“O” is for Orange

Orange Juice - Magalies Citrus

 “O” is for Orange

by Dr Marli Botha

Orange juice is widely considered one of the healthiest beverages because of its wide range of health benefits, which include its ability to boost immune system function, reduce signs of aging, protect against cancer, boost cellular repair and metabolism, detoxify the body, improve circulation, improves blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and lowers cholesterol levels. 

We know the many health advantages to eating oranges or drinking orange juice, but it’s history and quirky facts are quite interesting, things you’d never think of or consider on your own, so here are a few fun facts about oranges:

  • In American English, the beverage name is often abbreviated as “OJ”.
  • Because oranges do not spoil easily and are full of vitamin C during the years of world exploration sailors planted orange and other citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy which is a disease that develops from a deficiency of vitamin C.
  • The folate contained in orange juice helps to stimulate new cell growth and it aids in DNA creation. Folate is extremely important for pregnant women, as it helps to ensure the development of a healthy baby.
  • Valencia oranges are the most widely planted variety of oranges worldwide.
  • Renaissance paintings that display oranges on the table during “The Last Supper” are wrong. Oranges were not cultivated in the Middle East until sometime around the ninth century.
  • There are typically ten segments inside an orange.
  • The bergamot orange is primarily grown as a source of oils for cosmetics and flavouring. Bergamot orange peels are sometimes used to flavour Earl Grey tea.
  • The fruit came before the colour. The word “orange” derives from the Arabic “naranj” and arrived in English as “narange” in the 14th century, gradually losing the initial “n“. “Orange” was first used as the name for a colour in 1542.
  • Orange peel sprinkled over a vegetable garden is an effective slug repellent.
  • An orange tree can grow to reach 30 feet and live for over a hundred years.
  • Oranges were known as the fruits of the gods. They were often referred to as the ‘golden apples’ that Hercules stole.
  • Orange juice tastes bad after brushing your teeth because toothpaste blocks your sweet taste receptors due to a foaming agent that changes the permeability of your tongue cells.

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