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Vitamins and Minerals Found Inside Oranges

Oranges are perhaps the most recognized fruit in the Western world. Loaded with important nutrients our bodies seek, oranges can be both nutritious and delicious when juiced alone and when combined with other ingredients. Here are a few of the questions we attempt to answer about Oranges.

  • What vitamins in Oranges make Oranges so good for us?
  • What is the best method for juicing Oranges?
  • What are some great buying tips for Oranges?

Plus, we'll do our best to provide some general information about Oranges that you might not find so easily elsewhere on the Internet.

Let's begin our exploration of oranges...

Vitamins and Minerals in Oranges

oranges and orange juiceOranges are probably best known for being loaded with Vitamin C, but they are also rich in so many other beneficial nutrients, including bioflavanoids. Here is a snapshot of just some of their valuable nutrients.

Vitamins in Oranges

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate (important during pregnancy)
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Pantothenic Acid

Minerals in Oranges

  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Also contains trace amounts of iron, zinc, manganese and copper.

The next time you think about oranges... think about how they might add a powerful boost to your daily nutrition through juicing... but keep in mind, I'm not talking about the kind of juice you get from pressing halved oranges on a reamer or squeezer. You won't get the full benefits of this awesome fruit without using a real juicer, in my humble opinion.

Tips for Juicing Oranges

Juicing Oranges can add both flavor and valuable nutrients to most any home-juiced fruity cocktail. Here are a few tips for juicing Oranges that may help turn your juicing experience into something you look forward to and thoroughly enjoy.

First, as I mention above, don't expect to get the full benefits using a reamer or squeezer to juice oranges. It might taste awesome, but it won't deliver the orange's full nutritional abilities. Use a juicer.

With that said, peel your oranges before juicing them but DO NOT remove the pith and membrane. Don't worry about seeds. Your juicer will collect them in the pulp basket.

The white part of the rind, called the pericarp or albedo and including the pith, is a source of pectin and has nearly the same amount of vitamin C as the flesh.

Quarter your oranges and then pop them into the juicer... you'll get a thick, foamy drink (creamy in color) loaded with almost all of the oranges' food value.

Five to six oranges yield about one pint of orange juice. 

Sidenote: By law, orange juice sold in cartons and bottles in the supermarket is pasteurized which kills life-giving enzymes. Many manufacturers add synthetic vitamin C to bolster the content.

Purchasing Tips for Buying Oranges

Here are a few tips for buying oranges that may help you get the freshest ingredients. We'll also include a few storing tips for oranges that you might find helpful.

As with other citrus fruits, buy firm, thin-skinned, heavy fruit. The heavier the fruit, the more juice you can expect. They should feel heavy for their size.

Avoid oranges with mold or spongy spots on them. 

Buying a big bag of oranges might be a bargain, but then you can't see each orange very well. Hand pick your oranges at the supermarket so you can be sure you are getting the best.

Store oranges in your refrigerator. Yes, they look great in a basket on the table... but seriously, storing them in the refrigerator will keep them fresher far longer (up to 2 weeks vs only a few days sitting on the table or counter).

General Information About Oranges

This article wouldn't be complete if we didn't include a little general information about Oranges, as well as a few helpful links if you want to explore Oranges further.

In a number of languages, the orange is known as a "Chinese apple" (e.g. Dutch Sinaasappel, "China's apple", or "Apfelsine" in German). It is believed the orange originated in China where a much more sour version of the orange grows wild.

Mysteriously, for thousands of years oranges seem to have remained an Oriental treat, not written up in the Middle East, not mentioned by the Greeks.

Oranges which reached the west in the earliest days were of the sour variety. Eventually the Romans, always in the market for exotic produce, obtained oranges the hard way---after long sea voyages from India which finally brought young trees into the Roman port of Ostia, probably in the first century AD.

After the fall of Rome in the 5th c. AD, orange raising and importing both died out for centuries.

The fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange.

All citrus trees are of the single genus, Citrus, and remain largely interbreedable; that is, there is only one "superspecies" which includes grapefruits, lemons, limes and oranges.

Fruits of all members of the genus Citrus are considered berries because they have many seeds, are fleshy and soft, and derive from a single ovary. An orange seed is called a pip. The white thread-like material attached to the inside of the peel is called pith.

On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the seeds of oranges, lemons and citrons to Haiti and the Caribbean. They were introduced in Florida (along with lemons) in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, and were introduced to Hawaii in 1792.

Like all citrus fruits, the orange is acidic, with a pH level of around 2.5-3; depending on the age, size and variety of the fruit. Although this is not, on average, as strong as the lemon, it is still quite strong on the scale – as strong as vinegar.

Some of the first greenhouses in Europe were built to protect fragile orange trees from frost, which explains the quaint, old-fashioned term "orangerie."

The top three orange-producing countries are Brazil, the United States, and Mexico.

Oranges are sensitive to frost, and a common treatment to prevent frost damage when sub-freezing temperatures are expected, is to spray the trees with water, since as long as unfrozen water is turning to ice on the trees' branches, the ice that has formed stays just at the freezing point, giving protection even if air temperatures have dropped far lower.

Orange zest is popular in cooking because it contains the oil glands and has a strong flavour similar to the fleshy inner part of the orange.

Did you know that orange juice is one of the commodities traded on the New York Board of Trade?

In England, oranges were once a sign of wealth and were often used during the holiday season for decorations. This decorative tradition continues today in some households in Europe and Canada.

In Spain, fallen orange blossoms are dried and then used to make tea.

Additional Sources and resources for oranges.

Additional Sources/Resources on Oranges

 

Be sure to check out both our "Juicing" and our "Smoothies" sections for delicious recipes and more using Oranges!