Health benefits of orange fruit – Nutrition facts of oranges are many and include: low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol but rich in vital anti-oxidants and vitamins
Description of an orange
The orange is one of the finest gifts of nature. It is the most popular wide-spread of the citrus fruits.
It is a very delicious and nourishing fruit which is upto 12 cm. in diameter, though most common ones are only 6 to 8 cm in diameter.
The fruit grows on a spreading evergreen tree, upto 12 m. tall, with dark green leaves and fragrant flowers.
There are many varieties of oranges. The more important ones are loose-skinned orange, tight-skinned orange and sour-orange.
The loose-skinned orange is very popular in India and the tight-skinned one is very popular in Europe.
Origin and Distribution
The orange is a native of southern China. It is believed to have been introduced into south India from where it was taken to the western world by Vasco da Gama in 1498.
However, it did not spread in India and the present cultivated varieties were introduced from abroad. It is extensively cultivated in the U.S.A., Spain, Brazil, China, Japan, Palestine, Italy, South Africa, Egypt and Mexico.
In India, the loose-skinned orange grows widely in Nagpur and Pune in Maharashtra state, Assam and Coorg.
Food Value of Orange or nutritional value of orange:
The orange is a rich source of protective food ingredients like vitamins A, B, C and calcium and its health-promotin properties emanate from this fact. It is superior to almost an other fruit as a source of calcium.
The orange also contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, sulphur and chlorine.
Its vitamin C content helps the body tissues to use the calcium contained in the food.
Curative Properties and health benefits of orange fruit
The orange is a predigested food as the starch of the orange is converted into readily assimilable sugar by the rays of the sun. It is thus readily absorbed in the blood. It produces heat and energy in the body immediately after its use.
The regular use of orange prevents frequent attacks of common cold, influenza and bleeding tendencies. It keeps one healthy and strong and contribute towards longevity.
Orange juice, among all the fruit juices, is more suitable for all ages and can be given with advantage in all kinds of diseases.
Orange is an excellent food in all types of fever when the digestive power of the body is seriously hampered.
The fever patient suffer from blood poisoning called toxaemia and the lack of saliva coats his tongue and often destroys his thirst for water as well as his desire for food.
The agreeable flavour of orange juice helps greatly in overcoming these drawbacks. Orange juice is the most ideal liquid food in fevers like typhoid, tuberculosis and measles.
It gives energy, increases urinary output and promotes body resistance against infections, thereby, hastening recovery.
The orange is an effective food remedy in chronic dyspepsia. It gives rest to the digestive organs and supplies nutrition in a most easily assimilable form.
It also stimulates the flow of digestive juices thereby improving digestion and increasing appetite. It creates suitable condition for the development of friendly bacteria in the intestines.
The orange is beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Taking one or two oranges at bedtime and again on rising in the morning is an excellent way of stimulating bowel action.
The general stimulating influence of orange juice excites peristaltic activity and helps prevent the accumulation of food residue in the colon, which leads to putrefaction and auto-intoxication.
Diseases of Bone and Teeth
This fruit, being an excellent source of calcium and vitamin C is valuable in the diseases of the bone and teeth.
Disorders in the structure of the teeth usually result from shortage of vitamin C and calcium and these can be overcome by sufficient intake of orange.
Dr. Harke, a Chicago physician, has claimed to have cured several patients of pyorrhea and dental caries by giving them orange juice in large amounts.
Orange juice is considered an excellent food for infants who are not fed on breast milk. They should be given 15ml. to 120ml. of orange juice daily according to age.
It prevents scurvy and rickets and helps growth. This juice can also be given with beneficial results to more grown up babies whose normal development is insatisfactory. They should be given 60ml. to 120ml. of orange juice daily.
Orange juice, sweetened with honey, is highly beneficial in heart diseases. In cardiac conditions like coronary ischaemia and infarction, when only liquid food is advisable.
The use of orange juice with honey is a very safe energy giving liquid food.
The use of orange juice mixed with a pinch of salt and a tablespoonful of honey is an effective food remedy for tuberculosis, asthma, common cold, bronchitis and other conditions of cough associated with difficult expectorations.
Due to its saline action in the lungs, it eases expectorations and protects men and women from secondary infection.
The orange peel is valuable in the treatment of pimples and acne. The peel, pounded well with water on a piece of stone, should be applied to the affected areas. It is said to be more effective, if it is pounded with rain water.
Common uses of Orange
The orange is used in a variety of ways. It is usually taken as a dessert fruit. Large quantities of the fruit are used for making orange juice, which is canned.
It is also made into squashes. Oranges are also used for marmalades and jams. Essential oil from the rind of the fruits is valued in perfumery.