Oranges are packed with vitamins and minerals, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Their alkalizing and detoxifying properties keep your body healthy. They are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.
An average orange benefits your health in various ways. It may aid weight loss and also boost immunity. Its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties could benefit humans in various ways. Orange juice has anti-inflammatory properties, and studies suggest it could help in the treatment of chronic diseases (1).
The properties of oranges offer a host of health benefits. In this post, we will see what those benefits are and what scientific studies back them up.
Table Of Contents
What Are The Health Benefits Of Oranges?
1. May Aid Weight Loss
Reports suggest that the fiber in oranges may promote satiety, which may contribute to weight loss. Whole oranges were found to promote satiety better than orange juice (which is devoid of fiber) (2).
The fiber in oranges can keep you full, and you end up eating less. You can substitute this low-calorie fruit for desserts, which will not leave you craving for sweets.
2. May Delay Skin Aging
Oranges, like most other citrus fruits, may help prevent UV-induced skin damage. In mouse studies, the ingestion of unripe citrus extracts could decrease wrinkle depth and slow down collagen degradation (3).
Oranges contain organic acids, vitamins, minerals, vitamin C, and flavonoids. These could play a role in skin health (3).
Some anecdotal evidence suggests that the topical application of oranges may also nourish the skin. Their water content may also hydrate the skin and accelerate collagen production. However, more research is needed to establish this.
3. May Regulate Blood Pressure Levels
Oranges (and their juice) are rich in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. Some studies also suggest that commercial orange juice may have a significant effect on blood pressure and other associated ailments (4).
4. May Lower Cholesterol Levels
Long-term intake of orange juice was associated with lower cholesterol levels in men and women. The juice could reduce total cholesterol levels and the levels of bad cholesterol (5).
Oranges are rich in fiber (pectin). Rat studies show that this fiber can help lower cholesterol levels in the liver and serum (6).
Fiber may also prevent your digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol. It also is believed that in addition to fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and flavonoids in the fruit may also help lower cholesterol.
5. May Promote Heart Health
The vitamin C in the fruit also keeps blood from clotting. This prevents thrombosis (local blood clotting) and reduces the risk of a heart attack (7).
The potassium in oranges, as discussed, can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (4).
6. May Aid Diabetes Treatment
In a Nigerian study, oranges, along with other fruits, were considered safe to be eaten by those with diabetes. This had to do with the healthy glycemic response the fruit had in the body (8).
The pulpiness of the fruit serves as a great source of fiber. Fiber helps in slowing down the absorption of sugar and improving the blood sugar levels (9).
However, there is no research if orange fiber, in particular, helps lower blood glucose levels. Some believe the moderate glycemic index of oranges may help in diabetes, but this also has not been proven.
To completely absorb the fiber, avoid extracted juices, and go for the whole fruits (10).
7. May Prevent Kidney Stones
Citrate deficiency in urine can cause kidney stones. Oranges (and their juice) can help increase citrate levels in your urine, reducing the risk of kidney stones (11).
Oranges (and the juice) also contain calcium that may reduce the risk of stones (11).
8. May Help Treat Anemia
The vitamin C in oranges may promote iron absorption. Iron cannot be fully absorbed in the body without the help of vitamin C (a nutrient that oranges are loaded with) (12). Snacking on at least one orange every day may help in the treatment.
9. May Help Boost Immunity
Oranges are rich in vitamin C. Some research states that this nutrient can help boost immunity (14). Though there is no direct research stating oranges can promote immunity, its vitamin C content could help.
The fruits contain many other essential nutrients like folate and copper, which may also promote immune health.
10. May Reduce The Risk Of Colon Cancer
Rat studies show that orange juice may help inhibit colon cancer. The fruit (and its juice) contain hesperidin, which is a flavonoid with chemopreventive potential (15).
The fiber in oranges may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Oranges also contain other important chemopreventive agents that help in this regard (16).
However, some research states that a high intake of orange/yellow fruits may increase the risk of colorectal cancer in men. The mechanism behind this is yet to be studied (17).
The fiber in oranges also helps treat constipation and aids digestion. It is believed that the less fructose in oranges makes them less likely to cause gas. Research is limited here, though.
11. May Promote Eye health
You must have heard how orange-colored fruits and vegetables promote eye health and protect vision. Eating oranges can offer significant eye benefits as the flavonoids in them help boost vision health. Studies showed that participants who consumed oranges were found to have a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (18).
Additional studies are required to validate these findings.
12. May Help Treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
You should follow a diet that contains low glycemic index foods to combat PCOS. Orange has a low glycemic index and is suitable for those with PCOS. Oranges also improve insulin resistance, which is thought to be the origin of PCOS (19).
Oranges are quite popular. They taste refreshing, but more importantly, they contain important antioxidants that promote human health. Though oranges are common, they are available in different types that we may not be aware of.
What Are The Different Types Of Oranges?
The most common types of oranges are the Washington navel, blood oranges, and valencia.
Oranges are likely to have originated in southern China, northeastern India, and other parts of southeastern Asia. They have since been hybridized, re-hybridized, and altered so much that there are hundreds of orange varieties found around the world today.
While we have understood the benefits of oranges, it is important to understand the fruit’s nutritional values and its various applications that make it so potent.
What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Oranges?
|Amounts Per Selected Serving||%DV|
|From Carbohydrate||77.1(323 kJ)|
|From Fat||1.8(7.5 kJ)|
|From Protein||5.7(23.9 kJ)|
|From Alcohol||0.0(0.0 kJ)|
|Protein & Amino Acids|
|Amounts Per Selected Serving||%DV|
|Amounts Per Selected Serving||%DV|
|Amounts Per Selected Serving||%DV|
|Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)||0.3mg||2%|
|Amounts Per Selected Serving||%DV|
*Values sourced from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Oranges, raw
In pre-historic times, Europeans recognized the medicinal properties of oranges and stocked them on long sea voyages to prevent scurvy. These citrus powerhouses are important sources of vitamin C and folate. Oranges also contain significant antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and other flavonoids.
But does this mean you can eat as many oranges as you want? Well, maybe not. Excess intake of oranges may cause certain undesirable effects.
What Are The Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Oranges?
Oranges are great for you, but only when consumed in moderation.
As they are highly acidic, oranges may lead to heartburn if consumed in excess. They can also aggravate symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) (20).
Due to their acidic content, eating too many oranges can also lead to indigestion (21).
Consuming too many oranges may also cause abdominal pain. One study states the case of an individual who had developed severe abdominal pain after consuming oranges. Its high fiber content could be the reason (22).
Some anecdotal evidence states that eating too many oranges may also lead to diarrhea. However, we need more research to prove this statement.
Hence, it is important you keep a check on the number of oranges you are consuming in a day.
How Many Oranges Can You Eat In A Day?
There is no concrete research on this – but looking at the high vitamin C levels and the abundance of other beneficial phytochemicals, you can consume one to two oranges a day.
The antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds in oranges help treat and prevent chronic disease. However, ensure you do not consume them in excess. Eating one to two oranges a day is sufficient.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How long do oranges last?
Soon after an orange is picked from the tree, it will last for about three weeks at room temperature.
How to store oranges?
Store whole oranges in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life for up to two months. Canning oranges or making jams and jellies are the other ways you can preserve the fruits (23).
What is the difference between mandarin and orange tangerine?
Tangerines are smaller and sweeter than oranges while larger than mandarins. Tangerine has a reddish-orange skin that distinguishes it from the lighter-skinned mandarin and the brighter-skinned orange.
Can you freeze oranges?
Yes. Though frozen fruit is not as good as the fresh variety, oranges aren’t too bad when frozen and thawed. Freezing is one of the most practical ways to preserve fruits at home. The extreme cold retards the growth of microorganisms and slows down the process of rotting. Frozen oranges will continue to retain most of their nutrition and flavor. Freeze them whole, in pieces, or packed in syrup.
What happens if you eat oranges every day?
Eating an orange or two every day is a wonderful way of providing your body with the goodness of important antioxidants and phytochemicals. You will enjoy all of the benefits discussed in this article when you make oranges a part of your regular diet.
Are oranges good for pregnant women?
Oranges are a nourishing addition to the diets of pregnant women. However, orange juices available in tetra packs are not recommended as they may contain preservatives that may be harmful during this period.
Can you eat oranges while breastfeeding?
Your body needs more vitamin C during breastfeeding as compared to pregnancy. Oranges are excellent sources of vitamin C and work as wonderful energy boosters. They also help absorb more iron from food. Hence, you might want to eat oranges or drink orange juice while breastfeeding.
However, you need to exercise constraint as oranges contain a high amount of citrus and acid. If your baby shows any symptoms after you start consuming oranges, please stop orange intake. Reintroduce after a few days to check for any side effects. Make sure to consult your doctor.
Can you eat oranges on an empty stomach?
No. Oranges are generally acidic, and eating them (or any acidic fruit) on an empty stomach may trigger symptoms of acid reflux.
- Anti-inflammatory properties of orange juice: possible favorable molecular and metabolic effects, Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Can eating fruits and vegetables help people to manage their weight?, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Anti-Photoaging Effect of Jeju Putgyul (Unripe Citrus) Extracts on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Ultraviolet B-induced Hairless Mouse Skin, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effects of Citrus sinensis juice on blood pressure, ARYA Atherosclerosis, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Long-term orange juice consumption is associated with low LDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein B in normal and moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects, Lipids in Health and Disease, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effects of orange and apple pectin on cholesterol concentration in serum, liver and faeces, Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Vitamin C Rich Fruits Can Prevent Heart Disease, Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Glycaemic response to some commonly eaten fruits in type 2 diabetes mellitus, Western African Journal of Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Higher intake of fruits, vegetables or their fiber reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes: A meta‐analysis, Journal of Diabetes Investigation, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Whole Fruits and Fruit Fiber Emerging Health Effects, Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Medical and Dietary Therapy for Kidney Stone Prevention, Korean Journal of Urology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The role of vitamin C in iron absorption, International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Folate, National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.
- Vitamin C and Immune Function, Nutrients, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Inhibition of azoxymethane-induced colon cancer by orange juice, Nutrition and Cancer.
- Role of pomegranate and citrus fruit juices in colon cancer prevention, World Journal of Gastroenterology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Colors of vegetables and fruits and the risks of colorectal cancer, World Journal of Gastroenterology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Dietary flavonoids and the prevalence and 15-y incidence of age-related macular degeneration, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Orange juice allied to a reduced-calorie diet results in weight loss and ameliorates obesity-related biomarkers: A randomized controlled trial, Nutrition, ScienceDirect.
- Foods Inducing Typical Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptoms in Korea, Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Symptoms & Causes of Indigestion, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
- [Ileus due to oranges in Meckel’s diverticulum], Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Oranges: Safe methods to store, preserve, and enjoy, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
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