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DSC05990Oranges are one of the more enduringly popular types of citrus fruit, and, in fact, may be the fruit that most readily springs to mind when people think of citrus fruits. Oranges are the fruit of a citrus species known as Citrus sinensis. Types of oranges include (but are not limited to) Valencia, Hamlin, Navel and Blood oranges. Orange health benefits include the prevention of scurvy, the prevention of kidney stones, the prevention of the oxidation of “bad cholesterol”/LDL (which, in turn, prevents the formation of arterial plaque), the prevention of arterial blood clots, inhibition of the growth of cancer cells, and much, much more. Orange nutrition is an important part of a healthy diet, as it supplies vitamin C, citrate, folate, potassium, and flavonoids that have a broad spectrum of beneficial biological activities. For example, vitamin C and flavonoids are powerful antioxidants; that is, they prevent the damaging effects of free radicals on cellular functioning. Vitamin C has also been shown to enhance the absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract. Potassium is a mineral that Is essential for maintaining proper nerve and heart function, and potassium is useful in the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Folate (also known as vitamin B9) is crucial in the synthesis, repair and methylation of DNA, among other important biological roles that it plays; sufficient folate intake during pregnancy is protective against a variety of birth defects, including neural tube defects and congenital heart defects. As you can see, oranges aren’t just tasty treats – they’re healthy powerhouses that will make a wonderful addition to your diet!

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