Doctors recommend diets rich in fruits and vegetables so often that everyone is aware of the benefits. However, many people are not aware of how important it is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Each one has different nutritional benefits, and in making sure that your diet is balanced, variety is the key.
Oranges are a fairly common fruit, but they are not commonly listed as a favorite, possibly because of the work involved in eating one. However, orange nutrition is so strongly beneficial that adding oranges to your weekly grocery list is a great way to add variety to the types of fruit you consume. This article primarily discusses the nutritional benefits of oranges, but you should not forget the importance of variety.
Oranges are great for people who are trying to lose weight or control their hunger. They are one of the most filling and nutrient-dense fruits you can find. This is partially because orange nutrition contains an abnormally high amount of protein for a fruit; about 7% of the calories you consume when you eat an orange come from protein. Chunky peanut butter only contains about twice this amount of protein-based calories, and its serving size is significantly smaller than an orange’s.
On the other hand, a lot of the calories in oranges come from carbohydrates—most of them sugars. In fact, about 91% of the calories in an orange are from carbs. However, the sugar in an orange is much healthier than the sugar in, say, soda pop and high fructose corn syrup. In fact, despite all the sugar in an orange, it only has a glycemic rating of 6, meaning that you could safely consume more than 16 oranges in a day, as far as the sugar they contain is concerned.
Actually, orange nutrition is so beneficial that you would be consuming an excess of many vitamins and minerals if you tried to eat 16 oranges long before you would be consuming too much sugar. Eaten in healthy amounts, oranges are a good source of such beneficial nutrients as thiamin (vitamin B1), folic acid, potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
Vitamins B1 and C are both essential to the regular functioning of your body. Folic acid has been shown to reduce your risk of a large number of health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, depression, asthma, and macular degeneration. Diets that include folic acid have also been shown to promote strong, healthy bones. Potassium is essential to the functions of your body’s muscles, especially the heart, and diets high in fiber also promote a healthy heart.
If you are put off by the idea of peeling an orange and eating it section by section, many of the benefits of orange nutrition that come from the fruit can also be found in orange juice and its concentrate, so don't forget the great juicing benefits. Keep in mind there are many products on the market, most of them fortified with vitamin C to make them look genuine, that are basically liquid candy made from high fructose corn syrup and small amounts of real juice. Always check the ingredients.
Always keep in mind that oranges are very nutritious, but they do not have everything the body needs. Eat complimentary fruits and vegetables to make sure you are getting a complete and balanced diet.