Oranges are like having instant access to the sun. Not only is their bright orange color and ball-shape reminiscent of our life-giving star, but they also burst onto the taste bud scene with light, crisp brightness – much like the sun does in the morning!
As the seasons turn and our bodies adjust, keeping ourselves healthy is the number one priority. No one likes a cold and no one wants the change-of-season-sniffles to keep them from enjoying autumn and winter beauty.
Luckily, we have oranges. Prime season for this sunny fruit is from winter to spring. Obviously, oranges are Mother Nature’s way to bring us sunshine all year round. Conveniently packaged for portability, an orange is a bright way to liven up your day in the colder months.
Nutritional and health benefits of oranges
Check out the Immune Boosting and Cancer Preventing Benefits of one of the most popular fruits in the world:
Oranges deliver the sunshine as Vitamin C. One orange contains over 116% of the daily value required for our bodies. Of course, large doses of Vitamin C are known to be beneficial over the short and long-term. If you’re feeling peaked, power-packing some Vitamin C can give you a grand pick-me-up and even help prevent seasonal colds. Vitamin C may also be helpful in preventing ear infections, especially if you’re prone to them.
Vitamin C’s antioxidant power is well documented. Eating an orange or fresh juicing one is the first stop in cell protection against free radicals. An orange a day will keep damage to DNA (and the resulting cancer) away. For cells that turn rapidly, such as our digestive tract, it is thought that regular consumption of Vitamin C is especially helpful in the prevention of cancer.
Citrus seems to offer the most protection against digestive tract cancers, including those of the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, and colon. Orange juice (and other citrus like grapefruit juice) has been shown to reduce the risk of kidney stones. And citrus, especially orange juice, may reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
Drinking orange juice is good for you – all the way through.
History of this delightful little sun fruit
Oranges are Asian in origin – from an area in South China and Indonesia, in fact. They spread to the Middle East in the 9th century and onto Europe in the 15th century through trade routes.
Oranges came to the Americas via Columbus in the 15th century. First, he brought them to the Caribbean, and then Spanish explorers were responsible for bringing oranges to The Sunshine State of Florida in the 16th century.
Oranges weren’t commonplace prior to the 20th century due to the expense of production and transportation. As a result, they weren’t widely consumed by the masses. A person might be given an orange once a year during the holidays, for example. It was a staple of my childhood to have an orange in the toe of my stocking each year.
Tidbits about oranges
Oranges come in two varieties (more like tastes): sweet and bitter. Most common for eating are the sweet orange including Valencia, Navel, and Jaffa, and the lovely blood orange. Bitter oranges are typically used for jams and jellies. The zest of bitter oranges are used as liqueur flavorings like those found in Gran Marnier.
Selection of oranges
Choose organic, as non-organic oranges may have been injected with a Citrus Red Number 2 dye. Organic oranges, as a result, typically aren’t as “orange-y” in color. Oranges that are partially green or have a brown russeting are fine to choose.
Steer clear of oranges that have soft spots or any mold. Their appearance should be smooth textured skin that is firm. The orange should feel heavy for its size, which means they’ll be juicier.
Another reason to choose organic is that oranges are in the list of top 20 foods where pesticide residues lurk.
Bodacious Booster Shot
- 2 oranges, peeled
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1″ or 2” piece of ginger
Juice everything together and supply your immune system with a jet pack. The immune booster will keep you healthy and strong when you’re feeling a bit run down or that scratchy throat. And remember to relax and take it easy too!