Mangaluru: It’s that time of the year that oranges are available in large quantities and at dirt cheap price. The Central market is flooded with oranges and sweet limes (Musumbi)-retail fruit stalls carry plenty of these oranges -Nagpur and Madikeri/Coorg oranges. You can even find these oranges sold by street fruit vendors. What makes the Nagpur mandarin unique is that it has a unique blend of acid and sugar which does not exist in any other orange types like Kino or Coorg mandarin grown in the North East and Karnataka. It can be easily peeled off due to its loose skin and has unique deep orange colour and slices. It has a peculiar aroma, and not fully circular in shape and is basically a table fruit.
Oranges are one of the most popular fruits around the world. While they are delightful as a snack or as a recipe ingredient, it is their juice that is most associated with good health, having a reputation for being an integral part of a healthy breakfast.Oranges are classified into two general categories—sweet and bitter—Bitter oranges (Citrus aurantium) are oftentimes used to make jam or marmalade, and their zest serves as the flavoring for liqueurs such as Grand Marnier and Cointreau. Choose oranges that have smoothly textured skin and are firm and heavy for their size. These will have a higher juice content than those that are either spongy or lighter in weight. In general, oranges that are smaller will be juicier than those that are larger in size, as will those that feature thinner skins.
Juicy and sweet and renowned for its concentration of vitamin C, oranges make the perfect snack and add a special tang to many recipes; it is no wonder that they are one of the most popular fruits in the world.Oranges are round citrus fruits with finely-textured skins that are, of course, orange in color just like their pulpy flesh; the skin can vary in thickness from very thin to very thick.Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber. In addition, oranges are a good source of B vitamins including vitamin B1, pantothenic acid, and folate as well as vitamin A, calcium, copper, and potassium.
In recent research studies, the healing properties of oranges have been associated with a wide variety of phytonutrient compounds. These phytonutrients include citrus flavanones (types of flavonoids that include the molecules hesperetin and naringenin),anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamic acids, and a variety of polyphenols. When these phytonutrients are studied in combination with oranges—vitamin C, the significant antioxidant properties of this fruit are understandable.
But it is yet another flavanone in oranges, the herperidin molecule, which has been singled out in phytonutrient research on oranges. Arguably, the most important flavanonein oranges, herperidin has been shown to lower high blood pressure as well as cholesterol in animal studies, and to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Importantly, most of this phytonutrient is found in the peel and inner white pulp of the orange, rather than in its liquid orange center, so this beneficial compound is too often removed by the processing of oranges into juice.
You may 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 antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage in the aqueous environment both inside and outside cells. Inside cells, a potential result of free radical damage to DNA is cancer. Especially in areas of the body where cellular turnover is especially rapid, such as the digestive system, preventing DNA mutations translates into preventing cancer. This is why a good intake of vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.
Free radical damage to other cellular structures and other molecules can result in painful inflammation, as the body tries to clear out the damaged parts. Vitamin C, which prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade, is thus also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Free radicals also oxidize cholesterol. Only after being oxidized does cholesterol stick to the artery walls, building up in plaques that may eventually grow large enough to impede or fully block blood flow, or rupture to cause a heart attack or stroke. Since vitamin C can neutralize free radicals, it can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Vitamin C, which is also vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, is good for preventing colds and may be helpful in preventing recurrent ear infections.
Protection against Cardiovascular Disease :Citrus appears to offer the most significant protection against esophageal, oro-phayngeal/laryngeal (mouth, larynx and pharynx), and stomach cancers. A diet that features citrus fruits also offers protection against cardiovascular disease due to citrus fruits—folate, which is necessary for lowering levels of the cardiovascular risk factor, homocysteine; their, potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, protecting against stroke and cardiac arrhythmias; and the vitamin C, carotenoids and flavonoids found in citrus fruits, all of which have been identified as having protective cardiovascular effects.
There are evidence of positive effects associated with citrus consumption in studies for arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, gallstones, multiple sclerosis, cholera, gingivitis, optimal lung function, cataracts, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Orange fruits are protective against overweight and obesity, conditions which increase the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke, and add to symptoms of other conditions like arthritis.
An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong antioxidant effects. Compounds in Orange Peel May Lower Cholesterol as Effectively as Statin Drugs. A class of compounds found in citrus fruit peels called polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) have the potential to lower cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs, and without side effects.
Oranges’ health benefits continue with their fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels thus helping to prevent atherosclerosis. Fiber can also help out by keeping 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 can grab cancer-causing chemicals and keep them away from cells of the colon, providing yet another line of protection from colon cancer. And the fiber in oranges may be helpful for reducing the uncomfortable constipation or diarrhea in those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
Want to reduce your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones? Drink orange juice. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that when women drank 1/2 to 1 litre of orange, grapefruit or apple juice daily, their urinary pH value and citric acid excretion increased, significantly dropping their risk of forming calcium. An orange a day may help keep ulcers away. Enjoying a daily glass of freshly squeezed orange juice can significantly lower your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.