Oranges are delicious, nutritious and hydrating. They’re full to the brim with vitamins and nutrients; just one orange counts as one of your five-a-day.
It’s widely known that oranges are a wonderful source of vitamin C. Just one orange will provide you with the daily NRV (nutrient reference value) of vitamin C for adults.
It’s important we get enough vitamin C in our diets for a number of reasons. Vitamin C plays an important role in protecting our cells and keeping them healthy. Our body also uses vitamin C to maintain healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage and when healing wounds.
Vitamin C is also known to boost immune systems. Whilst maintaining a diet that’s rich in vitamin C can’t eliminate the risk of you catching a cold completely, research suggests that it can help to reduce a cold’s length and severity.
But the health benefits of oranges don’t stop there!
Oranges are also a great source of vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, which is needed by the body to break down and release energy from food. Thiamin also helps to keep our nervous systems healthy.
Oranges are also a good source of fibre, vitamin A, calcium, potassium and flavanones.
Our bodies use potassium for a number of important functions, including regulating our sodium levels. By regularly including potassium-rich oranges in your diet, you can lower your risk of stroke by up to 21%, as well as reduce your risk of experiencing heart disease.
Flavanones are health-promoting phytochemicals. Research suggests that these citrus phytochemicals help support the body and protect us from conditions such as heart disease and cancer – they’re also thought to have some anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial benefits.
Did you know that the orange peel contains a higher concentration of some of the nutrients found in citrus fruit than the flesh?
Oranges are a great athlete food: they are convenient, transportable, vitamin & fibre rich, and provide some readily available energy. For this reason, athletes choose to use Jaffa oranges at different times during the day. They can be used as a healthy snack, often combined with a yoghurt to boost protein & keep them fuller for longer. They might simply add sliced/diced oranges to their breakfast to increase the carbohydrate content prior to training. Alternatively, they might blend some into a smoothie for a burst of vitamins, especially useful during the winter months if suffering from a cold. The vitamin C the oranges provide is also useful alongside collagen supplementation during rehabilitation from connective tissue injuries as it can help promote healing.Terri Paulson, English Institute of Sport (EIS) Nutritionist.