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Food Percentage of DRI per 100 grams
vitamin C
vitamin B1
pantothenic acid

Oranges are classified into two general categories—sweet and bitter—with the former being the type most commonly consumed. Popular varieties of the sweet orange include Valencia, Navel, Jaffa, Murcott. and Minneola oranges, as well as the blood orange, a hybrid species that is usually smaller in size, more aromatic in flavor and has red colored flesh. Bitter oranges (Citrus aurantium) are often used to make jam or marmalade, and their zest serves as the flavoring for liqueurs such as Grand Marnier and Cointreau. 


Oranges are known as an excellent source of vitamin C. But the beneficial properties of oranges go far beyond that. They provide high levels of vitamin A, B-complex, folate, beta carotene, lutein, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, iron, folate, and potassium. 



Oranges do not necessarily have to have a bright orange color to be ripe. In fact, the uniform color of non-organic oranges is sometimes due to injection of artificial food dye Citrus Red Number 2. Green oranges may be just as ripe and tasty as those that are solid orange in color. And, because oranges are among the top 20 foods in which pesticide residues are most frequently found, it is wise to buy organic oranges whenever possible.

Choose oranges that are firm and heavy for their size. These will have a higher juice content compared to those that are either spongy or lighter in weight. Also, oranges smaller in size and have thinner skin will be juicier than those that are large with thick skin.


Before cutting or peeling the orange, wash the skin so that any dirt or bacteria residing on the surface will not be transferred to the fruit. 

Oranges are oftentimes called for in recipes in the form of orange juice. Oranges, like most citrus fruits, will produce more juice when warm, therefore it´s better to juice them when they are at room temperature. Rolling the orange under the palm of your hand on a flat surface before cutting will also help to extract more juice.

If your recipe calls for orange zest, which is the outer orange layer of the peel, make sure that you use an orange that is organically grown since most conventionally grown fruits will have pesticide residues on their skin and may be artificially colored. After washing and drying the orange, use a zester, microplane, paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the zest. Make sure not to remove too much of the peel as the white pith underneath is bitter and ruin the taste of the food. The zest can then be more finely chopped or minced if necessary.


Oranges can either be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator, depending upon your preference. They will generally last the same amount of time, two weeks with either method, and will retain nearly the same level of their vitamin content. If exposed to moisture oranges can develop mold, so the best way to store them is loose rather than inside a plastic bag.

Fresh squeezed orange juice can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. It can also be frozen. Pour the freshly squeezed orange juice into ice cube and freeze, then store them in an airtight container or zip-lock bag in the freezer. Frozen orange juice cubes are great to add to smoothies or make a refreshing orange slushy. However, be aware that orange juice will lose most of its vitamin C content within 30 minutes of being squeezed, so for optimum nutrition drink immediately. 

Orange zest can also be stored for later use. You can dry it in a dehydrator and then store in an airtight container or zip-lock bag in a cool, dry place. 


You already know that oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C but do you know just how important vitamin C and oranges are for good health? Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidantin the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage both inside and outside cells. Free radical damage in cells is potential for causing cancer. This is why oranges are known to help prevent cancer. 

Vitamin C is also important for the function of a healthy immune system. Most of us know citrus fruits are great for preventing the common cold and flu. But research also shows that vitamin C can reduce the risk of a whole range of serious ailments including heart disease, stroke, Alzheimers disease, Parkinson´s disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, shingles, chronic fatigue syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Chrohn´s disease

One large US study reviewed in the CSIRO report showed that one extra serving of citrus fruit a day reduced the risk of stroke by 19%. The same report also showed that citrus fruit can help with weight lossdue to their high pectin content. Another beneficial effect of citrus is improved brain functions such as memory and learning. 

Just one orange contains hundreds of different phytonutrients, flavonoids and polyphenols with anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. One such phytonutrient is the herperidinmolecule which in recent research has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. 

What few people know is that most of the phytonutrient is found in the peel and pith of the orange, rather than in its liquid orange center. So the zest of the orange is not just great for it´s taste, but also for its nutritional density. According to a study by U.S. and Canadian researchers published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, compounds (flavones) in the peel of citrus fruit have the potential of lowering cholesterol even more efficiently than certain prescription medications, including Statin drugs. Based on the results in cell studies, the flavones inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol and triglycerides inside the liver, just like Statin drugs. Treatment with citrus flavones did not have any effect on levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol, and no negative side effects were seen. Using the zest from an organic citrus fruit on a daily basis to add to your salad, dressing, soup, dessert, granola or smoothie is a wonderful way to achieve cholesterol lowering benefits. 


Ingesting vitamin C supplements does not provide the same benefits as consuming the juice from oranges or other citrus fruits. A study at the University of Milan in Italy shows that after consuming orange juice, there was a protective effect against cell damage from free radicals up to 24 hours. On the other hand, no protection was detected after consumption of water fortified with vitamin C. 


As amazing as fresh squeezed orange juice is, peeling or cutting the fruit and consuming it with fiber and pith is even more beneficial, since that is where so many of the phytonutrients and flavonoids are contained. The fiber can help keep blood sugar levels under control, which may help explain why oranges can be a very healthy snack for people with diabetes. In addition, the natural fruit sugar in oranges (fructose), can help to keep blood sugar levels from rising too high after eating. The fiber in oranges is also helpful for reducing constipation or diarrhea in those suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).


Oranges act as a natural internal antiseptic, purifying and rejuvenating the organs. They remove toxic debris and acids from the organs and colon. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank 1/2 liter of fresh orange, grapefruit or apple juice per day, had a significantly lowered risk of forming kidney stones and gallstones. 



Oranges are rich in alkaline salts that once metabolized in the body becomes alkaline and helps counteract and prevent acidosis in the body. Interesting to note is that just like lemons and limes, oranges have an acidic PH before ingested. 



Oranges and other foods rich in orange-red carotenoid pigments have been found to help improve respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis and lung cancer. The same pigment also promote eye health. 


Oranges originated thousands of years ago in Asia, in the region from southern China to Indonesia from which they spread to India. Although Renaissance paintings display oranges on the table in paintings of The Last Supper, the assumption that they were grown in this region at this time seems to be erroneous since oranges were not cultivated in the Middle East until sometime around the 9th century. Sweet oranges were introduced into Europe around the 15th century by various groups including the Moors, and the Portuguese as well as the Italian traders and explorers who found them on their voyages to Asia and the Middle East.

Citizens of the northern climates had become very deficient in vitamin C during the winter. That was because they ran out of fruits and vegetables and had to rely on dairy products, eggs, grain and meat almost exclusively. When oranges and other fresh produce became available, crowds would gather around the trains that were rumored to carry the magical citrus fruits from the south. However, few townspeople could afford the expensive citrus fruits, so most of the fruit would go to the wealthy few. If you did get your hands on a miraculous orange in those days it was worth its weight in gold. 

Up until the 20th century, oranges continued to be very expensive and therefore they were not regularly consumed, but rather eaten on special holidays such as Christmas. After more efficient means of transportation were developed, and food processors invented methods for utilizing orange by-products such as citric acid and bioflavonoids, the price of oranges dropped, and they could be consumed on a wide scale, as they are today. Currently, the countries that are some of the largest commercial producers of oranges include the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, China and Israel.


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