Hello, Health

Why you must eat two oranges a day in winters

What's there not to love about this juicy, segmented, citrus fruit!

 |  Hello, Health  |  3-minute read |   14-12-2015
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Anywhere you go, on the side of the roads these days you see lovely laden carts with lots of C, half green with guavas and half a vibrant orange with well, oranges! Coincidence? Not really! Nature intended these brilliant fruits to show up during this season for a reason. And that reason is the super amounts of vitamin C both come packed with, an immunity booster and antioxidant par excellence. And season change needs a serious boot up of immunity for sure.

Let's go first with oranges. What's there not to love about this juicy, segmented, citrus fruit! Really! Especially when eaten slowly sitting in the mild winter sun. Bliss! But even more than the taste, its goodness is what makes it so important to eat during winters. Although a bit delayed this year, it is getting really cold now, and colds, flus and similar such have begun doing the rounds with a renewed vigour. Frankly who has the time to be brought down by a cold, or any sickness for that matter, so my suggestion is to begin doing damage control even before it hits you.

That is, eat right to prevent infection - and oranges are just the food that will help the body to produce higher levels of antibodies and white blood cells (the cells that fight and throw out the infection causing bugs) and keep the seasonal diseases away. It also has some vitamin A which again is required for the development of white blood cells.

Another big plus is that the kind of fibre orange has - soluble fibre that stimulates production of the anti-inflammatory protein interleukin-4, which helps our body switch from being pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory, and help you recover faster from infection (if you do fall ill). So you see it's never too late to begin chomping one.

That's not all, C in it also helps cut free radicals in the body (caused by pollution, wrong eating etc), which increase our risk for premature aging and chronic diseases like heart disease and stroke, and a particular antioxidant in it - herperidin has been shown to lower high blood pressure as well as cholesterol, thus making this juicy fruit heart friendly too. In fact a class of compounds found in citrus fruit peels called PMFs have the potential to lower cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs, (and without their side effects too). So try to have a bit of the peel too (dry and grate it in your dishes). Finally compounds found in oranges and other citrus fruits limonoids are potent anti-carcinogens too. And you'll love this: both C an A can help keep the collagen happy and our skin healthy and delay wrinkling. Whoa!

And in case you are thinking what I think you are thinking… No, consuming vitamin C supplements does not provide the same protective benefits as getting it fresh from a food source. That's not me, but what research is saying. So pay heed and while in season have an orange a day, ideally two.

In the next post is read about the ubiquitous guava and some more easily available C greats.

Watch: Brilliant skin care hacks

Writer

Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan @kavitadevgan

The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).

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