and balanced food; they use fresh orange juice every morning in breakfast due to its rich nutrient property. The important nutrients that are present in large quantity in orange are Vitamins C and A, flavonoids, antioxidants, potassium, calcium, magnesium and dietary fiber. It also has more than 60 flavonoids and 170 phytonutrients. These compounds have special powers of anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation and anti-tumor.
There are various benefits of orange and those can be listed as:
Improves digestion and relieves constipation- As already mentioned above, oranges are rich and diverse in nutrients. It consists of high concentration of dietary fiber that is Pectin. It is a fiber with laxative property and therefore it helps in defending the mucous membrane of colon from toxin substances thus playing a protective role. It also protects it by binding to the carcinogens. Due to this one can prevent himself from constipation. People who do get constipation must drink its juice and also drink large amount of water.
Helps in weight control- Dieticians suggest orange juice in breakfast for fitness. It is a part of a dieting diet as it is rich in fiber but low in calories. Due to high dietary fiber concentration it fulfills the hunger keeping calories low. Excess calories add to weight whereas low calories consume fats of the body to produce energy. Oranges are women friend as many use them daily in order to get slim and smart. These are excellent to help yourself eat less and lose weight easily.
Reduces cholesterol level- It is well known that cholesterol is a harmful organic compound when found in excess amount in the body. Pectin that is a part of orange fruit binds to the bile acids in the colon and inhibits the re-absorption of cholesterol in the colon. Protection from cholesterol and its maintenance in the blood protects from many other diseases as obesity is a source of various other health problems.
Vitamin C an important component- Vitamin C plays an important role in the body due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant property. Oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C like all citrus fruits. Vitamin C provides resistant against the foreign particles proving as an outstanding immunological component. Due to this property it helps protecting against various other diseases.
Regulates high blood pressure- Flavonoids such as hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are found in citrus fruits. Hesperetin is a beneficial flavonoid that takes part in the blood pressure maintenance. Orange also contains magnesium that too plays a major role. The potassium and calcium present in it are also known to play an important role in the regulation of blood pressure.
Beneficial for vision- Oranges are good source of vitamin A that is important component in maintaining normal vision.
Protects against skin diseases- Vitamin A also keeps the skin and mucous membrane healthy. Orange is rich in beta carotene that is also a flavonoid and is a powerful anti-oxidant. Both of these keep the skin resistant to various bacterial invasions.
Keeps bone healthy – A healthy bone is rich in calcium. Oranges are good source of calcium and therefore helps in the strengthening of the bones.
Formation of Blood- Iron and vitamin b6 (a folic acid) are present in orange. Both of them take part in the hemoglobin formation, leading to better uptake of oxygen. Good uptake of oxygen purifies the blood keeping all the systems healthy.
Protects against heart disease- the flavonoids and the vitamin C helps in the protection of the heart disease. Controlling the cholesterol also lessens the chances of a heart failure. This fruit is rich in potassium and calcium that are important in the regulation of body fluids, helping in a controlled heart rate.
Oranges is from the citrus family and all the members of this family are important in various natural components and they are being used from decades for the production of many beneficial extracts for the pharmaceutical purposes. Oranges are being used to treat various diseases including bronchitis, rheumatism, tuberculosis, pneumonia and asthma.
Image courtesy: Flickr, Audrey