There are thousands of reasons why eating an orange a day is a good idea; they
are low in calories but full of nutrients, they promote clear, healthy skin and can
help to lower our risk for many diseases and conditions as
part of an overall healthy and varied diet.
Oranges are a popular fruit because of their natural sweetness, wide variety of
types and diversity of uses – from juices and marmalades to face masks and
candied orange slices.
We all know the proverb “an apple a day,” but equally an orange could be recommended.
An orange has over 170 different phytochemicals and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have
been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and strong antioxidant effects.
Benefits Of Oranges
According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of a compound found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit may lower ischemic stroke risk for women. Those who ate the highest amounts of
citrus had a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least.
Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium
intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects. According to the National Health
and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2 percent of US adults meet the daily 4700 mg recommendation.
Also of note, a high potassium intake is associated with a 20 percent decreased risk of dying from all causes.
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline content in oranges all support heart health. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Mark Houston, M.D, M.S, an associate clinical
professor of medicine at Vanderbilt Medical School and director of the Hypertension Institute at
St. Thomas Hospital in Tennessee.
High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of
muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form (as in an orange) or applied topically, can help
to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.
Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of your skin.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, consuming bananas, oranges
and orange juice in the first two years of life may reduce the risk of developing childhood leukemia.
As an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C, oranges can also help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. While an adequate vitamin C intake is necessary and very beneficial as an antioxidant, the amount necessary to consume for therapeutic purposes for cancer is beyond oral intake.
Possible health risks of oranges
Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood.
Consuming too much potassium can be harmful for those whose kidneys are
not fully functional. If your kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from
the blood, it could be fatal.
Those with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience an increase
in symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation when consuming highly acidic foods such as citrus fruit, however individual reactions vary.
It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease
prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with variety
than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.