There’s more to oranges than good old Vitamin C! Here are 4 more reasons why we love this citrus favorite.
BY: LINDSEY JANEIRO, RDN, CLC
As one of the most popularly produced fruits in the world, oranges are often talked about for their vitamin C and antioxidant punch. And for good reason: a medium-sized orange has over 90% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C intake. These antioxidants can help contribute to anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties as they neutralize free radicals.
But besides vitamin C, there are plenty of other reasons why you should love oranges. Here are just a few more reasons why:
Oranges are naturally low in sodium, plus they’re high in potassium which helps balance out sodium to maintain blood pressure. The soluble fiber pectin in oranges also helps lower LDL cholesterol – think of the fiber like a giant sponge that helps bind and excrete the cholesterol from your body. (FYI this is found in the pulp and pith of the fruit, so if you’re just drinking the juice, drink it with pulp! Or simply eat an orange.)
That same soluble fiber that absorbs cholesterol also absorbs liquid in the gut, which turns it into a thicker, kind of gel-like substance. This helps slow digestion so your body can absorb more nutrients as the food passes through. Additionally, oranges are very water-based and hydrating! The water oranges contain can also help aid digestive health.
Low Glycemic Index
In essence, the glycemic index is a scale that shows the impact a food has on blood sugar. The scale goes from 0-100 and the higher the number, the more it affects your blood sugar (e.g. a larger blood sugar spike). Oranges have a lower glycemic index number, so they won’t have as dramatic an impact on your blood sugar, keeping your blood glucose level a little more stable.
Good Source of Folate
Folate, or folic acid, is an important nutrient, but especially so when you’re pregnant to help prevent neural tube defects. These are serious birth defects that can affect the spine (like spina bifida) and brain (like anencephaly).
Oranges can be easily incorporated into your diet – they’re portable to throw into your purse or kid’s backpack as a quick snack, or pair with cheese or nuts for a more filling, balanced snack. Bring a refreshing balance to dishes like stir fries, or add it to your oatmeal, parfaits, or smoothies.
And of course, there’s always the good old-fashioned way to enjoy them:
Slice them up and serve!
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: MANOLO FRANCO
Lindsey Janeiro RDN, CLC is a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Counselor based in Sarasota, FL focused on helping busy moms live stress-free in the kitchen. She inspires moms with the confidence and encouragement they need to create simple, affordable family meals that nourishes everyone’s health and happiness. Learn more about Lindsey at Nutrition to Fit.
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When life gives you lemons….they could really be oranges