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Vitamins and phytochemicals: Oranges are so healthy
Who can meet the requirements of the nutrition experts and eat at least ten servings of fruit and vegetables a day? Then you would be adequately supplied with healthy vitamins and minerals and overcome the cravings. Can you cheat instead and use fruit and vegetable juices? The answer has surprises in store.
Oranges create a sunny mood
When the uncomfortable, wet and cold and gray season is really spreading, citrus fruits from the south create a sunny atmosphere. At the top of the list is orange, one of the most commonly grown fruits. According to the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) there are over 400 different varieties worldwide. They differ in shape and shell thickness, color of the flesh, taste, juice and core content and also at the time of harvest. What they have in common: Oranges are an important contribution to a healthy diet.
In recent years, experts have occasionally criticized oranges and pointed out that the acid in the fruit can attack the tooth enamel.
Scientists from the United States also reported that orange juice - possibly due to the photosensitizing effects of the ingredients in citrus fruits - can increase the risk of skin cancer.
However, most experts refer to the numerous vitamins and other healthy ingredients contained.
Strengthen the immune system
Just recently, studies have shown how valuable the consumption of oranges can be. In a scientific study, German researchers found that orange juice can reduce the risk of gout.
And Australian scientists showed that regular consumption of oranges can prevent vision loss.
But above all, the orange is popular because of its high vitamin C content. Due to the high concentration, the fruit is ideally suited to strengthen the immune system. Already one fruit covers almost two thirds of the daily requirement of vitamin C.
If you also consume foods that are rich in zinc, you have a good chance of getting through the winter without a cold.
Juice is healthier than fresh fruit
Oranges also contain a variety of phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which can lower the risk of certain cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Interesting to know: A few years ago, scientists from the University of Hohenheim found in a study that orange juice is healthier than fresh oranges.
Because: "The ingredients in the juice are released better during pasteurization than when eating the whole fruit and can thus be better absorbed and metabolized by the body", said doctoral student Julian Aschoff in a message at the time.
What is also often unknown to most consumers: the white skin that is on the fruit after peeling should not be completely removed.
This is because it contains important secondary plant substances and fiber, which among other things are said to have a digestive effect.
Fruit mostly comes from the Mediterranean region
The winter oranges available from us come almost exclusively from the Mediterranean region, primarily from Spain, explains the BZfE.
Due to the long transport routes, the fruit is not exactly beneficial to the climate and should therefore not be on the daily menu at least according to environmentalists.
Early varieties like the seedless Navel oranges with the typical navel ripen before December. From December to March, varieties like Pineapple or Midsweet and most blood oranges follow.
The best-known representative of the late orange is the Valencia orange. It only ripens in mid-March.
The fruits are non-climatic, which means that they do not ripen after harvesting.
Better to use organic goods
Experts generally recommend organic oranges. These are available in larger supermarkets, health food stores and health food stores and can be recognized by the EU star leaf or the emblems of cultivation associations such as Demeter or Bioland.
According to the law, organically produced citrus fruits must be completely free of pesticides, preservatives and wax. Therefore, the bowls can also be safely used for cooking or baking.
This is especially important in the Christmas bakery, where pastries and desserts with fine grated orange peel can be given a very special touch.
Since mineral fertilizers and pesticides are not used in production, organic fruits are often smaller and more irregular than conventionally produced fruits.
There are no differences in taste, but according to a study from the United States, organically grown oranges contain up to 30 percent more vitamin C than conventionally produced ones.
A possible reason for this could be the absence of easily soluble nitrogen fertilizers. If there is a lot of nitrogen, the plants store more water and thus dilute the nutrient content.
Whether conventionally or organically produced fruit: oranges are extremely sensitive to the cold and should therefore not be stored in the refrigerator. (ad)