Written by Kate Bullen, APD
Winter fruit in our house consists of oranges, mandarins, apples, pears, kiwifruit and pineapple. Of course I would usually include bananas in there – but they are not so frequent at the moment! I thought I would showcase the nutritional profile of some of these fruits over the next few weeks – and tonight I will start with oranges.
This afternoon my 19month old son and I shared a particularly delicious orange. I simply sliced the orange with the skin on and then either cut the slices in half so he could easily eat them or carefully opened each slice for us to eat.
Oranges, as part of the citrus family are a fantastic source of vitamin C – which is probably what they are best known for. Historically, the vitamin C content of oranges was important in preventing scurvy – particularly on long boat journeys. Today, scurvy is quite rare, since we have access to such an array of fresh food with vitamin C. This is probably a good time to mention that vitamin C is heat sensitive, so if you are cooking with your oranges, then the vitamin C content may be diminished by the heat.
If you are an adult then your daily recommended dietary intake (RDI) of vitamin C is 45mg. Each orange will provide you with 70mg of vitamin C – so that easily gives you plenty of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important in our bodies to help with wound healing, and it also helps to absorb iron from sources other than meat. So if you take iron tablets, this is why you will often be recommended to take them with a source of vitamin C.
Oranges also contain folic acid or folate, thiamin, fibre and some iron.
During winter, the variety that is most commonly available is Navel oranges. They are seedless – which is great for kids (and adults!). Apparently oranges don’t ripen any further after they have been picked – so when choosing oranges look for an orange that feels heavy (and therefore juicy) for its size.
Who loves their oranges? How do you usually eat them? Do you peel them whole? Or slice them? Or cut them into quarters?