Oranges are loaded with healthy vitamins, fiber, folate, potassium, copper, and calcium. This juicy, tangy, citrus fruit is a nutritious goldmine.
Besides, oranges are easy to eat and are good sources of energy boosters, so enjoying them as a snack shouldn’t be a problem for you. The healing properties of oranges are plenty and it’s one of the best fruits for immune support and a healthy heart.
1. Oranges Decrease the Risk of Diabetes
A study conducted on the positive effects of red grapes and oranges found that two compounds present in both fruits provide major health benefits to fight diabetes. They are trans-resveratrol compound in red grapes and hesperetin in oranges.
When both these compounds are consumed together, they alleviate high blood glucose levels, ameliorate insulin production, and dramatically improve the health of arteries.
Methylglyoxal or MG is a primary sugar-derived compound that increases sugar damage in the human body. The higher the MG levels, the more insulin resistance in the body; which leads to type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, a high MG level can also damage healthy blood vessels and triple cholesterol levels.
Both trans-resveratrol and hesperetin are essential compounds that help stimulate normal insulin levels, blood glucose levels, and they keep blood vessels from deteriorating. This shows a positive effect on overweight and obese patients struggling with diabetes. (1)
Key Takeaway: High-calorie food consumption may spike insulin resistance and blood glucose levels. With an increase in orange consumption, you can focus on stimulating healthy heart and kidney health to control effects of diabetes and other sugar-driven diseases such as obesity.
2. Vitamin C Present in Oranges Boost Iron Absorption in the Body
If you don’t get enough iron in your diet, it may lead to anaemia and low red blood cells. Pregnant women need twice as much iron to stay healthy.
Foods such as fish, meat, breads, herbs, nuts, and many types of fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of iron which amounts to the recommended daily intake. But there have been cases of iron deficiency in even healthy individuals which is why upping your orange intake can make a difference.
Oranges are brimming with vitamin C that play a major role in contributing to iron absorption in the body. Even though iron is digested in small amounts from a variety of foods, it needs to be well absorbed in the bloodstream. Only nutrients such as vitamin C can increase iron intake. (2)
Apart from consuming iron-rich foods, iron absorption requires different fruits including oranges in your diet. This helps you cut back on foods that prevent iron absorption. Iron deficiency leads to low hemoglobin supply in the body that restricts normal tissue and muscle function.
Key Takeaway: When you don’t have sufficient iron in your body, various bodily functions including production of hemoglobin, menstruation, pregnancy, and other factors are deeply affected. You can treat iron deficiency by eating oranges coupled with other iron-rich diets for better iron digestion and iron absorption.
3. Drinking Orange Juice Regularly Reduces Chance of Developing Heart Diseases
One of the long-standing facts about oranges include the importance of drinking orange juice every morning, on an empty stomach, rather than just eating it as a whole fruit.
Freshly squeezed orange juice increases the positive effects of flavonoids, vitamins, and antioxidants in the body, a study suggests. (4)
That same study also suggests that the vitamin C and folate content in orange juice lowers high cholesterol risk in individuals who are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases.
Vitamins act as powerful antioxidants to reduce inflammatory effects on the arteries. Furthermore, with the presence of phytochemicals including phenolic compounds and flavonoids, oranges juice is the essential fruit juice for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Another study also proves that orange juice has compelling cholesterol-lowering powers for combating heart diseases. They decrease saturated fat content while providing the body with the essential nutrients it needs to lower cholesterol. (5)
Key Takeaway: Orange juice is loaded with vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that lower the risk of heart diseases caused by abnormal cholesterol levels. It has powerful cholesterol-reducing effects on healthy individuals and for those people with higher risk of developing chronic inflammatory diseases.
4. Oranges Lessen Cognitive Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
All citrus fruits contain naringin as a flavonoid, more specifically oranges, which are good for reducing cognitive dysfunction in rats, study suggests.
Oranges have a high therapeutic potential for treating the kind of oxidative damage that causes a neurodegenerative disorder, namely Alzheimer’s disease. One of the major symptoms of this disease is dementia, which can be controlled and reduced in humans due to a high naringin intake.
Thanks to this citrus flavonoid, proper restoration of enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione, etc. is possible. It also lowers nitrite content and malondialdehyde content for regulating proper cognitive function in humans. (6)
This study focused on reducing the colchicine-induced effects of cognitive dysfunction causing memory loss and dementia in AD patients. A daily intake of naringin for 25 days showed significant improvement in cognitive activity and reduction of oxidative damage in the brain. This concludes that oranges have powerful agents to combat serious cognitive symptoms including dementia, memory loss, and inflammation.
Key Takeaway: The flavonoid breakdown of oranges fight Alzheimer’s disease, according to multiple studies. Since oranges are full of naringin, they’re very helpful in lowering cognitive dysfunction and oxidative damage.
5. Oranges are Powerful Anti-Cancerous Fruits
The effectiveness of destroying harmful cancer cells in the blood depends greatly on a healthy diet. Specially selected fruits high in vitamin C play a crucial role in killing cancer cells and preventing the proliferation of malignant tumors.
To prevent damage of healthy cells in the body, vitamin C targets cancer stem cells to lower levels of DNA damage.
A study providing high doses of vitamin C for treating pancreatic and lung cancer show positive trial feedback on destroying tumor cells from rapidly increasing. The increased intake of vitamin C from oranges can strengthen hydrogen peroxide levels to damage tumor cells more profusely than normal, healthy cells. (7)
Another study focused on chemotherapy resistance found that patients with tumor recurrence and cancer cell metabolism can be treated with high amounts of vitamin C in their daily diet. (8)
Key Takeaway: Vitamin C is a promising anti-cancer agent for hampering cancer cells and tumor growth. It can be consumed to prevent and treat cancer as a conventional therapy for preventing further DNA damage and disease. It’s an essential treatment to restrict the spreading of cancer cells to different parts of the body.
6. The High Fiber Content in Oranges May Inhibit Chronic Constipation
Dietary fiber is an underlying agent for the treatment and prevention of bowel disorders, including constipation. Chronic constipation, on the other hand, is a more severe disorder which may have long-lasting health risks including abdominal pain, painful bowel movements, and other digestion problems.
It can also lead to problems involving the colon, nerves surround the rectum and colon, and spinal cord injury. (9)
A study on dietary fiber behaviour and chronic constipation suggests that increasing dietary fiber intake from fruits such as oranges can eliminate adverse symptoms of constipation in pregnant women. This also limits the chances of consuming supplements or laxatives for regular bowel movements. (10)
Other factors such as regular exercise, lots of water intake, less stress levels, and healthy diet are powerful healing agents of chronic constipation. A high fiber intake is responsible for the proper ingestion of cellulose which prevents constipation from surfacing.
Key Takeaway: Consuming oranges for its high dietary fiber content is crucial for preventing chronic constipation. Dietary fiber has a direct impact on your body’s bowel movements and they prevent the development of various chronic diseases caused by irregular bowel movements.
7. Drinking Orange Juice is Linked to the Treatment of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones have a record of affecting up to 5% of the whole population. It is characterized by stone-like, hard deposits of minerals and acids in the kidney that cause abdominal pain and nausea. (11)
Genetic factors, diet changes, and increased crystal-forming substances in urine cause kidney stones.
A recent study indicates that a glass of orange juice may inhibit the development of kidney stones because of its high potassium citrate content. Taking potassium citrate supplements for kidney stones prevention can often lead to gastrointestinal problems which is why eating fruits for it are a safer and natural alternative. (12)
The study focused on patients drinking lemonade and orange juice. The comparison of both juices shows that orange juice is the most effective treatment for preventing kidney stones. It reduces urine acidity and increases citrate concentration in the urine. This helps in restricting kidney stone development in humans.
Key Takeaway: Health advocates and studies suggest that orange juice is far more effective than lemonade for treating the preventing kidney stones. It relieves abdominal pain and nausea to regulate less urine acidity in the body.
8. Oranges Provide Smart Carbohydrates for Proper Weight Management
For healthy individuals, a low glycemic index of under 55 is recommended to not cause a blood sugar spike that may cause weight gain. Interestingly, oranges have the count of 40.
The glycemic index is a simple measurement for foods that contain carbohydrates. Carbs have a significant impact on blood sugar levels which is why controlled amounts of carbs are essential for weight control.
A high GI value causes heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, kidney diseases, etc. Anything above 70 is considered a high value and unquestionably detrimental. (13)
Since oranges have a GI of 40, it means that they contain healthy carbs that don’t interfere with insulin production, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. Simply put, healthy carbs are energy boosters. This also means that your oranges intake should be moderate if you want to shed pounds off of your lifestyle. (14)
Key Takeaway: The low GI of oranges make it a smart carbohydrate fruit for a healthy diet. They do not provoke raised blood sugar levels or have an impact insulin resistance. This is most essential for optimal weight management.
9. Vitamin C Present in Oranges Have Eye-Healing Benefits
Eye-related diseases can be environmentally-induced, lifestyle-induced, age-induced, or genetic. Factors such as smoking, diabetes, UV radiation, and age-related disorders can greatly affect the health of your eyes.
Vitamin C is proven to benefit the eyes in a ton of ways. It helps in absorption of iron to all cells of the body, including eye cells. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps in the development of maintenance of the connective tissue of the eye. It even heals sensitive capillaries in the retina.
You need a huge amount of vitamin C in your diet to reduce risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. For instance, a study suggests that 300mg of vitamin C a day reduces risk of cataract while 500mg of vitamin C a day reduce risk of macular degeneration.
So if you increase your orange intake on a daily basis, you chances of developing eye diseases is very low.
Key Takeaway: The serious symptoms of damaged eye cells can be averted with the help of vitamin C. Oranges contain tremendous amounts of vitamin C, which makes them the ideal citrus fruit for healthy vision.
10. The Antioxidant Capacity of Oranges Help Prevent Free Radical Damage
It is long established that antioxidants play an important role in curbing oxidative stress and inflammation caused by free radical in the human body.
But further research places importance on fruits containing phytochemicals and vitamins for the protection of cells from oxidative damage. Orange is one such citrus fruit with lots of antioxidants to account for. They contain hydroxycinnamic acids, flavonoids, and other compounds that reduce hypertensive and oxidative stress on a deep, cellular level. (17)
Diseases such as immunodeficiency, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, etc. are greatly affected due to oxidative stress.
Oranges strengthen the antioxidant defense system of the body and inhibit cellular damage dramatically. (18)
A daily diet of vitamin C and phytochemicals can alleviate such severe symptoms and destroy free radical scavenging symptoms. Humans are unable to produce these nutrients on its own, hence consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits are recognized as the most effective way to treat free radical-induced damage.
Key Takeaway: The antioxidants present in oranges act as free radical scavengers to reduce oxidative stress in the body. It suppresses the formation of aggressive free radicals, destroys already existing damaged cells, and repair damage done due to oxidative stress in the human body.
11. Oranges Encourage Proper Bone Health and Restrict Development of Osteoporosis
Did you ask yourself why bone health is so important? It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, bone health lays down the foundation of how you perform on a daily basis. With easily breakable bones you’re exposed to more bone diseases and other immune-related diseases.
That’s why proper nutrient intake is so important. Factors such as smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, alcohol use, and genes matter greatly in determining bone health. It could literally make or break your body. (19)
One of the major bone health risks include osteoporosis which is characterized by low bone density. It’s an irreversible bone disease that leads to frequent bone breaks and fractures. (20)
The potassium and citrate content in oranges provide bone health protection and stability. They reduce excessive salt absorption in the body and increase calcium absorption in the blood and bones. When excess acid and calcium is excreted in the urine, it causes calcium deficiency causing bones to break and fracture more often. (21)
Key Takeaway: Oranges play many roles in the human body and one of them include treating and preventing bone health problems. They contain very good levels of potassium and citrate that protect the bones from deteriorating and prevent the development of osteoporosis.
12. Oranges are Great Sources of Citrus Limonoids
Apart from the common significance of oranges being excellent sources of vitamin C, they also contain another extremely beneficial compound.
Recent research shows that citrus limonoid present in oranges have serious anti-cancerous, anti-hypertensive, and cholesterol-lowering effects. Limonin is a form of limonoid that is present in all citrus fruits and other plants.
Vitamin C and citrus limonoids are present in equal amounts in oranges which makes them far superior for cancer prevention. They’re anti-carcinogens that prevent cancer cells from rapidly increasing. Also, they have a stronger and faster connection to the human body than any other form of limonin present in green tea or chocolate. (22)
A glass of orange juice per day will help prevent many types of cancers including mouth, breast, lung, skin, colon, and stomach.
In another similar study, citrus limonoids tend to reduce apo B compounds that are linked to lower cholesterol levels in the liver.
Key Takeaway: Citrus limonoid’s bioavailability has many health benefits. It destroys cancer cells from proliferation, it restricts high cholesterol levels, and prevents the development of heart diseases. After vitamin C, oranges are known for their high limonin content for cholesterol-lowering effects.
13. Oranges Linked to the Prevention Emphysema Due to its Vitamin A Content
Emphysema is a respiratory disease characterized the swelling of the air sacs of the lungs. It is an irreversible condition that could lead to breathlessness and chest pains. These air sacs in the lungs become too collapsed and damaged so there’s lack of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in the blood.
The most primary cause of emphysema is cigarette smoking. Other factors include environmental factors such as dust and chemicals, low body weight, genetic factors, and childhood respiratory diseases.
Recent study suggests that vitamin A deficiency can also become an underlying cause of emphysema in humans. (23)
This link was made between smokers and their vitamin A deficiency that could give rise to emphysema. The study was conducted on rats with very low vitamin A levels. The general consensus is that smokers who intake deficient levels of vitamin A in their diet may, with time, be at a higher risk of developing emphysema than those with a vitamin A-rich diet.
Also, increasing your vitamin A diet by consuming oranges may help with the prevention of lung cancer, study suggests.
Key Takeaway: Smokers with a vitamin A deficiency might develop emphysema which is a lung disease. A poor diets leaves them at a higher risk of experiencing shortness of breath, chest pains, and oxidative stress in the body.
What To Look Forward To
Oranges are the kind of fruits you need to buy more of. They’re popularly consumed as freshly squeezed orange juice, packed with flavor and nutrients. And according to health specialists, oranges are exactly as healthy as you think they are. You’ll be getting your daily vitamins and antioxidants with a single glass of fresh orange juice without the excess sugar intake.
In fact, it’s time you skip processed fruit juices that are generally loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners. You might not get your daily fiber and phytochemicals intake, unless you opt for oranges. You can cook oranges with chicken, pasta salads, rolls, shrimp, and a variety of other key ingredients. They’re full of nutrients that help you improve your immune system and live a healthier lifestyle.
1. Orange Chicken
Pack a hearty dinner with this orange chicken recipe, especially if you want to save time in cooking a family meal.
2 tbsp - extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds - boneless chicken
1/3 cup - cornstarch
1/2 tsp - salt
1/2 tsp - pepper
1 cup - fresh orange marmalade
1/4 cup - soy sauce
1 tbsp - vinegar
1 tsp - sesame oil
1 tsp - ginger, grounded
1/2 tsp - garlic powder
2 tbsp - sesame seeds
2 tbsp - sliced green onions
Sliced orange pieces for garnishing
In a plastic ziptop bag, combine chicken, pepper, salt, and cornstarch. Mix well and place in a slow cooker with 1 tbsp olive oil.
Add marmalade, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, and ginger in a small bowl. Mix well.
Transfer into the chicken bag and marinade properly.
Cook on low heat for 4 hours. Serve with orange sauce and sliced orange pieces with drizzled sesame seeds.
2. Baked Orange Rolls
This orange potato rolls will make you want to eat more oranges this season.
3/4 cup - sugar
3/4 cup - butter
3 cups - milk, scalded
1 cup - potato, flakes
1 tbsp - salt
4 - eggs
1 tbsp - yeast
7 cups - all-purpose flour
1 - orange zest
2 cups - sugar, powdered
2 tsp - orange zest
4 tbsp - fresh orange juice
2 tbsp - soft butter
Salt to taste
Combine 3/4 cup of sugar, butter, milk, flakes, and 1 tbsp of salt. Combine with yeast and set aside for 1 minute. Add eggs and orange zest.
To make the dough, combine with flour and set aside for one whole hour. Divide sticky dough into 3 equal parts. Remove 1/2-inch dough and half of the dough. Fold over the cut into 1-inch strips.
Tie strips into simple knots and set aside for 2 hours. Bake in a 350 degrees preheated oven for 20 minutes on a baking tray base sprinkled with flour.
Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar, zest, orange juice, softened butter, and salt. Coat over baked rolls and serve fresh.
3. Sweet and Spicy Orange Shrimp
In love with shrimps? Don’t worry. This mouth-watering blend recipe of honey, orange, and shrimps will keep boring seafood dishes at bay, for good.
1 pound - deveined shrimp
1/2 cup - cornstarch
2 - eggs
1/4 cup - cooking or vegetable oil
1/2 cup - fresh honey
2 tbsp - orange juice
1 - orange zest
1/2 tsp - garlic powder
1/2 tsp - red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp - ginger, grounded
Salt and pepper to taste
Marine shrimp with salt and pepper and cornstarch. Set aside for a few minutes.
Dip each shrimp piece into beaten eggs until all shrimp pieces are coated evenly. Cook on medium-high heat with olive on a pan for 2 minutes. Drain oil using paper towels.
Combine orange juice, honey, zest, flakes, garlic powder, and ginger on a pan. Heat and bring to boil for 2 minutes.
Toss glaze mixture with shrimps and garnish with orange zest.
4. Small Orange Bars
Here’s how you’ll devour energy-boosting, pre-workout bars this year.
For the crust:
1 cup - butter, unsalted
2 cups - flour
1/2 cup - sugar, granulated
1/4 tsp - salt
For the filling:
1/2 cup - orange juice
1 tsp - orange zest
1 1/2 cup - flour
1/2 tsp - baking powder
4 - eggs, large
Powdered sugar to taste
To make dough: combine flour, salt, sugar, and butter. Transfer dough to a baking tray, press down and bake in a 350 degrees preheated oven for 18 minutes.
To make the filling: combine orange juice, zest, flour, baking powder, and eggs in a blender.
Remove baked crust and pour filling over. Bake for 20 minutes more. Set aside to cool for a few minutes and garnish with powdered sugar.
5. Orange and Coconut Energy Balls
Try eating these energy balls alongside your breakfast meals to perk up your day.
3 cups - vanilla wafer, crumbed
1 1/2 cups - pecans, chopped
3/4 cup - orange juice
4 cups - sugar, confectioners
2 tbsp - melted butter
2 cups - coconut, shredded
Yellow and red food coloring, if desired
Combine melted butter, nuts, sugar, orange juice, and wafer crumbs in a small bowl.
Spoon 1 tsp of mixture and roll into bite-sized balls. Coat with shredded coconut and refrigerate in a plastic container.
6. Mandarin Orange Pasta Salad
The easiest way to make healthy pasta salad for a quick and tasty dinner meal.
8 ounces - pasta, farfalle
10 ounce - baby spinach
1/3 cup - cranberries, dried
1/3 cup - sliced walnuts
4 ounces - drained oranges, mandarin
1/2 cup - teriyaki sauce
1/3 cup - vinegar
1/2 cup - vegetable oil
Boil pasta according to instructions.
Combine teriyaki sauce, vinegar, and vegetable oil in a small jar.
In a small bowl, mix baby spinach, pasta, cranberries, oranges, and walnuts.
Combine teriyaki sauce with pasta salad. Serve fresh.
7. Coconut Chicken with Orange Sauce
This chicken recipe offers the best flavor without any mess, especially for entertaining larger crowds.
1 1/2 pounds - boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup - shredded coconut
3/4 cup - panko
1/2 cup - flour
1 tsp - salt
1/2 tsp - pepper
2 - eggs
1/4 cup - coconut oil
1/2 cup - orange marmalade
1/4 cup - fresh honey
3 tbsp - dijon mustard
1 tsp - red pepper, crushed flakes
Salt, as desired
Chopped cilantro to taste
Blend shredded coconut into smaller pieces. Combine with panko.
Add flour, salt, and pepper in a different bowl.
Beat eggs together in another bowl.
Dip chicken tenders in flour, egg, and then coconut shreddings, and fry on a pan with coconut oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Transfer all fried chicken strips on a baking pan and bake in a 400 degrees preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine orange marmalade, honey, mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt in a bowl. Remove baked chicken tenders and serve with chopped cilantro and orange and honey dipping sauce.
Wrapping It Up
Oranges promote better health by lowering cholesterol levels, destroying cancer cells. They also improve cognitive and heart health. They contain huge amounts of vitamin C and phytochemicals that protect the body from free radical damage and inflammation.
That natural sweetness and tanginess of oranges won’t disappoint you, especially when they’re so low in calories and maximum on flavor.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.