the orange and its juice, have for years been identified with vitamin C and with the other beneficial effects, the consumption of this vitamin entails. So even though a large glass of orange juice (250 ml) can give us up to twice the amount of vitamin C than the daily recommended amount, this identification is unfair to the orange, since it contains dozens of other valuable substances for the body, which deserve praise . investigation.
So starting from the other antioxidant elements of the orange, we see that in our favorite fruit, there are over 170 substances with prominent antioxidant effects, offering maximum protection against the excessive production of free radicals, molecules with a particularly damaging effect on the cell.
These substances belong to three major categories: flavonoids, limonoids and carotenoids.
Flavonoids are substances found only in plant foods and are part of their defense mechanisms, as they offer immunity against fungi, insects and other harmful organisms. Chemically, they consist of organic rings, linked together by oxygen-hydrogen bonds.
Loads of analyzes and studies, mainly in experimental animals, have given evidence of a number of positive effects of flavonoids on health, such as fighting inflammation and stopping the growth of cancer cells. Tangeretin, for example, has anti-inflammatory uses, while American researchers emphasize that other orange flavonoids, such as quercetin, block the action of enzymes that convert some components of cigarette smoke into carcinogenic substances.
About 38 different limonoids are contained in the orange and mainly in its flesh (which automatically means that the consumption of orange juice does not provide us with significant amounts of these antioxidant elements). These valuable terpenoid elements seem to contribute to the protection against various forms of cancer, mainly through the activation of glutathione, which they cause.
Orange is a rich source of pectin, a soluble fiber with prominent cholesterol-lowering properties. Studies published from time to time in leading scientific journals have shown that the increased consumption of pectin from citrus fruits contributes to the reduction of "atherogenic" LDL-cholesterol, thus positively modifying the atherosclerotic index.
In the metabolism of lipoproteins, another nutritional element of the orange is involved, magnesium, which studies show has a significant anti-atherogenic effect.
Concluding our report on the orange, it is worth referring to one of the biggest misunderstandings, which concerns its consumption. Many believe that both orange and its juice should not be consumed by people suffering from hypertension.
However, the orange is, in addition, very rich in potassium and poor in sodium, which makes its consumption beneficial in cases of hypertension.
So enjoy an orange and its juice every day and reap health benefits that start with increasing the bioavailability of plant-based iron and extend to protecting the cardiovascular system!