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Orange Power
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Photo: Studiomill
There’s nothing more tantalizing to my taste buds than biting into a tangy, mouthwatering, slice of orange in the middle of winter. I’ve discovered that these colorful citrus orbs are not only delectable winter delights, but are actually a boon to our health when days are short.

It was Christopher Columbus that first introduced the orange to the U.S. in the mid-1500s, bringing the orange seed to Florida on one of his voyages.1 By 1820 there were flourishing groves in St. Augustine, Florida. To this day, oranges are the biggest cash crop in Florida, and Florida oranges are considered the most popular orange of the U.S.2 The U.S. is also the second biggest producer of oranges in the world. 

One of the orange’s top health benefits is its high content of vitamin C. In one navel orange there is 82.7 mg of vitamin C, which translates into 137% of our daily value (USDA). Vitamin C is powerful for fighting invading “bugs” in our system, and boosting our immunity. What a benefit for us during the cold season!

Good Vision

The orange also contains a high amount of vitamin A, which gives us good vision, especially low-light vision. The carotenoid compounds in vitamin A do much to ward off macular degeneration.

Oranges can also prevent stomach ulcers and reduce the risk of stomach cancer, as was shown in a study of over 6,000 people, by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Additionally, they minimize the likelihood of getting kidney stones, by increasing your urinary pH value and citric acid excretion (British Journal of Nutrition).

And yet there is still more that the orange can do for you. It’s high in fiber, phytonutrients, protects against cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis, and preserves your respiratory health. There is probably even more that the orange does to do boost our health that science has not even discovered. And that is the joy we have when we eat food packaged just the way God made it, perfectly balanced for our health. And isn’t it incredible that they’re also so delicious?

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By Brenna Rittenour. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

Sources:
1
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAOSTAT, 2013http://top5ofanything.com/index.php?h=886acb20

2 Ibid
Journal of the American College of Nutrition: August 2003 pp. 283-9
British Journal of Nutrition: August 2003 pp. 295-300

 


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