no saturated fats or cholesterol, and is rich in dietary fiber, pectin. Pectin is used as a bulk laxative and protects the colon. It relieves constipation. Pectin has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Oranges, like other citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C (provides 53.2 mg per 100 g, about 90 per cent of DRI); Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents. Orange fruit contains a variety of phytochemicals called Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin. These plant chemicals are called flavonoids. Naringenin is a good antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator. Oranges also contain very good levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds have been known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and essential for healthy vision. It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish. Orange fruit also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure through countering pressing effects of sodium. Oranges have soluble and insoluble dietary fiber which helps in cutting down cancer risk, chronic diseases like arthritis, obesity, and coronary heart diseases. In the stores, buy fresh fruits that are firm, yet yield to gentle pressure and bounce immediately. Fresh oranges have bright color, devoid of any wrinkles on the skin, should feel heavy for their size, and impart sweet aroma. Avoid any overtly soft fruits with spots and mold, as they tend to perish early. Oranges can be kept at room temperature for a week or so. They can keep well for up to two weeks inside the fruit/vegetable compartment of the home refrigerator. Keep them loose in a fruit container and place in cool place away from excessive humidity as they tend to catch mold infection early. Store freshly squeezed orange juice inside the refrigerator for later use. Store dried orange zest in cool, dry place in an airtight glass container away from moisture. Oranges can be carried wherever you go. Fresh oranges can be eaten at anytime, anywhere; just wash them under running water to remove surface dirt and any pesticide residues, peel the skin, and enjoy! Orange fruit juice is a well cherished drink all over the world. Wholesome fruit, however, may be a healthier option since it carries high fiber and antioxidants and less sugar. The outermost part of the rind can be grated using a zester. Orange zest has become popu-lar in salads and sauces. Many cooks are using orange zest in their sauces.
Innovative Health Care Magazine
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