Health – The Citrus Family – Oranges

The members of the citrus family have some amazing capabilities. Each have definite anti-cancer properties. It has been reported that because of the year round availability of citrus fruits, this is a probable reason for the drop in stomach cancer. A Dutch study found that the vitamin C content counteracts powerful carcinogens called Nitrosamines. A Swedish study ranked citrus along with carrots as the food most favored by people with the lowest rates of pancreatic cancer. American researchers found that citrus fruits have the power to lower blood cholesterol. Because of a high animal protein diet, which produces an acid condition in the body, many people suffer illness. A very successful way to neutralize the acid condition is to introduce alkaline mineral elements, which are found in citrus fruits.


The nutrients in oranges are plentiful and diverse. The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but is rich in dietary fiber, pectin, which is effective in persons with excess body weight. Pectin, by its action as a bulk laxative, helps to protect the mucus membrane of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer causing chemicals in the colon. Pectin has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing its re-absorption in the colon by binding to bile acids. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is a powerful natural antioxidant. Orange fruit contains a variety of phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants, free radical scavengers, anti-inflammatory and immune system modulators. They contain vitamin A, which is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Oranges contain a good amount of minerals like potassium and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure through countering sodium actions.

The University of Florida found that by drinking pure, freshly squeezed orange juice they could combat rubella, or German measles, by accelerating the appearance of rubella-fighting antibodies in the blood. Other scientists have shown that components of orange peel help kill bacteria and fungi as well as tending to lower blood cholesterol. But it is the pulp that contains the pectin, so it is more beneficial to eat the entire orange than drink the juice. In Canadian tests it was found that orange juice from supermarkets did not display any antiviral activity in test tube experiments.

  • Even though the orange “tastes acidic,” it actually has an alkaline effect in the digestive system and helps stimulate the digestive juices, relieving constipation.
  • Regular consumption of vitamin C retards the development of hardening of the arteries.
  • A compound in oranges has been found to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon.
  • The high vitamin C content also acts as a good anti-oxidant that protects cells from the damage by free radicals.
  • The alkaloid found under the orange peel can reduce the liver’s production of cholesterol.
  • The anti-oxidants fight oxidative stress that is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDLs in the blood.
  • A high intake of flavonoids and vitamin C has been known to halve the risk of heart diseases.
  • Studies have shown that a flavonoid called hesperidin in oranges can lower high blood pressure.
  • The strong content of vitamin C stimulates white cells to fight infection, naturally building a good immune system.
  • Drinking orange juice daily can significantly drop the risk of formation of calcium oxalate stones in the kidney.
  • The anti-oxidant in orange help protect the skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging.
  • Consuming vitamin C rich foods helps to lower the incidence of peptic ulcers and in turn, reduce the risk of stomach cancer.
  • The abundance of polyphenols have been shown to provide protection against viral infections.

Kaye Sehm, Back to Eden Newsletter. Summer 2012, No. 49. P. O. Box 850, Lavington 2641, Australia