Orange | What is Orange Fruit| What are the Health Benefits of Orange and Fruit Juice | Varieties of Oranges | Uses of Orange Fruit and its Juice | Nutritional Value of Orange Fruit
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus ×sinensis (syn. Citrus aurantium L. var. dulcis L., or Citrus aurantium Risso) and its fruit. The orange is a hybrid of ancient cultivated origin, possibly between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and tangerine (Citrus reticulata). It is a small flowering tree growing to about 10 m tall with evergreen leaves, which are arranged alternately, of ovate shape with crenulate margins and 4–10 cm long. The orange fruit is a hesperidium, a type of berry.
Oranges originated in Southeast Asia. The fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange. The name is thought to ultimately derive from the Sanskrit for the orange tree, with its final form developing after passing through numerous intermediate languages.
In a number of languages, it is known as a “Chinese apple” (e.g. Dutch Sinaasappel, “China’s apple”).
Varieties of Oranges:
* Bahianinha: It is a variety of the Washington Navel and is exported mainly from Brazil. It is small in size and has a thin rind, which is dimpled and easy to peel. The pulp of the fruit is crisp, sweet, and is generally without seeds. This variety of oranges forms 30% of Brazil’s citrus crop and is grown mainly in Sao Paulo.
* Berna: This variety is grown mainly in Spain, the place where it originated. These oranges are moderately sweet and are ideal for cooking as they have almost no seeds. They are medium in size, having ten to twelve segments. The rind of the fruit is yellow-orange and the pulp is golden in colour, and has a pear like taste.
* Blood (Maltese): Rich in colour, these oranges are small sized and are ideal for making sorbets and desserts. Their taste is an exquisite blend of oranges, raspberries, and concord grapes. The pulp colour ranges from red to reddish purple, and its rind from an orange to an orange deeply suffused with red. They are believed to have originated in Italy, and is now extensively grown in Spain and Malta.
* Persian Orange: They are a variety of bitter-sweet oranges, which are widely grown in southern Europe. They were brought to Europe by the Portuguese in the 15 th century from India. Now sweet, these oranges grow in different shapes and sizes, depending upon the growing conditions. There are usually upto 10 segments inside each orange.
* Naval Orange: In an orchid in Brazil, a single mutation gave rise to the yield of the navel oranges. They are also known as the Washington, Riverside, or Bahie navel. The mutation causes the orange to produce a second orange at its base, much like a conjoined twin. This formation looks like that of the human navel, and thus the name. As they have no seeds, therefore the process of cutting and grafting is the only way to produce them.
* Valencia Orange: It is a variety of sweet oranges, which is used for juice extraction. It is a fruit, which grows late and enjoys a large demand, when the navel oranges are out of season. This orange was chosen the official mascot of the FIFA World Cup, which was held in Spain in 1982.
Health Benefits and Uses of Orange and Orange Fruit Juice:
The combination of the high amount of anti-oxidant (vitamin C) and flavonoids in oranges makes it one of the best fruits in helping to promote optimal health.
Arteriosclerosis: Regularly consuming vitamin C retards the development of hardening of the arteries.
Cancer prevention: A compound in oranges called liminoid, has been found to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon. The high vitamin C content also acts as a good anti-oxidant that protects cells from damages by free radicals.
Nutritional Value of Orange Fruit:
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||192 kJ (46 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||2.4 g|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1)||0.100 mg (8%)|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2)||0.040 mg (3%)|
|Niacin (Vit. B3)||0.400 mg (3%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.250 mg (5%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.051 mg (4%)|
|Folate (Vit. B9)||17 μg (4%)|
|Vitamin C||45 mg (75%)|
|Calcium||43 mg (4%)|
|Iron||0.09 mg (1%)|
|Magnesium||10 mg (3%|
|Phosphorus||12 mg (2%)|
|Potassium||169 mg (4%)|
|Zinc||0.08 mg (1%)|
Cholesterol: The alkaloid synephrine found under the orange peel can reduce the liver’s production of cholesterol. Whereas the anti-oxidant fights oxidative stress that is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDLs in our blood.
Constipation: Even though the orange “tastes acidic”, it actually has an alkaline effect in the digestive system and helps stimulate the digestive juices, relieving constipation.
Damaged sperms, repair: An orange a day is sufficient for a man to keep his sperms healthy. Vitamin C, an anti-oxidant, protects sperms from genetic damage that may cause a birth defect.
Heart disease: A high intake of flavonoids and vitamin C has been known to halve the risk of heart diseases.
High blood pressure: Studies have shown that a flavonoid called hesperidin in oranges can lower high blood pressure.
Immune system: The strong content of vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, naturally building a good immune system.
Kidney stones, prevent: Drinking orange juice daily can significantly drop the risk of formation of calcium oxalate stones in the kidney.
Skin: The anti-oxidant in orange help protect the skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging.
Stomach ulcer: Consuming vitamin C rich foods helps to lower the incidence of peptic ulcers and in turn, reduce the risk of stomach cancer.
Viral infections, protection against: The abundance of polyphenols have been shown to provide protection against viral infections.
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