5 Health benefits of oranges

5 Health Benefits Of Oranges

A recent study found that even one orange per week could offer long-term benefits such as the prevention of macular degeneration. freestocks.org/Unsplash

Oranges, one of the most popular citrus fruits around the world, can be a refreshing treat in the summer heat. But besides helping us cool off, the nutritious fruit can help improve functioning in various parts of the body. Here are five benefits that will have you reaching for oranges all season.

1. Preventing eye disease

New research revealed that people who include oranges regularly in their diet are 60 percent less likely to develop a form of vision loss (macular degeneration) compared to those who do not consume the fruit.

"Even eating an orange once a week seems to offer significant benefits," said epidemiologist Bamini Gopinath from the University of Sydney in Australia. "The data shows that flavonoids found in oranges appear to help protect against the disease."

2. Heart health benefits

Research has linked the frequent intake of the citrus fruit with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, suggesting that fruits like oranges may have a protective effect on the heart. Vitamin C and potassium, in particular, have been associated with healthy heart function.

A 2012 study on citrus fruits also found that women who consumed high amounts of flavonoids (especially from sources like oranges) had a 19 percent lower risk of suffering a stroke compared to women who consumed the least amount.

3. Improved IBS symptoms

High levels of both soluble and insoluble fiber can be found in oranges. Insoluble fiber can help pull water into the colon while soluble fiber can attract water and help in removing excess fluid, said Dr. Patricia Raymond, an assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.

To help reduce constipation and diarrhea, Dr. Raymond advises her patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to increase their intake of foods that contain these fibers.

4. Better brain function

One study from 2015 suggested that drinking orange juice could help improve cognitive function. However, nutrition experts do not recommend consuming oranges in juice form regularly due to its high sugar content and low levels of fiber. But the study did seem to support the consumption of more flavonoid-rich fruits like oranges.

"Small, easily administered changes to the daily diet, such as eating more flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables, have the potential to substantially benefit brain health," said co-author Dr. Daniel Lamport from the University of Reading, England.

5. Repairing of the body

The Cleveland Clinic recommended sources of vitamin C (including citrus fruits) in a list of "power foods" that can help the body in healing wounds and possibly preventing infections.

One study also found improved muscle function and reduced soreness after exercise in participants who consumed 400mg of vitamin C every day. Approximately 70 milligrams of vitamin C can be found in a medium orange while slightly bigger-sized ones can contain up to 100 milligrams.

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