Oranges

Oranges

OrangesOranges are known for being one of the most famous fruits in the world. It is not only known for its high concentration of Vitamin C, but also as being widely available around the world. They are a perfect snack and add a unique flavor to many different recipes. This article will address the history of oranges as well as its health benefits. Also, it will provide some tips on how to store oranges.

Description

As mentioned, oranges are probably one of the most well-known and famous fruits in the world. Oranges are widely available and grow in many countries around the world. For most people, oranges are associated with a healthy lifestyle and good health. In many countries in the world, orange juice is added to a healthy breakfast. Besides the fact that oranges contain orange juice, they can also be eaten without the orange skin. They are a great and healthy snack. They are also often added to recipes. They can be added to salads, cakes or pies. An orange is a citrus fruit with a finely textured skin. The name of the fruit is the same as its color. The inside, which is pulpy flesh, also has an orange color. Oranges are generally a bit larger compared to apples, and usually have a diameter of five to eight centimeters. There are two types of oranges which are most popular. Oranges can have a sweet taste or more of a bitter taste. While the bitter orange can also be consumed, the sweet orange is the type which is most commonly eaten. The sweet orange, which official name is citrus sinensis, comes in different types of oranges. They are called the Jaffa, Valencia and Navel oranges. Another popular type is the blood orange. The blood orange is generally a bit smaller in size compared to the abovementioned types. The blood orange also has a different flavor and is red on the inside. Bitter oranges, also called citrus aurantium, are mostly used to make marmalade or jam. However, they can also be bought in the supermarket. Their zest is also used to make popular liqueurs, such as Cointreau.

History

Oranges were first found in Asia. Thousands of years ago they were found in South East Asia. They were later also found in India and its surrounding countries. It was only around the 9th century that oranges were cultivated in the region of the Middle East. Interestingly, there are many Renaissance paintings which show oranges, together with other fruits. A famous example is the painting called The Last Supper where pieces of oranges are displayed. These paintings would indicate that oranges grew in the Middle East. However, this was not the case. Sweet oranges were only introduced in Europe years after they had been introduced in the Middle East. It is said that sweet oranges only reached Europe around the 15th century. They were introduced by different groups. For example, Italian traders as well as the Portuguese and the Moors brought back oranges after their travels to Asia. Oranges were introduced in the United States after Columbus brought seeds to the country in the 15th century. Spanish travels also brought oranges to the United States. They introduced oranges in Florida around the 16th century. Many years later, in the 18th century, Spanish travelers introduced oranges in California as well. After they had been introduced in these states, the cultivation of oranges in these regions started. Before oranges became widely available, they were very expensive. It is for this reason that this fruit was only eaten on special occasions, such as Christmas and Easter. However, after more efficient ways of transportation were introduced, the prices dropped and the fruit also became accessible to the public. Oranges are now consumed on a large scale and are available in almost all regions in the world. The largest commercial producers of oranges are currently Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Israel and the United States.

Vitamin C

Many people know that oranges contain a high concentration of Vitamin C. However, many people are not aware of the important of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is incredibly important for good health and oranges can absolutely contribute to the levels of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is considered to be an antioxidant in the body. It does not only disarm free radicals but it also prevents damage to be caused to both the inside and outside of cells. A potential risk of free radicals inside cells is cancer. These radicals can cause damage to the DNA inside cells. Also, the radicals can also cause damage to the digestive system. This is why it is important to take in a high amount of Vitamin C. A high concentration of Vitamin C is therefore often associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer in the digestive system. The free radical damage could also cause damage to other cell structures and molecules in the body. Vitamin C could help to prevent the damage caused to these cells. This in turn could reduce the severity of inflammatory diseases. Examples of these inflammatory conditions would be osteoarthritis and asthma. Vitamin C also plays an important role in the functioning of a good and healthy immune system. Vitamin C could help to prevent colds and could also help to prevent ear infections which repeatedly come back.


Health risks

As mentioned above, oranges prove to have many health benefits and are a great source of Vitamin C. However, while they are healthy they should be consumed in moderation. Different researchers have stated that eating too many oranges can lead to side effects which can be experienced as uncomfortable. For example, since oranges contain a high concentration of fiber this could affect the digestion system. It would not only cause abdominal pain but could also lead to diarrhea. The same counts for consuming too much Vitamin C. A good concentration of Vitamin C provides health benefits but too much Vitamin C also causes uncomfortable side effects. For example, people have been diagnosed with having headaches, nausea, insomnia and kidney stones. Moreover, oranges also contain high acid levels. This means that oranges could also contribute to heartburn when consumed in high numbers. People who have to take beta-blockers are also recommended not to consume too many oranges. This is due to the fact that they do not only increase potassium levels but could also lead to the malfunctioning of the kidneys. It is the case that the additional potassium in the body cannot be removed effectively.

How to select and store

Many people believe that oranges need to be bright orange in order to be good and ready to be consumed. However, this is not necessarily the case. Unfortunately, nowadays non-organic oranges are often injected with an artificial dye in order for the oranges to look more orange. Oranges can also be a bit more brown or green and be ready to be consumed. They will often be a tasty and good as the ones that have a bright orange color. It is recommended not to eat those oranges which have traces of mold on them or the ones that soft spots. Moreover, oranges are also among the fruits which often contain pesticides. It is therefore  recommended to but organic oranges if this is possible to prevent the pesticides or the pesticides residues from entering the body. Also, when buying oranges pay attention to the fact that they have a smooth textured skin and are firm. You should also try and buy those which are heavy. The oranges which are heavy have a higher juice content and more tasty compared to those with a low juice content. Oranges can be stored in the refrigerator as well as at room temperature. This is dependent on your personal preference. Oranges usually last  for about two weeks and do not lose their vitamin content over time. It is also recommended not to store them in a plastic bag because they can easily develop mold in this way.

How to prepare an orange

As mentioned earlier, oranges prove to be a perfect snack. They are easy to peel and taste delicious on a warm summer day. Before peeling the orange and cutting it in half, it is important to wash the fruit to get rid of bacteria or dirt. Oranges with a thin skin are easy to be peeled with your fingers. For those with a thick skin, it is easy to cut a small section of the peel at the top of the fruit and then peel it from the top down. Oranges are also often used for different recipes. Both orange juice and orange zest are popular in many different dishes. It is often recommended to press orange juice when the orange is at room temperature. In order to extract even more orange juice you can roll the orange under the palm of your hand. Orange juice can be extracted in different ways. Nowadays, most people use a juicer to extract the juice. However, it is also possible to squeeze the orange in your hand, as used to be done in the old fashioned way. Also, when using orange zest for a cake or a pie, try to but an orange with is grown organically. This is recommended because oranges which are not grown organically often have pesticides on them or are artificially colored.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 898x
Added: 13-09-2016 22:17
Last modified: 16-10-2016 15:12

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