This week’s Power Food is Oranges! Oranges are round citrus fruits with finely-textured skins that are, of course, orange in color just like their pulpy flesh; the skin can vary in thickness from very thin to very thick. Oranges usually range from approximately two to three inches in diameter. Juicy and sweet and renowned for its concentration of vitamin C, oranges make the perfect snack and add a special tang to many recipes; it is no wonder that they are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Oranges are generally available from winter through summer with seasonal variations depending on the variety. The word “Orange” was first used for the color and not for the fruit. Oranges can be consumed raw, in the form of juices, marmalade or as a part of various desserts. 85% of globally produced oranges are converted into orange juice which is often served with breakfast in the western societies. Believe it or not, Oranges are domesticated so you are unlikely to find them growing naturally in the wild. Almost 70 million tons of oranges are produced each year. One-third of commercially available oranges originate from Brazil. In Jamaica, people use orange peel to remove grease and oil spots.

Health Benefits of Oranges

You may already know that oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, but did you know just how important vitamin C and oranges are for good health? Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage to the aqueous environment both inside and outside cells. Vitamin C, which prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade, is thus also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Vitamin C, which is also vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, is good for preventing colds and may be helpful in preventing recurrent ear infections.

Quick 5-Ingredient Fresh Orange Smoothie

An easy way to work oranges into your children’s diet, besides orange juice, is to have them help you make 5-Ingredient Fresh Orange Smoothie on those hot spring and summer days to cool off! Follow this recipe from Gimme Some Oven for your child and you to make these delicious treats!

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