The Health Benefits of Oranges
Oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which performs one main essential task; neutralizing free radicals.
Free radicals are atoms that have an odd number of electrons in their outer shell. These radicals are highly reactive and once actively reactive, they can start a chain reaction.
Once the chain reaction has begun, these free radicals will begin to react with vital cellular structures such as DNA, causing critical damage. Cells that have been affected by free radicals will begin to experience poor functionality, and eventually die.
A Natural Defense Against Free Radicals
To combat these free radicals, the body naturally uses antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that safely interact with free radicals, causing the discontinuation of the chain reaction before indispensable cells are damaged.
A primary antioxidant in the body is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an absorbic acid, that’s water soluble, and naturally present in most citrus fruits. Oranges, which are a citrus fruit, contain high levels of Vitamin C which have been proven to neutralize the free radicals that cause life threatening viruses such as cancer.
Therefore, eating oranges benefits the health maintenance of the body by naturally fighting off viruses that are tremendously dangerous.
Vitamin C and You
You may ask yourself, “If Vitamin C is capable of fighting free radicals, as an antioxidant, why wouldn’t I just take Vitamin C supplements?”. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Milan, Italy shows this may not be the best option for Vitamin C intake.
Vitamin C Intake: Killing The Hype
Test subjects were given the following three drinks, two weeks apart;
- the drinks consisted of orange juice containing 150 mg of Vitamin C,
- fortified water containing 150 mg of Vitamin C,
- and a sugar and water solution containing no Vitamin C.
During the testing, blood samples were collected before the drink was consumed, every hour for eight hours, and 24 hours after the drink was consumed.
Blood samples were then taken and exposed to hydrogen peroxide and free radical damage to DNA was recorded. Of the three drinks used during the study, orange juice was the only one where DNA damage was significantly reduced.
Orange Juice Matters
A Proven Cancer Fighter
Even though oranges & orange juice offer us a number of health benefits, many are unaware that the ability of this citrus fruit to fight free-radicals may be helpful in cancer research. Although we’re not scientists, we know one thing is for sure, if you’re after a tasty snack, or if you’re looking for a new treat to add to your diet, consider oranges.