Orange, we all like this fruit. We eat it raw or we make orange juice, we use it in our desserts and the taste is great. But what about the health benefits of this healthy fruit, do you know how beneficial is for your health?
The orange is both a literal and symbolic embodiment of the sun, from whose light it is formed and vibrantly emanates.
As a whole food, it irradiates us with a spectrum of healing properties, the most prominent of which some call “vitamin C activity,” but which is not reducible to the chemical skeleton known as ‘ascorbic acid.’
Science now confirms the orange has a broad range of medicinal properties, which is why the ancients knew it both as a food and medicine.
As our increasingly over-diagnosed and overmedicated population leaps lemming-like over the cliff of pharmaceutically-driven conventional medicine, with most drugs carrying a dozen or more adverse side effects for every benefit advertised, we can find great wisdom in Meryl Streep’s quote:
“It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.” ~ Meryl Streep
The Juice of the Orange
Many of us mistakenly look to orange juice today as a dangerous source of highly concentrated fructose – simple “carbs” – without recognizing its profound medicinal properties.
Obviously, it is important to avoid conventionally produced and pasteurized forms and should make an effort to make our own, fresh-pressed from organic oranges.
This will ensure that the bioactivity and informational quality of the orange remain intact, and at its highest potency.
Conventional nutritional science still looks at the vitamin C activity of oranges as equivalent to the molecular weight of the compound known as ascorbic acid, without realizing that an orange embodies (as do all whole foods) a complex orchestra of chemistries, the handiwork of millions of years of evolution, which is to say a process of intelligent biological design.
The ‘monochemical nutrient’ – ascorbic acid – is merely a shadow of the vitamin C activity that is carried and expressed through only living foods.
The orange, after all, looks like a miniature sun, is formed as a condensation of energy and information from sunlight, and therefore is capable of storing, and after being eaten, irradiating us with life-giving packets of information-dense gene-regulating nutrition, by a mechanism that will never be fully reducible to or intelligible by the chemical skeleton we know of as ascorbic acid.
Here are some of the evidence-based benefits of orange juice:
Orange Juice Improves “Good” Cholesterol:
While it is debatable that lowering so-called “LDL” cholesterol is nearly as good for heart health as statin drug manufacturers would like for us to believe, raising “HDL” cholesterol does seem to have real health benefits.
This is, however, quite hard to do with diet and nutrition, and impossible through medication. Other than taking high-dose fish oil, few things have been studied to be effective.
Except, that is, orange juice. A 2000 study found that the consumption of 750 mL of orange juice a day, over 4 weeks, improved blood lipid profiles by decreasing the LDL-HDL cholesterol ratio by 16% in patients with elevated cholesterol.
Orange Juice Boosts Bone Health:
A 2006 animal study in male rats found that this fruit juice positively influenced antioxidant status and bone strength.
Orange Juice (mixed with Blackcurrant Juice) Reduces Inflammation:
A 2009 study in patients with peripheral artery disease found that orange and blackcurrant juice reduced C-reactive protein (11%) and fibrinogen levels (3%), two concrete measures of systemic inflammation.
A 2010 study found that this juice neutralizes the proinflammatory effect of a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal and prevents endotoxin-induced toxicity.
Orange Juice Boosts Weight Loss:
A 2011 study found that children who regularly drank juice consumed an average of 523 calories a day more than children who did not drink orange juice regularly.
Yet surprisingly, there was no difference in the weight levels between the orange juice consumers and the non-orange juice consumers.
Orange Juice May Dissolve Kidney Stones:
A 2006 study found that this fruit juice consumption was associated with lower calculated calcium oxalate supersaturation and lower calculated undissociated uric acid, two indices of lowered urinary calcium stone formation.
The Peel of the Orange
The peel of the orange contains a broad range of potent, potentially therapeutic compounds.
These include pectin and flavonoid constituents, such as hesperidin, naringin, poly methoxy flavones, quercetin and rutin, various carotenoids, and a major odor constituent known as d-limonene, which makes up 90% of the citrus peel oil content, and is a compound that gets its name from the rind of the lemon, which contains a significant quantity of it.
It is listed in the US Code of Federal Regulations as generally recognized as safe (GRAS), and is commonly used as a flavoring agent. D-limonene has been studied to have potent anti-cancer properties, including against metastatic melanoma.
The Aroma of the Orange
The physiological mechanisms by which aromas may have therapeutic properties (aroma-therapy) are well-established.
The small molecules that comprise the aroma of things are capable of entering directly through the nostrils and into the olfactory lobe, thus enabling them to have profound effects on deep structures within our brain, and as a result our entire bodily and emotional infrastructure.
Conclusion: Orange is one of the healthiest fruits on earth. The best way to use it’s health benefits is to consume it raw or to make orange juice by squeezing or pressing.