You have probably heard that you should eat more fruits and vegetables. If you like oranges, you might be wondering if they are good choice to meet your recommendations for fruits. Oranges are high in vitamin C and low in calories, and they may provide benefits as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Many factors affect your health, and you should talk to a doctor if you have any concerns about your wellbeing.
A medium 140-gram orange has about 69 calories with no fat or protein and 11 grams carbohydrates with 3 grams dietary fiber. Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that you need for proper immune function and wound healing, and an orange has 82 milligrams vitamin C, or 136 percent of the daily value for someone on a 2,000-calorie diet. Oranges are free from sodium and have 232 milligrams potassium, or 7 percent of the daily value.
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, asthma and osteoarthritis, and oranges may support you in your efforts to control your weight. You need to limit your calories to prevent weight gain or to cause weight loss, and oranges may help you control you calorie intake since they are low in calories and high in fiber. Oranges are good sources of fiber, with more than 3 grams per orange; dietary fiber can reduce your hunger by slowing your digestion. Remember that many other dietary factors affect your weight, and talk to your doctor before going on a diet for weight loss.
A benefit of oranges is that they may help you prevent high blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can increase your risk for coronary heart disease, kidney disease and stroke, and the 2005 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend decreasing dietary sodium from processed foods, and increasing potassium from fruits and vegetables, to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Because oranges are sodium-free and they provide potassium, they may support healthy blood pressure.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when your body has difficulty controlling your blood sugar levels, and eating oranges may help you control your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. Dietary fiber such as that in oranges may slow down digestion so that your blood sugar levels do not rise quickly after a meal. The glycemic index measures how much the carbohydrates in foods affect your blood sugar levels. Food with a low glycemic index do not cause your blood sugar levels to spike, and the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State states that people who eat more foods that have a lower glycemic index are less likely to develop diabetes. If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, consult your doctor.
To get the most benefits from eating oranges, eat them as part of a healthy diet and exercise plan. Eat a balanced diet that includes foods from each of the food groups, and select a variety of different colors of fruits, such as blueberries, cherries and bananas. Although oranges can be extremely healthy, do not rely on them to prevent any diseases, and talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
- United States Department of Health And Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005
- Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center: Vitamin C
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center: Vitamin C
- MedlinePlus: Dietary Fiber
- Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center: Glycemic Index And Glycemic Load
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Services: Fruits and Fruit Juices
- Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.