One of the stars of the healthy fruits family is the Orange. This beautiful, round, bright coloured fruit is kind of a superfood that does well both as a meal and as a snack. With enough calories and zero fat content, this is the perfect choice for all the weight watchers out there. Everyone is aware of the whooping Vitamin C content because of which this fruit is so popular. Tasting kind of sweet and kind of sour, it does justice to the world of taste too. Orange benefits aren’t restricted to just this. There are many other reasons that support the fact that how good oranges are for your health. Let us dive into deeper nutritional facts and benefits of this wonder fruit.
If you want to go all scientific, then you can call the trivial orange as Citrus Sinensis. Speaking botanical, orange comes in the group of citrus fruits which belongs to the Rutaceae family. Among this family, other citrus fruits such as lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, pomelo, yuzu which are other extended species of orange are also included.
It is a semitropical and small tree which bears the orange fruit. It is high as 5-8 metres. A typical orange may be about 3 inches in diameter and could weigh around 100 to 150 grams. This is mainly a seasonal fruit and is mostly available during the winters. It is easily available in the market and can be consumed daily as an addition to the meal, as a dessert or as an evening snack.
Why Should You Eat Orange?
Other than the great taste, there are various other oranges benefits for health. The main reasons why you should eat oranges are as follows.
- It is completely fat-free. A single orange has enough water, fibre content and calories to fill you up without inducing any fat content, whatsoever.
- It is a great source of Vitamin C which is essential to the body for a good immune system. Eating oranges regularly will keep harmful bacteria and illness at bay.
- It is great for the skin. The citrus properties fight tanning and ageing of the skin. Even the peels of the orange fruit can be used in making face masks for the skin that work brilliantly.
- It is a great source of fibre and will improve your digestion. For all the people who want to watch their weight before they eat anything, this is one fruit that they can chew on guilt-free!
Orange Nutrition Facts: The Complete Overview
A typical raw orange weighing 100 grams will contain the following mentioned nutritional content.
- Calories: 47
- Water Content: 87 %
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
Saturated Fats: 0.02 grams
Monounsaturated Fats: 0.02 grams
Polyunsaturated Fats: 0.03 grams
- Sugar: 9.4 grams
- Carbs: 11.8 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Omega-3: 0.01 grams
- Omega-6: 0.02 grams
- Trans fat: 0 grams
As given, a single orange contains about 11.8 grams of carbs. However, these are healthy carbs without any fat. The main content of an orange is made up of mostly carbs and water. However, they contain negligible amounts of fat and very low protein count. As for the calories, they are quite low.
2. Sugar Content
The sugar content for a single orange is about 9.4 grams. These natural sugars are made up of simple ones such as fructose, glucose, and sucrose. These natural sugars form up the main carbohydrate content and are the reason for the sweet taste of the oranges. With this sugar content, the glycemic index of oranges is still very low. It can range from about 31 to 51. The glycemic index count refers to the speed of the sugars enter the bloodstream after it is consumed. It is beneficial if what you eat qualifies for a low glycemic index value. As in the case of oranges, this low value is because of the presence of fibre and polyphenols in them that prevent the blood sugar to rise and moderate it.
As for the fibre content, oranges are undoubtedly the best source. A typical orange can contain about 2.4 grams of fibre which corresponds to about 18% of the amount that is recommended for daily intake. As per the types of fibres contained in the orange, they are cellulose, pectin, hemicellulose and lignin fibres. These all are dietary fibres and consumption of these has many positive effects on our system. Fibers are extensively responsible for the smooth and happy functioning of the body’s digestive system. The good bacteria present in the stomach are fed through this fibre which is why the digestion processes are unhindered and smooth. For weight loss, this fibre can be a good promoter. It is also responsible for maintaining low cholesterol levels.
Being utterly famous for the Vitamin C content, Oranges are quite known for their positive health benefits. Other than Vitamin C, oranges are rich in other vitamins and minerals too such as potassium, thiamine, and folate. As per the Vitamin C content, a typical large Orange fruit can contain about 100% of the recommended daily intake. This means a single large orange is all you need to get your daily quota of essential Vitamins. Thiamine is a kind of Vitamin B or it can also be called Vitamin B1 which is essential for the body. The Folate also being a kind of Vitamin B9 or which is better known as the folic acid is also very good for the human skin. The last one being the Potassium is contained in abundance in oranges. Daily intake of potassium helps in lowering the blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health. This is why it is a very good fruit for people suffering from hypertension / high blood pressure.
Other Orange Benefits for Health
Now we know about the nutritional facts of the orange. But what do these vitamins and minerals due to the body and how do they have the positive effects on the body? Let us find out below.
1. Improving the Immune system
The immune system is greatly benefited by citrus acid which comes from the citrus fruits. Orange being a great carrier of Vitamin C is helpful in protecting cells. This is done when they scavenge and neutralize the free radicals. These free radicals are majorly responsible for many chronic diseases such as heart diseases and cancer. Reducing the radical production, they keep the chronic diseases at bay. Not only this, but the regular consumption of oranges helps in improving the immunity power of the body and makes it capable of fighting the viruses and bacteria that it faces daily.
2. Takes Care of the Skin
The rich content of Vitamin C in the oranges is also responsible for maintaining the beauty of the skin. The damage such as tanning and wrinkling caused by the sun and pollution is fixed through the vitamin C when enough oranges are consumed daily. This is because it is helpful in producing collagen which forms up the skin and hence is responsible for maintaining a smooth texture of the skin.
3. Maintains Low Cholesterol Levels
The rich fibre content of the oranges does the trick for keeping the cholesterol levels low in the body. This is done because the fibre gets rid of the high cholesterol compounds present in the gut by pushing them out to the excretion system. Whether eaten raw or in the form of juice, it has been known to contain enough fibre content to get rid of all the bad cholesterol present in the body.
4. Good Heart Health
The rich amounts of Vitamin C, potassium, fibres, and choline in the oranges are all responsible for maintaining a good heart health. Potassium is responsible for improved heartbeat rate because the shortage of it results in irregular heartbeats. Potassium also lowers the blood pressure and prevents strokes. The high folate content is also responsible for lowering the homocysteine levels which is a risk for the cardiovascular health.
5. Good For Diabetic Patients
The high fibre content of Oranges maintains a low blood sugar for the type 1 diabetic patients. It also improves the blood sugar and insulin levels in type 2 diabetic patients. Oranges and other citrus fruits are very beneficial for the diabetic patients in regulating the blood sugar levels.
6. Good For Weight Loss And Digestive System
The fibre content in Oranges is quite high which is responsible for aiding digestion and keep your digestive system smooth. As for the weight watchers, it lowers the cholesterol levels and contains no fat which makes it a guilt-free meal or snack. It keeps you away from obesity which could cause other serious diseases such as diabetes and other heart diseases.
7. Improves Eye Sight
Oranges also contain Vitamin A which is further subdivided into compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin that fight macular degeneration related to the age factors which is a non-treatable disease responsible for blurring the central vision. The presence of Vitamin A in your body improves the absorption of light by your eyes and also the night vision. The C vitamins also reduce the risks of cataracts.
8. Protection Against Cancer
Oranges are rich in vitamin C content which help in reducing the risk of colon cancer by preventing DNA mutations to take place inside the body.
Some Lookout Points for Oranges
- While oranges are a great source of fibre and other essential vitamins and minerals, they must only be consumed in a limited amount. The excess consumption of oranges can have negative effects on the body.
- Oranges are high in fibre content. Consuming more than the required amount of fibre can upset the digestion system and result in abdominal cramps which in certain cases could result in diarrhoea.
- Oranges may have a low calorie and fat content, but eating too much of orange fruits can result in weight gain instead of the loss. Vitamin C must be taken up to a limit. Taking in more than the required amount in a day will cause several side effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, bloating, cramps or even heartburn and kidney stones.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many calories in an orange?
For a typical orange weighing around 100 grams, it can contain up to 47 calories.
2. How much is vitamin C in an orange?
In a single orange weighing 100 grams, about 53.2 grams of Vitamin C is present.
3. Is orange ideal for a weight loss food?
Yes, orange contains zero content and is mostly made up of water. For weight watchers, orange can be used both as a meal or a snack or even for dessert.
4. Orange contains sugars. Is it safe for diabetes and weight loss?
Yes. Orange do contain sugars but they are simple natural sugars which have the low glycemic index. They are in fact ideal in curing the diabetic patients by maintaining an ideal blood sugar level.
5. How many oranges must I have in a day?
You can have about 2 to 3 oranges in a day. It has a lot of Vitamin C but you must never exceed the daily limit for your body which is about 2000 grams for a day. Exceeding the limits will have major side effects.
6. How Do Oranges Improve Digestion?
Oranges are rich in fibre content. Consuming enough fibre drives out the waste and bad cholesterol from the gut into the excretory system. It also feeds the good bacteria present in the guts so that the food we consume is broken down and absorbed properly. This overall process improves digestion.
7. Can Orange Peel Also Be Consumed?
The orange peel contains more fibre than the fruit inside. However, it tastes bitter and is difficult to consume. You can instead dry the peels up and grind them to form a powder. This powder can then be added to drinks or face packs for glowing skin.
So, these were some of the ways in which orange benefits our body. It must be consumed daily so as to maintain a good body health, skin health, heart health, digestive health and a great overall health.