The delicious fruit originated in a region encompassing Southern China, Northeast India, and Myanmar, and the earliest mention of the sweet orange was in Chinese literature in 314 BC. As of 1987, orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Orange trees are widely grown in tropical and subtropical climates for their sweet fruit. The fruit of the orange tree can be eaten fresh or processed for its juice or fragrant peel. As of 2012, sweet oranges accounted for approximately 70% of citrus production.
The sweet orange is not a wild fruit, having arisen in domestication from a cross between a non-pure mandarin orange and a hybrid pomelo that had a substantial mandarin component.
- As an excellent trusted Source of the antioxidant vitamin C, oranges may help combat the formation of free radicals that cause cancer. Although an adequate vitamin C intake is necessary and very beneficial, the amount a person would need for the desired therapeutic effect on cancer is more than they could realistically consume.
- Oranges contain no sodium, which helps keep a person below their daily limitTrusted Source. On the other hand, a cup of orange juice can boost daily potassium intakeTrusted Source by 14%. Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure. However, increasing potassium intake may be just as important for reducing a person’s risk of high blood pressure, as it can help support the relaxation and opening of blood vessels.
- Oranges are a good source of fiber and potassium, both of which can support heart health. One cup of orange juice can provide 14% Trusted Source of a person’s daily potassium requirement. A medium orange weighing 131 grams (g) contributes 3.14 g Trusted Source of fiber, which is nearly 10% of an adult’s daily fiber requirement. Several studies have found that fiber can improve some factors Trusted Source that contribute to diabetes development and progression.
- Consuming enough vitamin C can help a person maintain skin healthTrusted Source and appearance. Vitamin C contributes to collagen production Trusted Source. Collagen supports the skin, promotes wound healing, and improves skin strength.
- Oranges also contain choline and zeaxanthin. Choline is an important nutrientTrusted Source in oranges that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also aids the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat, and reduces chronic inflammation.
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