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Oranges are a citrus fruit in the family Rutaceae and originated in Southeastern Asia. There are many different varieties of oranges; Valencia, Persian, Naval, Jaffa and Blood. Oranges are classified into two categories, bitter and sweet, with sweet being the most popularly consumed. The fruit was first cultivated in the Middle East in the 9th century and was introduced into Europe by the 15th century by the Moors, Portuguese and Italians.
Health Benefits of Oranges
Research studies have proven that oranges have phytonutrients such as citrus flavanones, polyphenols, anthocyanins and hydroxycinnamic acids which are beneficial to the health of the human body. The fruit contains herperidin which studies have proven contain anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce symptoms of hypertension.
The vitamin C content found in oranges provides antioxidant protection against cancer-causing free radicals and helps to boost immune system function. Vitamin C can also reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. The vitamin C in oranges can also reduce the risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke.
A single orange contains more than 60 flavanois and 170 different phytonutrients which possess blood clot inhibiting abilities, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor qualities. Oranges also contain the polyphenol gallic acid which provides anti-allergy, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties and researchers have began to study the role the fruit could play in brain functioning.
Oranges contain substances called limonoids which are proven to fight cancer of the skin, mouth, lungs, breast, colon and stomach. Because limonoid is so readily available and ever-present, oranges act as a natural antioxidant by helping prevent free radicals from damaging the DNA of cells and causing cancer. In a research study, 16 volunteer subjects received one dose of limonin glucoside in a glass of orange juice. Upon conclusion of the study, researchers determined the limonin in oranges lasted for a longer time period than the phenols in chocolate and green tea, which means the fruit, is one of the best sources of cancer protection available.
Oranges contain many different minerals, vitamins and nutrients which can be beneficial for the daily diet of human beings. The fruit is currently the focus of intensive medical and research studies to better understand everything oranges have to offer the human body in terms of health and well being.