Oranges in all their forms, from fresh Florida oranges to fresh squeezed orange juice, have long been enjoyed for their delicious flavor as well as their health benefits. Indeed, oranges and other citrus fruits are among the most healthy of all foods, and nutritionists often recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables for a healthy body and a long life.
The Health Benefits Of Oranges
In addition to their most well known ingredient, vitamin C, research has shown that oranges contain many other important cancer fighting compounds. Oranges have been found to contain over 170 phytochemicals, including over 20 compounds from the carotenoid family. Carotenoids have shown real promise in fighting cancer and other common illnesses, and oranges are one of the best dietary sources of these important compounds.
In addition, oranges contain compounds known as limonoids. It is these compounds that give oranges and other citrus fruits their tangy and slightly bitter flavor. These limonoids are thought to be highly effective anticancer agents also, and oranges are rich sources of these important chemicals.
Oranges And Vitamin C
But of course it is the high vitamin C content of oranges that has earned them such a solid reputation as a healthy food. One average sized orange supplies more than 92% of the vitamin C a person needs each day, so it is easy to get plenty of vitamin C from a diet rich in oranges and other citrus fruits.
Vitamin C has long been studied for everything from its ability to prevent and treat the common cold to its value as a cancer fighter. While there is still some controversy over the anti-cold and anticancer properties of vitamin C, there is no doubt that vitamin C is an extremely valuable nutrient and a strong antioxidant. Vitamin C is the main water soluble antioxidant vitamin in the body, and it has the ability to reduce the cell damage done by free radicals.
In addition to its possible role in fighting everything from colds to cancer, the vitamin C found in oranges and other foods is thought to have a major role to play in the proper functioning of a healthy immune system. It is this effect on the immune system which may be responsible for the reputation of oranges and other citrus fruits to prevent colds and other common illnesses.
The Importance Of A Healthy Diet
While many people try to make up for a lousy diet by consuming high volumes of vitamin C supplements, the best way to get the vitamin C and other nutrients you need is through a healthy and balanced diet. That is because in addition to vitamin C, oranges contain many other nutrients as well, including the many micronutrients needed for a healthy body and a healthy immune system. It would be impossible to recreate these many nutrients in a vitamin pill, so the best advice is to enjoy several servings of healthy and delicious oranges and other citrus fruits every day. Oranges are so delicious, so inexpensive and so versatile that there is no reason not to enjoy them.