Oranges are the most popular, healthiest fruit in the world. In small amounts, it is healthy. Studies have shown that oranges may reduce the risk of chronic conditions, heart disease and even boost immune systems. But large amounts can have many side effects on your overall health. Too much orange juice can cause irregularities in your blood sugar, give you inconsistent energy levels, and even cause you to gain weight.
Oranges are a citrus fruit grown mostly in warmer regions. Orange juice is packed with nutrients but compared to a whole orange, it does not contain fiber. The white part between the peel and the flesh is called orange pith. The pith is where the high fiber is on a whole orange.
Nutrition Facts for Whole Orange
One serving size of a medium orange or 5.5 oz/154g.
Amt per Serving %DV Amt per Serving
Total Fat 0g 0% Total Carbohydrate 19g
Cholesterol 0mg 0% Dietary Fiber 3g
Sodium 0mg 0% Sugars 14g
Potassium 250mg 7% Protein 1g
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 130%
Orange juice is not a good source of fiber. Even if it contains pulp, the only way to get the fiber is eating the orange pith. A small 14 oz serving of orange juice has 56 calories and 12.9 carbohydrates. A large 16 oz serving has 223 calories and 51.6 g of carbohydrates.
Whole oranges contain high levels of vitamin C. A 2010 article in the medical journal Pharmacognosy Reviews that Vitamin C protects cells from free radicals by scavenging and neutralizing them. These free radicals can and may lead to chronic conditions like cancer or heart disease. Oranges may also boost immune systems and help against viruses and infections, like the common cold.
Vitamin C is also great at helping skin stay looking beautiful. It helps fight against damage caused by the sun and pollution. Vitamin C is vital to collagen production and could help reduce wrinkles. According to the Cleveland Clinic, vitamin C could improve the skin’s overall texture.
Vitamin C contains potassium and choline, which are good for your heart. Research has shown that oranges are high in folate, which helps lower homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is a cardio risk factor. It is also said that potassium in oranges help lower blood pressure which helps protect against stroke.
People with type 1 and 2 diabetes can also benefit from eating oranges. Since they are high in fiber, oranges can help lower and improve blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels.
The fiber in oranges also help with keeping you regular which is great for weight loss. According to doctors, oranges are a nutrient rich low fat food with low glycemic index making it the ideal food to protect against obesity. Glycemic index determines how food affects a person’s blood sugar level. High glycemic index can cause glucose levels to spike right after they are eaten. Low glycemic index foods cause blood sugar levels to rise slowly and remain constant over time.
It is possible to eat too many oranges. There are many side effects that make you feel uncomfortable. The fiber content can effect digestion causing cramps in your abdominal which could also lead to diarrhea.
Oranges are mostly low in calories but can add up if eaten in large amounts, which can lead to weight gain. It is recommended to not go over 2,000 mg a day. Too much of this fruit can not only cause diarrhea but can also cause nausea, heartburn, bloating or cramps, vomiting, headaches, insomnia or even kidney stones. The high acidity can cause heartburn and potassium levels can lead to too much potassium in the body making it difficult for it to be removed from the body by the kidneys.
Oranges are a great fruit to add to any healthy diet but only in moderation. Orange juice is good to drink but whole oranges seem to have more nutrients, especially fiber. “A glass and an orange a day, may help to keep bad health away.”