Oranges are tasty. Oranges are succulent. They have numerous health benefits and they have been around for since antiquity.
In this article on orange facts, we are going to learn 35 fabulous facts that will span over general facts and health benefits.
So, let’s dig in!
Orange Facts: 1-5
1. Oranges belong to the family of Rutaceae of the genus Citrus. This citrus fruit is a hybrid of Pomelo and Mandarin. Its botanical name is Citrus sinesis. There are around 600 varieties of oranges. It is an evergreen tree.
2. They originated in South-east Asia and their cultivation began in 4000 BCE. They reached Africa, thanks to travelers and from there reached Rome in 200 BCE. This is a short history of how sweet oranges became popular all over the world.
3. While the sweet oranges had to take a long tour to reach Europe, the sour ones were introduced to Europeans by Arabs in 10 CE. It is believed that it was Christopher Columbus who brought orange seeds to America in 1493.
4. The orange tree can grow up to 30-33 feet high. Its leaves are oval and have fine teeth which are rounded on the edges.
5. Orange belongs to the group of berries, hesperidium to be precise. Hesperidium is a fruit whose pulp is sectioned inside a detachable rind. It rarely reproduces with the help of seed. Grafting is the method mostly used for its cultivation.
Orange Facts: 6-10
6. Every year 70 million tons of oranges are produced. 85% of the oranges are made into orange juice and then consumed.
7. The oranges cultivated in warm climates are sweeter than the temperate ones. The more time you allow the oranges to be attached to the tree, the sweeter they become.
8. Oranges are just not orange! They are green too. Though they appear green and unripen, they taste the same as the normal orange we see. The peel is green in color because it has the property of re-absorbing chlorophyll in warm climates. Oranges are orange in cold or temperate climate and has shades of green in tropical or warm climates.
9. Many people think that orange word has come from the color orange but it actually stemmed from a Sanskrit word “naranga” which in turn was taken from a Tamil word “naru” which means fragrant. The word naranga became narang in Persian and Arabic and finally was included in the English language by an Old French word “orenge”.
10. The wood of orange tree is non-absorbent and it doesn’t splinter. Hence it is used in beauty salons for manicure and pedicure.
Orange Facts: 11-15
11. The name orange was first associated with the fruit and then came the color. The fruit originated way back in 4000 BCE but the word orange as color was prominently used during 1540’s. Earlier “geoluhread” was used to specify a yellowish-red hue which we now call as orange.
12. There exists a museum for oranges! Yes, the museum named as Museu de la Taronja is in Burriana close to a town of Valencia in Spain. Burriana made so much money from oranges that it never had to depend on tourism. The museum has around 5000 orange-box labels, lot of posters and tissue wrappers.
13. Orange’s peel is also helpful. It keeps the slugs away from your garden. In Jamaica, people use these peels to cut grease and oil. It is also used as a natural cleanser at home and it is used to make food too.
14. In China, the oranges are exchanged on their New Year’s Day. Those oranges are consumed on the second day of their new year. They believe that oranges are associated with good fortune. It is also considered that the Emperor gave oranges to his officials on the second day of a new year so along with good fortune it also connotes officialdom.
15. Brazil is the largest producer of oranges. It produces nearly 1/3rd of the total oranges produced in the world. USA is the country which is the largest consumer of the oranges (in the form of juice). Interestingly, of all citrus fruits, oranges top the list of production in quantitative terms.
Orange Facts: 16-20
16. Three types of essential oils are extracted from the orange tree. The first one is extracted from the rind or the peel and it is used as flavoring agent. The second one from the leaves and young stems and is used in perfume industry. The third type of essential oil is extracted from the orange blossoms which is also used in making perfumes and flavors.
17. Oranges are never seen in wild. But why? Because they are cultivated in orangeries. Moreover, they are hybrid fruits. The sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis) originated from citrus and sinensis and the sour oranges (Citrus aurantium) originated from citrus and aurantium.
18. Oranges were considered as “Golden Apples” by Greek and Latin people. It is said that Hercules stole the first ever “golden apples” from the garden of Herperides. They also believed that orange tree has magical qualities and is associated with fertility because foliage, flower and fruit is produced simultaneously.
19. Here are few quickies. One seed may produce many orange trees. Oranges and their blossoms are symbol of love. After chocolate and vanilla, orange is the favorite flavor.
20. The oranges will never rot till they are plucked from the tree. Once they are plucked their shelf life is roughly about a week irrespective of whether you store them in refrigerator or normally outside.
Orange Facts: 21-25
22. Inclusion of orange in our diet improves our immunity. It not only fights with the viruses and other microorganisms which enter our body on a daily basis but also helps in reducing the risk of getting cancer and heart diseases by killing free radicals.
23. They can also help in making your skin wrinkle-free. They help in keeping your skin young and protecting your skin from the Sun, dust and pollution. Oranges play a key role in collagen formation and helps in enhancing overall skin texture.
24. Guess what? They are good for your heart too! They contain vitamin C, fiber, potassium, choline and folate which all give a big boost to your heart. Potassium plays a vital role in keeping your heart beating. By eating oranges, you can lower your blood pressure and keeping heart diseases at bay.
25. It is seen that it lowers bad cholesterol or LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. They are a boon for diabetics. For type 1 diabetic patients, it helps in lowering blood sugar levels whereas for type 2 patients, it is seen that it increases blood sugar, lipid and insulin level.
Orange Facts: 26-30
26. The list of orange’s health benefits just goes on and on. They aid in digestion and help in controlling weight because of the dietary fiber present in them. They are also good for your vision.
It has high amounts of vitamin A and compounds like lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin which help in preventing vision problems, which arise due to old age. Vitamin A helps in absorbing light and improves night vision. Vitamin C delays cataracts and macular degeneration.
27. Risk of colon cancer can be reduced by eating oranges (because of vitamin C and dietary fiber known as Pectin). This Pectin protects the mucus membrane of the colon by reducing the time of exposure to toxic substances and binding of cancer causing substances. It also prevents the absorption of cholesterol in colon by binding to bile acids in the colon.
28. It is seen that eating oranges and bananas after the first two years of birth reduce childhood leukemia. It reduces inflammation because it has loads of antioxidants. By oxidizing, it helps in decreasing burns.
29. The orange juice is a proven remedy for acid indigestion. Though orange juice itself is acidic it turns alkaline in your stomach and thereby cures your acid indigestion.
30. It is not just the oranges that will keep you fit and fine but even its peel will do so! The peel of an orange is used as a natural medicine to fight depression, anxiety, blood pressure, respiratory problems and bad breath. It helps in preventing constipation and just like oranges, it is good for your heart!
Orange Facts: 31-35
31. Though oranges don’t have iron in huge amounts but vitamin C and citric acid helps in absorption of iron when eaten with an iron-rich food and thereby prevents anemia.
32. Oranges helps body in absorbing other vitamins, nutrients and minerals etc. Medicines are not easily digested and absorbed by the body and especially vitamin D. If it is not properly absorbed stones may be formed. While on medication if you consume oranges, it works as an excellent absorbent.
33. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that you eat nothing but oranges. All these benefits can be reaped only if they are eaten with moderation. If you eat more of oranges, you would be inviting hell lot of health problems for yourself! The extra dietary fiber effects digestion by causing abdominal cramps and even diarrhea.
34. As the fruit contains a lot of acid, consuming too many oranges will lead to heartburn, especially to the people who suffer from heartburn and GERD. An excess of vitamin C may lead to a number of problems like nausea, heartburn, vomiting, bloating, cramps, insomnia, headaches etc. So, eat in moderation to be happy and healthy.
35. Because of its antioxidants, oranges and its peel find their way in cosmetic industry too. They are added in cosmetics as they are skin-friendly and have anti-wrinkle properties. They are used in manufacturing hair conditioners too.