Orange fruit nutrition facts
orange fruit contains an impressive list of
essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals for normal growth and
development and overall well-being.
Botanically; orange is the citrus fruit belonging in
the Rutaceae family, of the genus; Citrus. The genus citrus also
other related species of oranges such as pomelo, tangerine
(mandarin orange), yuzu, lemon, and grapefruit.
Scientific name: Citrus
Orange is a tropical to semitropical, evergreen,
tree, growing to about 5 to 8 m tall, and bears seasonal fruits that
measure about 3 inches in diameter and weigh about 100-150 g. Oranges
are classified into two general categories, sweet and bitter, with the
former being the type most commonly consumed. Popular sweet-varieties
Navel, Persian variety, and blood orange.
Photo courtesy: orphanjones
Tangerines are related varieties of oranges
distinguished by loose, easily peeled shin (pericarp) and sweet juicy
flesh (arils). They are also known as mandarin oranges in
Europe and Satsumas
in Japan. Just as oranges, these too belong to the Rutaceae (citrus
Family) and known scientifically as Citrus
Fruits belonging to the citrus
group are described as
“hesperidium,” (A hesperidium is a scientific term to describe the
fruit structure belonging to the citrus group. In fact, the fruit is a modified berry
with tough, leathery rind. Orange peel
contains many volatile
oil glands in pits. Interior flesh is composed of
made up of numerous fluid-filled vesicles that are
actually specialized hair cells).
benefits of oranges
Nutrients in oranges are
plentiful and diverse.
The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or
cholesterol, but is rich in dietary fiber, pectin. Pectin, by its virtue as a bulk laxative, helps to protect the mucous membrane of the
colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by
binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. Pectin has also been
shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing its
re-absorption in the colon by binding to bile acids
Oranges, like other citrus
fruits, are an
excellent source of vitamin
C (provides 53.2 mg per 100 g, about 90% of DRI); Vitamin
C is a powerful
natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the
develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge
harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.
Orange fruit contains a
are flavonoids found in citrus fruits. Naringenin is found to have a
bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical
scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator. This
substance has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to DNA in-vitro
studies. Total antioxidant strength (ORAC) of oranges (navel variety)
is 1819 µmol TE/100 g.
Oranges also contain very
good levels of vitamin A,
other flavonoid antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin,
These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A
is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and
is essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in
flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
It is also a very good
source of B-complex
vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are
essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to
Orange fruit also contains
a very good amount
of minerals like potassium and calcium. Potassium is an important
component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and
pressure through countering sodium actions.
Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for
their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is
scientifically established fact that citrus fruits, especially oranges, by
virtue of their abundance in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, have many proven
health benefits. Moreover, it is now beginning to be appreciated that
the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds in the citrus
fruits such as phyto-chemical
antioxidants, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber helps in
cutting risk for cancers, chronic diseases like arthritis, obesity, and
coronary heart diseases.
|Total Fat||0.12 g||0.5%|
|Vitamin C||53.2 mg||90%|
|Vitamin A||225 IU||7.5%|
|Vitamin E||0.18 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0 µg||0%|
season begins from October and lasts until February. Mature fruits are
generally harvested from the tree using machines, and thus may sustain
minor, superficial injuries. Such small abrasions, however, on the
fruit surfaces usually do not influence the quality of the fruit.
In the store,
buy fresh fruits that feature firm, yet yield to gentle pressure
but rebound immediately. Fresh oranges have bright color, devoid of any
wrinkles on the skin, should feel heavy for their size, and impart
sweet aroma. Avoid any overtly soften fruits with spots and mold as
they tend to perish early.
Oranges can be
kept at room temperature for a week or so. They can keep
well for up to two weeks inside the fruit/vegetable compartment of the home
refrigerator. Keep them loose in the fruit container and place in the
area away from excessive moisture as they tend to get mold infection
early. Store freshly squeezed orange juice inside the freezer
compartment for later use. Store dried orange zest in a cool, dry place
in an airtight glass container away from moisture.
and serving tips
inside the fruit.
You may carry orange fruit
along with you wherever you go without
much cumbersome. Fresh oranges can be eaten at anytime, anywhere; just
them under running water to remove surface dirt and any pesticide
residues, peel the skin, and enjoy!
superficially on the skin with your fingers or using a knife. Remove
rind and fibers and gently peel off membranes and seeds. They are
usually be eaten this way. They can also eaten by slicing the fruit
horizontally into two halves and scooping out sections of the halves
with a spoon.
juice is a well cherished
drink all over the world. However, raw fruits are considered wholesome
than their juice in terms of antioxidant benefits. Soluble and
insoluble fiber content is also lessened to a great degree in the
If you wish to
fresh orange juice, then prepare it yourself at home instead of
commercial drinks that may contain preservatives and artificial
colorants. Bring the fruit to room temperature if kept in the
part of the rind grated using zester to produce orange
zest, which also have many culinary values for its flavor rich oil
Here are some Serving tips:
Orange fruit sections are a great addition to
green and fruit salads.
Orange fruit juice can be a re-freshening
The fruit is also used in the preparation of
desserts, jams, and jellies.
zest (peel) is also used in preparation
of popular dishes for its rich flavor.
Dried orange blossoms and leaves are
used as herbal tea.
Insecticide sprays are widely
applied over orange crops. Therefore, it
is recommended to wash the fruits in cold running water before use.
Organic orange fruits are devoid of these chemicals and are best suited
zest preparation. (Medical
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for very informative pages on:-
2. Stanford School of Medicine
Cancer information Page- Nutrition
to Reduce Cancer Risk.
3. JN-The Journal of nutrition– The
Hypoglycemic Effects of Hesperidin and Naringin Are Partly Mediated by
Hepatic Glucose-Regulating Enzymes in C57BL/KsJ-db/db Mice.