Start Eating 1 Orange a Day, See What Happens to Your Body – Imagine you’re sailing on a ship in 1762. You left England feeling healthy and excited, but you’re met with a sad surprise on the way. After about a month, you get very sick. You can barely walk, your gums are sore, and you can hardly eat.
Then, you look down at your legs. They don’t seem to be doing any better. They’re all bruised and swollen. The sickly voice in your mind whimpers: “What’s wrong with me?” Suddenly, a mysterious person appears out of nowhere bearing a small gift. And that object is: AN ORANGE. They tell you in a dark raspy voice: ah-hem “You must eat two oranges everyday and the illness will disappear”.
Then, just like that, the man vanishes into thin air. Ok, this story might seem a bit far-fetched, but there’s some truth to it. The mysterious person handing over the oranges was Dr. Lind, and he discovered a nutrient deficiency among sailors called scurvy. So, can you guess what vitamin deficiency that is? Yup, vitamin C.
Granted, his efforts to pin-point what was causing people to get sick took alot of trial and error. But when they finally had the answers, they were able to tackle the problem. Sailors were also given limes and lemons, which is what gave them the nickname limeys back in the day. But…that’s another story.
So, what exactly is in oranges that prevents us from getting ill? How do we benefit from them?And, what about the orange peels; are they important? Grab your pop-corn, no sorry, grab your oranges, and let’s find out. Oranges are not only rich in Vitamin C, they’re abundant in fiber, folate, potassium, thiamine, and antioxidants.
They’re mainly composed of carbs and water, and have very little protein, fat and calories. But I’ll get into those juicy details as we go along. Let’s assume that from today, you start eating 1 to 2 oranges every day. As time progresses, you’ll begin to see a lot of changes happening in your body, starting with the following:
1. You’ll notice some weight loss
For all of us food lovers, oranges are the ultimate snack. One large orange contains only 87 calories, which makes it a low-calorie, nutrient-dense food. That serving offers approximately 4 grams of dietary fiber, which is best known forits ability to improve gut health. But it doesn’t end there. It’s also 4 times more filling than a croissant, and it’ll prevent you from feeling hungry all the time.
2. Your skin will look healthier
Even though we don’t want to face it, as we grow older, our body doesn’t look as radiant as it used to. And our skin, as well as other parts, can suffer from free radical damage. To help you understand this, think of how metals begin to rust when they’re exposed to air and humidity. Now, unfortunately there’s no magical cure to prevent aging, but oranges can help to slow it down.
The large amounts of water in oranges also helps your skin to stay hydrated, giving it that dewy glow. But, let’s not forget the most important compound: vitamin C – Which helps your body produce more collagen. As we age, the amount of collagen our body produces decreases. In fact, it decreases by approximately 1% every year. And vitamin C boosts your bodies natural production of collagen.
3. No more foggy thoughts
Ok folks, it’s a NO – BRAINER, that oranges will give you some food for thought. Hehe. All kidding aside. The highest concentration of Vitamin C is located in the brain, and the slightest deficiency can have a serious impact in the long run. A recent study from the University of Reading claims that oranges are a huge source of phytochemicals, or you might know them better as flavonoids.
Now, there’s a subclass in flavonoids called flavanones. THAT is the magic ingredient. These flavanones have shown to improve memory by activating pathways in the hippocampus:the part of the brain responsible for learning and memories. So, you can go grab that brain-boosting fruit of yours while learning a thing or two.
4. No more hair loss or greying
Sometimes we see a grey hair on our heads,and we feel it, deep in our souls: this is the beginning of the end. But all drama aside, maybe we’re just not eating enough oranges. Oranges are abundant in vitamin A and C. And, as you remember from what I told you earlier, vitamin C helps in the normal production of collagen in your body.
That collagen not only helps to strengthen your skin, but your hair as well. Since oranges are also rich in anti-oxidants, they protect hair strands against oxidative stress. Uh, what? Let me break it down for you. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between anti-oxidants and free radicals in our bodies. Many things can cause free radicals to generate.
For example, the food we eat, our environment, even the air we breathe. So, free radicals are generated just by going through your daily routine. However, eating an adequate dose of oranges has been linked to preventing hair loss and greying of hair. But let’s not leave vitamin A out of the equation.
According to the National Institute of health, this vitamin has been found to speed-up the hair growth process by encouraging the production of sebum. Now, for those of you who aren’t into biology, sebum is that waxy, oil substance that your body produces. You can see it on your skin, when it gets too oily, or on your scalp when you haven’t washed your hair for a few days.
5. Protects your vision
You see, hehe…Scientists at the West mead Institute for Medical Research in Sydney have found that eating just one orange every dayreduces your risk of weak eyesight by up to 60%. The study was focused on the relationship between eye diseases and the flavonoids found in oranges. So, to simplify this, it acts like a magical protecting shield to prevent age related blindness.
Surprisingly, other foods rich in flavonoids don’t have the same results the oranges have. But it’s not just the flavonoids. Collagen plays its part here too. It helps to give the structure to your eyes. More specifically, the cornea and sclera – which makeup the outer tunic of your eyeball. Now, some animals produce their own vitamin C, so they don’t need to find alternative sources. But unfortunately, humans can’t. So, we have to look for it in our food.
6. Your heart will be healthier
Now that we have our eyes protected, let’s move on to our hearts. Oranges are rich in potassium. This helps to keep your nervous system functioning healthily, and can lower high blood pressure. So how does it do that exactly? Well, it’s more complicated than it seems. Our nervous system sends messages between our brain and our body.
These commands are delivered in the form of nerve impulses, and they help to regulate your heartbeat, contractions and other functions of your body. Now, these impulses are generated by sodium ions that are moving into your cells, while the potassium ions are moving out of your cells. When the sodium levels are high, they can increase your blood pressure.
But consuming enough potassium can balance things out by removing excess sodium from your system. According to the National Institute of health, people who had high blood pressure, and increased their intake of potassium, noticed significant differences. Both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased. However, a lack of this mineral can have the opposite results.
Oranges are also abundant in folate, a B-vitamin that helps your body lower its levels of an amino acid called homocysteine. This is usually found in red meat, and is linked to poor heart health. Eating oranges will also start to decrease the bad cholesterol in your blood stream, but like everything natural, it takes time.
7. They’ll keep your immune system boosted
Ok, this one is the most obvious one. But we tend to forget the health benefits oranges offer to our immune system. So, let’s refresh our memory on how things work. If we could assign a role to our immune system, it would be the Ninja Turtles. It’s a team of tissues, proteins, cells and organs all working together to fight microorganisms, germs and infections.
Not having enough vitamin C in our diets can prevent wounds from healing on time, can cause our bones to become weaker, and can even cause our joints to become painfully swollen. But above all, it can cause us to get ill more frequently. Eating an orange everyday can disarm free-radicals, and prevent them from damaging the environment of the cells.
This will allow your immune system to fend off sickness, and even serious diseases. So, now that we’ve covered the – orange juicy – details of Vitamin C, let’s talk about the orange peels. Should we eat’em or leave’em? Well, it depends on whether you like them or not. One thing’s for sure: they’re not nearly as tasty as the pulp.
But as long as you’re eating an organic orange peel that isn’t coated with chemicals,then it should be fine. The orange peel has a lot more fiber than the pulp; it’s abundant in calcium, vitamin C, several B vitamins, and vitamin A. But there’s a catch: they’re not digested very easily. So, you need to be careful. So about you, are you adding a couple of oranges to your diet? Please let me know down in the comments.