Vitamin C Benefits

Posted in Health on June 30, 2018

Vitamin C: weight loss helper, immunity boost and great helper for fighting against cancer and heart diseases

I know that I will have a very good day when I start my breakfast with a freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Orange is the 5th most consumed fresh fruit in the US. So, it isn’t only my opinion that makes orange a good day starter.

As a matter of fact, I like the juice, but I enjoy eating the fruit as well: when I was a little girl, I remember seeing my mother peeling the fruit and cutting that long ribbon that made the orange sphere turn into a white one and after that, she took from the inside those refreshing pieces of sweet juice. It was almost magic to me!

Nowadays I eat the orange, always remembering that magical experience, but I know that it is the best way to intake the fibers with the juice and I feel even better.

On the other hand, one important flavonone named herperidin has most of its presence at the peel and in orange’s white inner pulp. If you don’t have time or patience to handily peel it, you can wash it and juice it all in your masticating juicer. This phytonutrient has anti-inflammatory properties and, for that, actuated directly with cancer prevention.

And if you are about to go shopping, it is important to know that there are 2 general types of orange: bitter and sweet. Bitter oranges mostly are used to bud another varieties, as per their endurance because they are very well prepared to survive in a hostile environment (bugs, bacteria and weather changes, among others). In cooking, you can use bitter oranges to make marmalades or liquors. I already did both and the bitter orange brings a very particular taste in these receipts, something unusual and a little bit wild, in my opinion.

The other general type, the sweet oranges, are the ones we juice or eat. They are divided in other 2 categories:

  • The first ones (Jaffa, Navel and Valencia, among others) have its pulp colored yellow and are extensively planted and more commercialized.
  • The second one are called blood oranges, little bit smaller, having its fragrance more aromatic and its flesh is red. Moro and Tarocco, both native to Italy, and Sanguinello, Spanish variety, are the main varieties.

It is important to know that also pigmented varieties like Cara Cara Navels and Vaniglia Sanguignos have lycopene giving its red color, contrary to the “true” blood oranges, that have anthocyanins.

These anthocyanins are a water-soluble pigment and has potential as per its free-radical scavenging actuate as antibacterial and antioxidant.

So, if you are looking for the unique blood orange healthy benefits, choose Moro, the “deep blood orange”, the most colorful between the blood oranges and after that, we suggest you prefer the Sanguinello and Tarocco. The latter is also called as “half-blood”.

Obviously, organic fruits are always my first choice.

Going back to the health effects, I can tell you that I have weight concerns - I am also starting menopause. Like almost everyone I know, I have to watch my diet in order to not gain weight. But it isn’t only a matter of fashion concern, seeing that overweight and obesity is the major health issue worldwide, considered like epidemic.

I believe that some part of this “overweight fever” is all about marketing and the manufacturers and laboratories needs that they are trying to sell something that you don’t need, but obesity is a fact and it is a trigger to a wide variety of illness or health related issues, like type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, liver disease, sleep apnea and depression, among others.

Body mass index (BMI) is the measure of your weight divided by the square of your height, and it helps you to know if you are overweight or obese. It is important to know that in the U.S., the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC states (2015-2016) that 39.7% of men and 41.1% of women were obese (20 years old and older), which means 70 million adults are obese (35 million men and 35 million women) and 79 million are overweight (45 million men and 34 million women).

And there are other implication as of 2014, approximately 1/3 of children and teenagers in U.S. are overweight or obese and about 80% will become overweight adults.

Obesity contributes to approximately up to 400 000 deaths/year in U.S. So, being overweight or obese have direct impact on quality’s health and life expectancy.

And if you struggle with overweight or obesity, certainly you already learn about metabolic syndrome.

As per Mayo Clinic, overweight and obesity is narrowly linked with metabolic syndrome and vice-versa.

And it has its cause also with insulin resistance, which is that you aren’t properly breaking down foods into glucose (sugar). The insulin, which is secreted by your pancreas controls this metabolism phase and the result of it is that you have a slow metabolism = what you eat is heavily processed by your body.

And insulin resistance may be an start to type II diabetes.

In fact, the overweight and obesity cause are strongly connected to your metabolism, which is what you eat and how much and how you work out.

And, for me, one of the best way to stay the on the health weight is to eat wealthier. And for help us on that, there is the blood orange. The lipid-lowering properties of the blood orange juice showed that it may prevents the development of the metabolic syndrome, however, this study in particular doesn’t demonstrate that this juice can lower body weight.

However, this study attests that the Moro juice extract can display anti-obesity effects in vitro and in vivo as well.

Another scientific study affirms that the phytochemicals has the capability to interact with biomembranes.

And, comparing the processed juice with the fresh squeezed one, the results revealed that the antioxidant activity is directly related to the amount of anthocyanins. Once the amount of the anthocyanins is reduced on the long-shelf life juices, so it is its impact on the antioxidant power.

Some other very important matter is related with the intake of vitamin C supplement. As per one experimental study, the protection against oxidative DNA damage promoted by the fresh squeezed blood orange juice is better than if you take only the equal amount of vitamin via supplement. The scientists explain it once the other phytochemicals contained in blood orange of the juice being responsible for the human bioavailability and, therefore, its healthy impact.

This particular study also says that its mice tests results that fresh blood orange juice (especially Moro juice) has been found to limit weight gain, increase insulin sensitivity, decrease triglycerides and total cholesterol.

So, bottom line, as I mentioned before, the juice is far better than the supplement, and eating the orange (with the inner pulp) is even better. And, if you have a masticating juicer, it is the best option, once you can take advantage of the peel nutrients as well.

I wish you a healthy day, at you next blood orange juice!