Mostly grown in the warmer regions of the world, oranges (Citrus x sinensis) are a good source of vitamin C, thiamin, folate, fiber and antioxidants.
Despite their sugar content, oranges have a low glycemic index (ranging from 31 to 51). Glycemic index is a measure of how a particular food causes blood sugar levels to rise after it’s eaten. Foods that have a low glycemic index are beneficial for people with diabetes as they do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Oranges are rich in polyphenols and fiber that moderate the rise in blood sugar.[2,3]
A single large orange (184 g) contains around 18 percent of the daily recommended fiber intake. Cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, and lignin are the main fibers found in oranges. Fibers improve the functioning of the digestive system and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.[5,6]
Oranges are an excellent source of organic acids such as citric acid and vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
Both citric acid and vitamin C can increase iron absorption from the digestive tract.[7,8]
When oranges are eaten with iron-rich foods (sunflower seeds, nuts, lamb, beans, whole grains), they can help prevent anemia.
How To Take It
- Eat an orange every day after meals to prevent anemia.
- You can also drink a glass of freshly made orange juice.
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1. The University Of Sydney Site: http://www.glycemicindex.com (Accessed On 30 September 2015)
2. Rizkalla SW, Bellisle F, Slama G. Health benefits of low glycaemic index foods, such as pulses, in diabetic patients and healthy individuals. Br J Nutr. 2002 Dec;88 Suppl 3:S255-62. Review. PubMed PMID: 12498625.
3. Hanhineva K, Törrönen R, Bondia-Pons I, Pekkinen J, Kolehmainen M, Mykkänen H, Poutanen K. Impact of dietary polyphenols on carbohydrate metabolism. Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Mar 31;11(4):1365-402. doi: 10.3390/ijms11041365. Review. PubMed PMID: 20480025; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2871121.
4. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. Site: ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2330. (Accessed On 30 September 2015).
5. Anderson JW, Baird P, Davis RH Jr, Ferreri S, Knudtson M, Koraym A, Waters V, Williams CL. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Rev. 2009 Apr;67(4):188-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x. Review. PubMed PMID: 19335713.
6. Kellow NJ, Coughlan MT, Reid CM. Metabolic benefits of dietary prebiotics in human subjects: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Br J Nutr. 2014 Apr 14;111(7):1147-61. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513003607. Epub 2013 Nov 13. Review. PubMed PMID: 24230488.
7. Ballot D, Baynes RD, Bothwell TH, Gillooly M, MacFarlane BJ, MacPhail AP, Lyons G, Derman DP, Bezwoda WR, Torrance JD, et al. The effects of fruit juices and fruits on the absorption of iron from a rice meal. Br J Nutr. 1987 May;57(3):331-43. PubMed PMID: 3593665.
8. Péneau S, Dauchet L, Vergnaud AC, Estaquio C, Kesse-Guyot E, Bertrais S, Latino-Martel P, Hercberg S, Galan P. Relationship between iron status and dietary fruit and vegetables based on their vitamin C and fiber content. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1298-305. PubMed PMID: 18469253.