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Len Berghoef

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An Orange a day....
3/20/2007 11:28:47 AM

Hello Friends,

Another bit of information on a fruit that is good for us in many ways.
Article by Robin Edelman, MS,RD, CDE 

An orange a day keeps the nutritionist at bay.

In our tattered abecedary of food, C is for Citrus—not to mention the vitamin that cures scurvy, fights infections, heals bruises, protects lungs and maintains healthy cartilage, bone and skin. These days, however, citrus fruits are about much more than vitamin C.

They abound in phytochemicals—170 and still counting. Also called phytonutrients, these components are found only in plants (phyto) and provide natural protection from human health hazards. Although science is still unraveling the roles that phytochemicals play, their tongue-twisting names are destined to become household words associated with disease prevention.

Lutein and zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-ya-zanthin) in oranges are antioxidant phytochemicals that protect eyes from macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness after age 65. Tangeritin, found in its namesake, tangerine, inhibits blood-clot formation and fights inflammation associated with heart disease. Pink and red grapefruit contain lycopene, another antioxidant that protects against prostate cancer.

Most people mistakenly think that the good stuff is only in citrus juice, but the fibrous white pectin we peel away is also rich in phytonutrients. The small juice vesicles, larger segment membranes, the central core and the white layer below the skin make citrus a pectin warehouse. We've long known that pectin, containing water-soluble fiber, promotes intestinal health and cholesterol reduction. But researchers more recently have learned that citrus pectin may also stop cancer cells from multiplying and spreading.

There are other reasons to eat whole fruits rather than turning to citrus juices. Eating a whole fruit enforces reasonable portion control and saves calories compared to drinking a glass of citrus juice. Segment by segment, these fruits foster the healthy habit of slower eating.

Oranges lead the citrus hit parade and are good sources of a group of B vitamins, known collectively as folate. Researchers have studied folate's role in suppressing blood levels of homocysteine, a component of protein that's a risk factor for heart disease.

Investigators in the Nurses' Health Study, following 86,000 women, found that each 100-microgram increase in folate consumption per day—the amount in two cups of orange sections—reduced the risk of heart disease by 5.8 percent. Women who exceeded the recommended dietary allowance of folate—400 micrograms—had the lowest risk of heart disease.

Potassium, abundant in all citrus fruits, strengthens and tones heart muscles and arteries while helping to regulate blood pressure. More recently, researchers discovered that citrate, an acid found in the fruits, helps prevent the formation of kidney stones.

Nutrition guides would like us all to be consuming three daily servings of fruit. With their high density of vitamins and phytonutrients, along with their extraordinary flavor packed into a scant 60 calories, citrus fruits are a great candidate to fill at least one of these every-day eating... prescriptions. 

Be well my friends! :)

Len Berghoef 

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Danny Mills

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Re: An Orange a day....
3/20/2007 12:17:49 PM

Im gona start eating oranges. Thanks for the info.


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Linda Harvey

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Re: An Orange a day....
3/20/2007 2:46:51 PM
Leonard, Lets add a banada to the Orange ! And in a blender with a cup of yogurt or non fat milk... you get a great tasting milkshake ! Bananas are a natural bargain for the price ! Peeling is the only prep work, bananas even freeze well (when peeled and placed in freezer bags to use later in cooking or milkshakes, smoothees) Easy to carry with you to work, school, hiking, biking.... Bananas provide essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium and B7, C, niacin and folate... amd taste great ! Low-calorie health booster, ideal for a healthy snack or with your breakfast. It is a brain food ! Feed your brain ! No fat, cholesterol or sodium... 110 calories... Good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber ! America's #1 fruit also comes in handy after exercise, helping to replenish with the good carbohydrates, glycogen and other nutrients you burn during workouts. (from WholeFoodFarmacy Newsletter) And it is great accompanying my buffalo jerky as a meal replacement instead of junk food or fast food ! Linda TeamLeader/Guardian
Nick Sym

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Re: An Orange a day....
3/21/2007 12:33:32 AM

Hi Len!

If you are going to eat Oranges, then at least be kind about it - lol



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Tanya V.

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Re: An Orange a day....
3/21/2007 12:49:26 AM
Excellent information Len!  I love oranges, but I had no idea of all the wonderful health benefits.  The vitamin C was enough to keep me eating them.  Now I may have to eat a couple a day.  Thank goodness we have a real producing orange tree in the backyard.

Thanks for this great information!  :)


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