Oranges, grapefruit and tangerines are loaded with vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid). In fact, one orange provides more than a full day’s supply of vitamin C! Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants acting as a scavenger to neutralize harmful elements naturally occurring within the body and helps fight cell and tissue damage that could lead to disease.
Vitamin C also helps the body fight infection and may reduce risk of diseases, such as cancer. In fact, one report shows that people with low vitamin C intake (less than 50 mg/day) appeared to have approximately twice the cancer risk, compared to people with higher (greater than 100 mg/day) vitamin C intake1.
Vitamin C makes a body grow! It helps babies grow and build strong bones and teeth. And, it helps the expecting mom’s body absorb iron.
Oranges, grapefruit and tangerines contain fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and assist with digestion and elimination. Also, according to the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, diets high in fiber possibly decrease the risk for cancer of the colon, rectum, breast, and pancreas.
What does Folate do?
Folate is essential for growth and development. It plays a key role in DNA formation and cell division, helps guard against one form of anemia, and can help reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, known as “neural tube defects.”
To help reduce the risk of someday having a baby with a neural tube defect, women should get plenty of folate every day. Eat an orange, a grapefruit or a tangerine to increase the folate in your diet.
Folate significantly modifies homocysteine levels in the body. Homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood, is related to coronary heart disease and cognitive impairment, when high levels exist2.
According to recent studies by Tufts nutrition experts, low levels of folate have been linked with low energy levels, depression and even memory loss3. So have an orange, grapefruit or tangerine to keep energy up.
Lycopene gives some fruits and vegetables their unique and vibrant colors and also act as a powerful antioxidant against free radicals that can damage cells, DNA, and proteins. Pink and Ruby Red grapefruit contain lycopene, which has been associated with decreasing the risk of ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. As an antioxidant, lycopene also has been linked to reducing risk of heart disease, the number one killer of women today.
Oranges, grapefruit and tangerines provide potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. According to the National High Blood Pressure Education Program, potassium plays an important role in our cardiovascular health. Higher potassium intake has been associated with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of stroke3.
Oranges, grapefruit and tangerines contain vitamin B6 which can help convert homocysteine to cysteine and lower the amount of homocysteine in the blood and the risk for heart disease.
Grapefruit and oranges naturally contains more than 60 phytonutrients, many of them known as flavonoids, a class of natural antioxidants that many scientists believe may help the body in its battle against aging, allergies, infection, cancer, ulcers and heart disease4.
Magnesium helps your body generate energy and is required for the action of over 300 enzyme systems in your body. A study by the USDA found that during moderate exercise, people with low magnesium levels used more energy and tired more easily than those with adequate levels5. Give your work out a boost with an orange, grapefruit or tangerine.
Juice an orange or eat a grapefruit or tangerine for energy! They’re full of thiamin, which helps convert food into energy you need.
Eating an orange, grapefruit or tangerine daily can help metabolize the food you eat into energy your body can use. Niacin also is used for DNA repair.
Block G. Vitamin C and cancer prevention: the epidemiologic evidence. Am J ClinNutr1991Supplement; 53:270S-282S.)