Oranges: An Antioxidant-Rich Food With Numerous Health Benefits

Oranges are sweet, juicy addition to our diet. They are a healthy source of fiber, vitamin C, thiamine, folate, and antioxidants. Every type of orange has more than 100% of our recommended daily amount of vitamin C.

The nutrients present in the fruit offer several health benefits like boosting our immune system, giving us better skin, helping improve our health heart, and cholesterol levels, and even reducing the risk of respiratory diseases, certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, and kidney stones (1).

Here are some of the detailed health benefits that we can enjoy from adding oranges to our diet.

May Help Lower Cholesterol Levels

Loaded with soluble fiber, oranges may help in lowering cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber attracts water in our gut, thus forming a slow-moving gel. This gel will then travel through our intestinal tract, picking up some of the excess cholesterol compounds and pushing them out through fecal waste. Regularly adding the fruit into our diet will lower down cholesterol levels thereby decreasing our risk of having heart diseases.

Approximately 3 grams of fiber (more than half of which is soluble fiber) is present in 2 1/2-inch orange (2).

Good For The Heart

In addition to their fiber content, oranges also contain high amounts of potassium and choline, nutrients that are needed for the proper functioning of our hearts. Potassium plays a vital role in the healthy functioning of the nervous system. Deficiency in this mineral can lead to arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat), increased blood pressure, and depletion of calcium in bones, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (1).

Anemia Prevention

Anemia is often caused by iron deficiency.

Oranges are not a good source of iron. However, they are an excellent source of organic acids, such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and citric acid which both increase our body’s absorption of iron from the digestive tract, according to studies (3,4).

Packed With Antioxidants

Oranges are a powerhouse of flavonoid antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-microbial benefits. It also protects us against oxidative stress that harms our body. Additionally, flavonoids may also help lower depression risk, particularly among older women. A higher flavonoid intake is also linked to the prevention of weight gain and reduced body fat (5).

Helps Repair The Body

Oranges are remarkably high vitamin C content with an average-size of them containing 116 percent of our daily value. This vitamin is important for growing and repairing tissue all over the body.

Researchers found that consumption of 400mg of vitamin C daily (an average-sized orange contains about 70mg) can improve muscle function and decreased muscle soreness following exercise (6).

Vitamin C, which is one of the safest and most effective nutrients, helps heal wounds and supports the production of collagen, which is needed to make cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, and skin. It also maintains healthy bones and teeth (7).