Why is it that people tell you to eat oranges when you are sick? They have a reputation for magically being able to cure the common cold. But is there any truth to this reputation?
Oranges are a much-loved citrus snack that also happen to be really good for us. Famously packed full of vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant - oranges have a bunch of health benefits.
With winter upon us, it means cold and flu season is here too. Luckily, it’s also prime time for oranges, which we should be eating to give our system a boost. Many people will be consuming these in the hopes of warding off any nasty winter bugs, but can oranges really cure the common cold?
Can Oranges Really Cure The Common Cold?
Oranges gained notoriety for preventing and healing colds back in the 1970’s, when Linus Pauling published a book touting them as a miracle cure. Unfortunately, his research was never peer reviewed or backed up by other scientists.
Research conducted since then has broadly concluded that although eating oranges won’t prevent the common cold, there is a small chance that it can help reduce the severity and duration of one.
How Good Are Oranges?
One medium orange will fulfill your daily vitamin C requirement, and contains beneficial amounts of vitamin B1, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin A, calcium and potassium, along with beneficial phytochemicals. But it’s primarily the Vitamin C that is responsible for boosting your immune system.
This powerful antioxidant works by protecting you from the damage done by free radicals; these are the nasties that cause inflammation within the body, resulting in problems like heart disease and even cancer.
Consuming 200mg of Vitamin C every day may help to shorten or ease the common cold. One study showed there was only around an 8% chance, while other studies showed no benefit.
How Many Oranges Should You Eat?
Binging on oranges, although not detrimental to your health, isn’t going to increase your chances of fighting off that bug! Your body can only absorb a maximum of 400mg of vitamin C at a time. Any extra will simply be excreted by the body, and taking more than 2000mg might start to cause digestive upsets.
Eating an orange will provide more benefit than merely taking a vitamin C supplement. Studies show that it’s the unique blend of vitamin C and the phytochemicals in oranges that give the most immune-boosting benefits.
You’re also getting more benefit from eating an orange than you will by downing a glass of orange juice, even if it is freshly squeezed. Oranges are quite high in natural sugars, but consuming the flesh and pith provides fiber to regulate those sugars.
Benefits Of Oranges
While binging on oranges isn’t likely to make that common cold go away more quickly, eating an orange a day will ensure you’re never low in vitamin C. Deficiencies in this important antioxidant will compromise your immune system and make you susceptible to a wide range of illnesses.
Oranges help the body in numerous other ways - they can promote dental health, regulate blood pressure, are great for your skin and hair and can help manage asthma. Also helpful in lowering cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, preventing kidney stones - the list goes on.
So instead of asking yourself if it’s worth eating an orange every day, you should be asking yourself, is it worth it NOT to?
Are you hankering for an orange (or ten) now? To get your daily dose of vitamin C, head on over to our shop and order your oranges. We will even deliver them right to your door.Shop Now