The many health benefits navel oranges offer are linked to their high concentration of antioxidants and other health promoting nutrients including vitamin C (ascorbic acid), hesperidin, limonene, narirutin and beta-cryptoxanthin that are abundant in these oranges. The health benefits of navel oranges range from anti-cancer and anti-asthma effects to the ability to support healthy collagen formation. Collagen is what gives skin a smooth, wrinkle-free appearance. All navel orange varieties provide more or less the same benefits, so pick the one that you feel tastes best. Common navel orange varieties include Late Lane, Becks, Fukumotos, Cara Cara, Barnfields, Chislets, Washingtons, Newhall, Fisher, and Atwood.
Oranges Protect Against Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer
Almost all citrus fruits contain hesperidin, a health promoting flavonoid, but sweet oranges such as navel oranges are particularly rich in hesperidin. Hesperidin is known to act as a strong antioxidant, protecting the skin from free radical assault. People following an anti-cancer diet plan should also pay attention to this powerful flavonoid: it has also been shown to provide protection against some cancers, including human breast cancer and androgen-dependent prostate cancer, by suppressing cancer cell proliferation.
Oranges generally qualify as good sources of fiber, meaning they supply between 2.5 and 4.9 grams of fiber per fruit. Small oranges fall just shy of this classification with about 2.3 grams of fiber per fruit. Medium- and large-sized oranges, however, supply more than 17 percent and 12 percent of the daily value for fiber, respectively, according to the USDA. Oranges are highest in soluble fiber, the type associated with regulating blood glucose levels and reducing high LDL and total cholesterol levels. The fruit’s fiber content gives it a nutritional advantage over its extracted juice. Although a serving of freshly squeezed orange juice is a more concentrated source of both nutrients and calories, it provides roughly 85 percent less fiber than the whole fruit.
Beyond The C
Oranges are a significant source of potassium -- a large fruit supplies almost 10 percent of the nutrient’s daily value. The adequate intake of dietary potassium can help both prevent and treat hypertension. A large orange also provides nearly 14 percent of the daily value for folate, a B vitamin essential to cell production and maintenance. Because of its role in making red blood cells, getting enough folate can help prevent anemia. Oranges are a good source of vitamin A, a nutrient that promotes good vision and helps form and maintain healthy skin, bones and teeth. One large orange provides 8 percent of this vitamin’s daily value. Oranges are also a good source of vitamin B-6, thiamine, pantothenic acid, calcium and magnesium.
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