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Short Answer:

Yes, Oranges are Paleo!

Juicy and Sweet Hybridare oranges paleo

Popular for its sweet, juicy taste and vitamin C concentration, oranges are one of the most renowned fruits in the world. They are round citrus fruits with fine-textured orange skin and pulpy flesh. Oranges are hybrid between pomelo and mandarin. They make a perfect snack and they add a tang to most recipes.  They are also commonly peeled and eaten fresh or squeezed into juice, jam and marmalade.

There are two classifications of oranges; the sweet and bitter. Sweet oranges are the most commonly consumed.  Derived from its name, they are sweet in nature and common varities are Valencia, Navel and Jaffa oranges. On the other hand, bitter oranges are often made into jams and marmalades and its zest are used as flavoring for liqueurs.

Because of the high levels of vitamin C, eating oranges is a great way to supply important vitamins while on a Paleo diet.

Nutritional Value of Oranges

As with other citrus fruits, oranges contain high amounts of vitamin C. A medium orange can already provide the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for adults. Oranges have even more potassium and calcium and they are also packed with B vitamins and fiber. Even the zest of orange peel contains certain nutrients.

Aside from the vitamins and minerals, oranges also contain flavanones which are health promoting compounds that can support the body through antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They have choline, zeaxanthin and carotenoids that are antioxidants.

A whole orange contains less calories and they do not have fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Health Benefits of Oranges

A glass of freshly squeezed orange daily may protect against certain diseases.  This is how oranges roll. Some benefits of eating oranges include boosting the immune system, improving skin, heart and respiratory health and lowering risk of diseases like arthritis, ulcers, kidney stones and even cancers.

Immune system

Vitamin C is a natural, water-soluble antioxidant that protects the cells by neutralizing the effects of the harmful free radicals. Citrus fruits including oranges contain high levels of vitamin C. Regular eating oranges can lower the risk of certain conditions and can boost the body’s immune system by protecting against virus and infections such as common cold.

Skin Health

Another benefit that vitamin C provides is that it can fight against skin damage caused by pollution and the sun. This can help the skin look young and healthy. Vitamin C from oranges is essential in the production of collagen and it may help reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin health.

Cardiovascular Support

Vitamin C, choline, fiber and potassium are essential nutrients present in oranges which are good for the heart. Potassium is an electrolyte mineral responsible for proper function of the heart. It can regulate blood pressure and protect against stroke. Fiber on the other hand can lower cholesterol levels thus preventing atherosclerosis in the long run.

Blood Sugar Level

The high fiber found in oranges can keep the blood sugar levels under control. It is one of the reasons why orange is a superfood for people suffering from diabetes. The natural fruit sugar in oranges can help keep the blood sugar level from rising too high even after eating.

Digestion and Weight Loss

Another benefit of fiber is it aids in digestion and keeps regular bowel movement. Fiber reduces symptoms of constipation and diarrhea especially for people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Oranges are low in glycemic index and therefore can be an ideal snack for people who are trying to lose weight.

Vision Health

Oranges are also rich in vitamin A that contains carotenoids lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin which are vital in preventing macular degeneration associated in aging. Vitamin A can also help the eyes absorb light and improves night vision. The vitamin C in oranges can help reduce risk of cataracts too.

Cancer Prevention

Citrus limonoids are compounds found in oranges that are proven to help fight against certain cancers. Studies have shown that the vitamin C in oranges is associated in reduced risk of colon cancer.

Kidney Health

Another study has shown that drinking up to 1 liter of orange juice can increase urinary pH value and citric acid. Regular drinking of freshly squeezed orange juice can prevent kidney diseases and reduce risk of kidney stone formation.

Other Names for Oranges

Sweet orange

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photo credit: Lynn Friedman Orange Halves