Oranges or sweet oranges are accidents. They are possibly the natural hybrid of pomelos and mandarin oranges; at least that’s what genetic researchers theorize. Most citrus trees as it turns out are quite infertile and a lot of hybridization occurs among the species that fall under this genus.
The fruit was said to have been cultivated somewhere in southern China and northeastern India as far back as 2500 BC. While bitter types of citrus fruits had already been propagated in other parts of the world, the sweet orange only made its way into Europe in the 15th century. Back then oranges were a luxury. But now it’s quite common and makes up more than two-thirds of the world’s total citrus fruit production.
It is fortunate that nature provided this accident. Oranges are such sweet and delicious sources of essential nutrients. Read further and find out the benefits this fruit can give you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
Vitamin C is automatically the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the nutritional value of oranges. This isn’t surprising as one piece of the fruit perhaps weighing around 120 -130 grams is enough to provide your body’s entire daily requirement of this vitamin.
As you may know, this all-important vitamin plays so many crucial roles in keeping you healthy, from boosting your immune system to helping your body heal wounds faster. It is considered as the main water-soluble antioxidant that captures dangerous free radicals inside and outside of cells. But oranges are not just about Vitamin C. The fruit in fact contains more than 170 different types of phytonutrients.
All these other substances work together with Vitamin C to provide the protective benefit of the fruit. In one study, participants were given 3 different beverages – orange juice, a drink fortified with the same amount of ascorbic acid, and a sugar water solution. The result was that those who drank the orange juice were the only ones who presented a reduction in DNA damage.
The type and concentration of phytonutrients depend on the variety. Blood oranges for example are known to have high amounts of anthocyanin. This substance gives blood oranges their red color and is also abundant in berries. There has been preliminary research that uncovers its potential anti-cancer properties.
Another notable variety is the navel orange. This type is distinctly bitter because it has more than the usual amount of limonoids in common orange varieties. This class of phytochemicals has been studied for its antiviral activity as well as its ability to inhibit colon cancer cells.
Orange Practical Uses:
As demonstrated in the study mentioned above, the best way to maximize the healing properties of oranges is to simply eat it fresh. Turning it into a beverage is also fairly easy with a citrus squeezer. Drinking freshly made orange juice is one of the best ways to rehydrate after a workout.
Orange peel is typically discarded but it actually still has some culinary uses. Preparation almost always requires that you dry the peel. This can be done with either a dehydrator or an oven. From there you can:
- Immerse the dried orange peel in olive oil or any other culinary oil to impart an additional flavor
- Ground the dried peel and use it as a spice to give a citrus flavor to dishes
- Mix the dried peel with other herbs and spices to brew different types of herbal teas like orange spiced tea
Much of the limonoids in oranges can actually be found in the peel. This is also the part of the orange from which citrus or orange oil is extracted.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of papayas that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of oranges, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the benefits of oranges.