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Oranges are the budget-friendly superfood dietitians approve

Raise your mimosas everyone, we now have science-backed evidence proving oranges are the key to long-lasting health.

Research or no research, it’s hard to fault the fruit. From Sunday morning Mothers’ Day breakfasts, to a refreshing break after the netball half-time whistle blows, oranges have always been a staple in Aussie homes.

The tangy citrus fruits are delicious, in season when most fruits go on strike, and always the last thing to go mouldy in a neglected fruit bowl. 

Now, according to the recently published findings of the Oranges Nutrition and Wellness Report, Australian Oranges are brimming with health benefits. 

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The report author, Dr Emma Beckett, is a food and nutrition scientist with expertise in immunology and epidemiology. Prepared in collaboration with Nutrition Research Australia, the report examines 50 research articles spanning over 20 years, consolidating the most impressive benefits. 

And the best part? The newly published report will be welcomed news by anyone shopping on a budget, as unlike other trending superfoods and supplements we constantly hear and read about, oranges won’t leave your pockets feeling too empty.

“With family budgets stretched to the limit, Australian oranges are the fruit we should be adding to the shopping trolley, especially as we struggle through cold and flu season,” said Dr Beckett. “Oranges offer just as many nutrition credentials as exotic superfoods without the hefty price tag.”

Thanks to their refreshing taste, people have never needed too much convincing to divulge in an orange. But now, we have a science-backed report that details five undisputed health benefits associated with citrus fruits, so there’s never been a better time to snack on a segment.

#1. Oranges boost your immunity

Forget apples, it seems eating an orange a day will keep the doctor away far more effectively, according to the report’s findings. A healthy diet is a primary contributor to optimal immune health, and the fruit’s unique combination of bioactive compounds and nutrients makes it the perfect weapon against infection and illness. 

“Nutrient-dense oranges contain essential vitamins and powerful plant bioactives that support immunity, reduce the severity of common colds and fight infections,” Dr Beckett says. 

#2. They promote cardiovascular health

Oranges’ high concentrations of vitamin C and bioactives have been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, the report details. The fruit’s folate reduces homocysteine levels, while fibre and bioactives lower cholesterol levels and fat absorption. 

“In two large cohort studies, citrus juice was found to reduce risk of ischaemic stroke by 25 per cent, one of the strongest protective links of all fruits and vegetables,” writes Dr Beckett. 

#3. They enhance the skin

Oranges have long been associated with gold-star levels of vitamin C, having the highest levels out of the entire citrus family. Any skin therapist, dermatologist and naturopath knows how important vitamin C is in boosting our skin’s health, but the report’s findings show the trusty citrus fruit may hold even more skin-enhancing ingredients. 

The high concentration of folate and flavonoids makes oranges a powerful tool for DNA synthesis and repair, as well as protection from the sun. 

#4. Oranges improve gut-health

Tips and recommendations to optimise your gut health have been trending non-stop for the past few years, but if you think you need to invest in fancy supplements to reap the benefits of good bacteria, think again. Both the insoluble dietary fibres in the contents of an orange and the juice have been linked to a higher production of short-chain fatty acids, essential for regulating bowel function and encouraging the growth of positive bacteria. 

A study within the report found that drinking just 300ml of pure orange juice daily for 60 days has been linked to improvement in gut microbiota profiles and citrus bioactives.

#5. They boost brain health

When it comes to prebiotic effects on the microbiome directly influencing the gut-brain axis, oranges stand out from their flavonoids and soluble fibres. Flavonoids move from the blood to the brain, taking their neuroprotective properties with them, protecting us from brain disease.  

Within the report, one study spanning over six years found a 23 per cent reduction in the risk of dementia with just one serving of citrus a day. 

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