- Oranges, a type of citrus fruit, are part of the Rutaceae botanical family and are a hybrid of pomelos and mandarins. A hybrid results from cross breeding two genetically different plant species.
- This botanical family also consists of lemon, lime, tangerine, mandarin orange, grapefruit, sour orange and citron to name a few.
- In the United States, the majority of oranges are grown in Florida, California and Texas.
Purchasing, Storing and Preparing
- Purchase oranges year round in the grocery store.
- Valencia oranges are in peak season from late spring to mid-summer, typically March through July.
- Navel oranges are in peak season from mid-winter to early spring, typically October through January.
- Select oranges that are firm, smooth and heavy for their size. Avoid those that have soft spots.
- Oranges with thin skin are typically juicier than oranges with thick skin.
- Store oranges at room temperature for one week or in the refrigerator for two weeks.
- Remove the peel from the flesh of the orange before eating as a snack.
- Use oranges to make fresh orange juice, add to a salad, or incorporate in other recipes.
- Oranges are a good source of fiber, thiamin, folate and an excellent source of vitamin C.
- Fiber aids in healthy digestion, prevents constipation and can help to weight control by making you feel full faster thus reducing the amount of food you eat.
- Thiamin assists in converting food into energy and helps to maintain nervous system function.
- Folate supports red blood cell formation, protein metabolism and prevention of birth defects including neural tube defects.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant involved in wound healing, formation of collagen and connective tissue and immune function.
1/2 cup medium orange
Calories: 72.4 | Protein: 1.45 g | Fat: 0.185 g | Carbohydrate: 18.1 g | Fiber: 3.7 g | Calcium: 61.6 mg | Magnesium: 15.4 mg | Folate: 46.2 µg | Vitamin A: 16.9 IU | Iron: 0.154 mg | Phosphorus: 21.6 mg