Orange: all about this fruit rich in vitamin C
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Orange: all about this fruit rich in vitamin C

The orange is one of most consumed fruits, which we enjoy in winter since we find it mainly from December to April on our stalls. It is primarily eaten raw as a dessert, but it also adds a sweet touch to salads.

Characteristics of orange

  • Rich in vitamin C;
  • Source of fiber;
  • Low in calories;
  • Source of calcium and magnesium;
  • Stimulates the immune system.

Nutritional and caloric values ​​of orange

For 100 g of orange:

NutrientsAverage content
Energy45,5 kcal
Eau87,3 g
Proteins0,75 g
Carbohydrates8,03 g
Lipids < 0,5 g
Dietary fiber 2,7 g
Calcium 66 mg
Chloride< 20 mg
Copper 0,04 mg
Fer 0,57 mg
Iodine < 20 µg
Magnesium15 mg
Manganese0,02 mg
Phosphorus 38 mg
Potassium 180 mg
Sélénium< 20 µg
Sodium< 5 mg
Zinc 0,25 mg
Beta carotene < 5 µg
Vitamins E 0,19 mg
Vitamin K1 < 0,8 µg
Vitamin C47,5 mg
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine 0,045 mg
Vitamine B2 or Riboflavin < 0,01 mg
Vitamin B3 or PP or Niacin 0,37 mg
Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid 0,16 mg
Vitamin B6 < 0,01 mg
Vitamin B9 or Total Folates 25,9 µg

The caloric intake of the orange is reasonable since it is 45.5 Cal/100 g. It is especially rich in vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. The fibers are not left out.

The benefits of orange: why eat it?

Its juicy flesh is full of goodness. It would be a shame to deprive you.

Anti winter fatigue 

Orange is an excellent source of vitamin C. Eating oranges will then help stimulate the immune system and fight against fatigue such as winter cold snaps.

Plenty of antioxidants

Orange is rich in flavonoids, antioxidant components that help fight against free radicals, responsible for skin aging and many pathologies.

Thanks to the carotenoids which will stimulate the production of bone cells and stimulate the absorption of calcium, the orange is excellent for your bones.

Source of carbohydrates but low caloric intake

The orange contains carbohydrates similar to sugars which provide energy quickly to the body. Low in fat and protein, the orange is a fruit with a low caloric intake that is very suitable for people who want to lose weight.

Source of soluble fiber

Its low fiber content, which is in addition to soluble fiber, makes it a very interesting ally for limiting blood cholesterol levels.

Thanks to the soluble fibers it contains, the orange gently stimulates digestion and reduces digestive disorders.

These same fibers help regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Eating oranges thus contributes to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and limits the risk of atherosclerosis.

Prevention of certain cancers

Orange would prevent certain cancers. Citrus consumption would reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx and digestive tract thanks to the antioxidants they contain.

Nutritionist’s word

Orange is rich in vitamins and especially vitamin C to fight winter viruses. To make the most of its benefits, peel it and consume it immediately.

It also offers a good calcium content essential for bone mineralization.

If you use zest, choose it from organic farming.

Choosing the right orange

When harvested, the orange is a fruit that weighs on average 200 g. An orange is composed of a thick and rough skin which encloses a very juicy flesh divided into quarters.

orange id card

  • Type : agrume ;
  • Family: Rutaceae;
  • Origin: China;
  • Season: December to April;
  • Orange color ;
  • Flavor: sweet.

Differences with related foods

It was long believed that the bitter orange tree and the orange tree belonged to the same botanical species, the second being supposed to descend from the first. But modern research indicates that they are 2 very different species, not only in the flavor of their fruit, but in various botanical characteristics.

The different varieties

On our stalls, there are mainly three varieties of orange: the blond flesh orange, the blond juice orange and the blood orange.

Purchase of orange

To choose an orange well, it must be firm. Also be careful to choose it according to its use.

Keep it well

The orange will keep for a week at room temperature. You can also keep it for ten days in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator.

Preparation of the orange

Depending on its culinary use, choose it juice or knife.

How to cook it? How to match it?

  • Orange and chocolate go perfectly together in cakes, sweets or in fondue.
  • Before pouring your flan preparations into the moulds, line them with orange slices. Bake as usual;
  • Orange juice and zest add a special note to sauces and dressings and to vegetable, rice, chicken, fish, seafood dishes, etc.;
  • In South America, a dozen peeled and whole oranges are boiled for 20 minutes in 1.5 liters of slightly sweetened water, then filtered and poured this soup over pieces of toasted bread and slices of lemon;
  • Serve orange wedges in a salad with minced onion, olives and an olive oil vinaigrette;
  • Prepare an orange salsa with red onion, cilantro, garlic and chilli. Serve as an accompaniment to the meal, for example with chicken breasts;
  • Orange juice is used in the manufacture of lemonade-type drinks and as a seasoning for fish. In Spain, it coats the meat during cooking. In Yucatan, it replaces vinegar. In Egypt and other countries they make wine from it;

History of orange

The term “orange”, to designate the fruit, appeared in the 13th century. It comes from the Arabic narandj, itself borrowed from the Sanskrit nagara nga, the meaning of which is “fruit loved by elephants”. The “o” was attached to the Arabic name by influence of the name of the city of Orange, through which these fruits pass.

The orange tree is native to Southeast Asia, home of the genus Citrus, but it is unclear when exactly it was domesticated. According to a text dating from 2,200 years before our era, it was already known in China at that time. 

Like many other plants that were also used in medicine, it will follow the silk route to Europe, crossing the Middle East and the Near East where it will find a climate adapted to its needs. From there, it reaches southern Europe, probably in the first centuries of our era, although no trace of its cultivation can be found on this continent before the 15th century.

One thing is certain, its real expansion in southern Europe is due to the Portuguese, who brought it back from Asia. 

Thanks to intense selection work and the development of new cultivation methods, the Portuguese orange will become the standard of quality and reference throughout Europe. 

Its popularity was such that, in Arab countries, people stopped calling it narandj and called it bortugal, a name that is still attached to it.

At the time of the Conquest, the orange will cross the Atlantic with the bigarade, the lime, the lemon and the citron. 

Their seeds were sown in the West Indies, Mexico, South America and present-day Florida. From the middle of the 16th century, in America, flourishing orchards can be found in all places suitable for the cultivation of citrus fruits.

Today, the orange tree is the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Until the 1920s, its fruit was mainly consumed fresh. 

Then, we will market its juice, rich in vitamin C, and, in a few decades, the consumption of the latter will far exceed that of the fruit. 

In the United States, 40% of the production of orange groves now goes to the preparation of frozen juice concentrate. The by-products of this transformation – essential oil, pectin, candied bark, pulp – have found many uses in the food industry.

For further

Ecology and environment

To produce the blemish-free oranges demanded by Western consumers, citrus growers must rely on a battery of chemicals. This also explains why fruit sold fresh is much more processed than fruit intended for processing (juice).

But consumers, Europeans in particular, also want fruits with little or no treatment. In Morocco, where 50% to 60% of citrus production is destined for export, “integrated control” has been experimented for several years. 

This technique consists in “releasing” at the appropriate time “auxiliary” insects whose role is to limit the populations of insect pests. Chemical intervention is only done as a last resort. 

Similar experiments are being conducted in the United States and Australia. The results indicate that if, in the first years, the pests remain very numerous, after 3 or 4 years, we manage to maintain their populations below the harmfulness threshold.

The Morocco team further found that despite the initial costs and requirements, this approach resulted in substantial savings in material, labor and phytosanitary products. At the end of the 4th year, the costs of the latter were no more than a third of what they were initially. 

As for the fruits, they had no trace of residue. This approach requires qualified personnel, a good knowledge of insects, both predators and auxiliaries, and a continuous presence in the orchard. 

In addition, pesticides used when absolutely necessary must be safe for beneficial insects, such as those of the ladybug family, which feed on the eggs or larvae of many pests.

Image Credit: Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.com

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