Nutritional Benefits of Oranges | What Nutrients are found in Oranges?
Oranges originated thousands of years ago in Asia around the China to Indonesian regions. Earlier than the 20th century, oranges were very expensive and only rarely consumed save for important holidays. But today, oranges are one of the most popular fruits of the world, with millions of people around the world consuming them on a regular basis.
Oranges are a natural package loaded with numerous phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants necessary for a general healthy immune system. These juicy fruits contain so many natural phyto-nutrients that provide wonderful nutritional benefits of oranges. Here is a list of the major nutrients and the potent nutritional benefits of oranges:
One of the major functions of Vitamin C in the body is to help in the formation of collagen, a protein which helps to bind cells together forming tissues. Collagen is what connects joints, blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and even bones.
Being an anti-oxidant, vitamin C in oranges helps battle the vicious free radicals that cause cell damage and are the underlying cause of most illnesses. Free radicals are very harmful in the body because they oxidize LDL cholesterol, DNA, protein and fatty acids. Oxidizing of (a) LDL results in heart problems, (b) DNA leads to cancer and (c) fatty acids leads to obesity. Thus, one of the major nutritional benefits of oranges is it is rich in vitamin C necessary for purging oxygen free radicals.
Dietary fiber found in oranges is rich in pectin, which is useful for overweight people. How? High-fiber rich foods like oranges can fill you up preventing you from getting hungry and mindlessly eating without control. Additionally, these dietary fiber rich foods take long to be broken down by chewing so your brain can easily send hints that make you feel that you’ve had enough to eat.
Dietary fiber also helps reduce the absorption of glucose and prevent the abrupt rocketing of blood sugar levels immediately after a meal. By doing so, the dietary fiber in oranges helps regulate the total blood sugar levels in the body.
Nutritional Benefits of Oranges: Top Facts
Nutrients found in Oranges include:
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
Potassium is a highly potent electrolyte or mineral necessary in the body for balancing acid and water levels inside and outside cells and also maintaining blood pressure. Additionally, potassium is responsible for the well-functioning of the nervous system, for transmission of nerve impulses. Did you know that low levels of potassium in the body can lead to the rise of sodium levels? Sodium is a necessary evil in the body. One of its negative values is it causes water retention in the body. In high concentrations, sodium causes a wide variety of health problems including kidney disease, stroke, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Oranges are especially rich in folic acid-one orange contains about 5mcg of folic acid. Folic acid is important in the body for cell growth and regeneration but that’s not all. Folic acid plays an important role in protein metabolism and formation of RNA and DNA. Deficiency of folic acid leads to anemia. For this reason and more, pregnant women need a moderate amount of folic acid to prevent fetal or birth deformities like spina bifida. Additionally, folic acid also reduces the homocysteine levels of the body, and in the process averts cardiovascular disease.
We all know that calcium is the top mineral which is necessary for strong bones and teeth. But did you know that calcium has other nutritional benefits? One of them is that calcium is very good for skin! Aside from being in high concentrations on the epidermal layer of the skin, calcium prevents dry and itchy skin. Calcium also prevents certain diseases such as kidney stones, osteoporosis (weak bone disease), and even asthma.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Oranges contain a significant amount of Thiamine which is necessary for healthy hair, skin and eyes. Thiamine, as well as all b-vitamins is important in the body for conversion of food to energy. Low thiamine levels in the body can lead to beriberi, a disease brought about by deficiency of thiamine. Studies have also shown how thiamine in the body can help prevent heart disease by reducing the amount of fluid around the heart.
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Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Riboflavin, orange in color, is a potent vitamin needed for conversion of food to energy, cell growth and regeneration and a general healthy immune system. Riboflavin also eradicates free radicals in the body thereby thwarting major illnesses like cancers and also cataracts.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Many studies have shown that adding foods rich in niacin into your diet may help cut down the odds of suffering from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Vitamin B3 is also potent in a way that it helps lower total cholesterol levels in the body and helps the body process fats.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Pyridoxine helps prevent a build-up of homocysteine levels in the blood, enhances hemoglobin, the red pigment in blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen around the body. In addition, pyridoxine also facilitates the breakdown of carbohydrates and reduces total cholesterol levels in the blood.
Nutritional Benefits of Oranges
In this article, "Nutritional Benefits of Oranges," we have explored the nutrients found in oranges, including the minerals and vitamins. Oranges are a great addition to your daily diet. Their high levels of Vitamin C also help to alleviate colds and flu.
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healthmunsta (author) on June 19, 2013:
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sownazfar on June 19, 2013: