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Oranges

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Oranges Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 86.8 g
Calories: 47 kcal
Protein: 0.9 g
Carbohydrate: 11.8 g
Dietary fiber: 2.4 g
Sugars: 9.4 g
Fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 53.2 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 30 μg
Vitamin A: 11 μg
Vitamin E: 0.2 mg
Calcium: 40 mg
Iron: 0.1 mg
Magnesium: 10 mg
Phosphorus: 14 mg
Potassium: 181 mg
Zinc: 0.1 mg

Oranges are a sweet tasting fruit produced mainly in Brazil and the US (Florida and California especially), and are actually derived from hybridisation between the pomelo and mandarin plants. In addition to great levels of vitamin C (with a sweet tasting bonus to go with it), oranges have a number of researched benefits, from antioxidant capacity to digestive and cancer fighting benefits. Oranges are a healthy addition to any diet, and the cardiovascular benefits in particular will help hugely with longevity and health.

Nutritionally, oranges are well known for one thing: vitamin C! And indeed that’s really the headline here: an average fruit (131g) contains 116% of your Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C, and provides all that nutrition for just 62 calories; very low considering how sweet oranges are. With vitamin C being essential for the health of everything from cardiovascular health to connective tissue, it’s important to avoid deficiency. Beyond this, oranges are high in dietary fibre (12% DV in one fruit), which will help with digestion.

On top of being a sweet tasting way to avoid vitamin deficiencies, oranges have a number of researched health benefits.

To begin with, oranges are a fantastic antioxidant. Now, for those of you who know a little about vitamin C, this may not surprise you, as vitamin C has some fantastic antioxidant benefits. What you may not know, however, is that oranges have much better antioxidant potential than vitamin C alone. This study investigated the antioxidant potential of orange juice versus equivalent amounts of vitamin C, and found the orange juice to be far better. Antioxidants are important to protect from free radical damage, which may cause cell death and DNA damage, so oranges are a useful tool for long-term health.

Oranges have a wide array of health benefits beyond their antioxidant capacities, however. Oranges also have been associated with reduced risk of contracting H. Pylori, a common infection that may eventually lead to gastric problems and even stomach cancer. In addition, oranges contain the carotenoid cryptoxanthin, a compound associated with a lower risk of lung cancer, among other things.

Finally, compounds in orange peel have been found to have the fantastic benefit of lowering cholesterol, which is fantastic for the health of your cardiovascular system. With cardiovascular disease being such a big killer, the antioxidant and cholesterol lowering potential of oranges might serve you well in the long run.