Historically, people who lived in northern climates became extremely deficient in vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium during the winter. That’s because all they had to eat after a certain point in the year were dairy, eggs, grains, and some meat-with a paltry amount of  vegetables remaining and even less fruit. Before truck deliveries of produce became a mainstay of modern life, townspeople would crowd around trains that were rumoured to carry the rare crate of oranges from  a  southern  land-although when citrus was on board, most of it would go to wealthy families and town selectmen. If a stray orange did get into the hands of a less fortunate townsperson, it would be worth its weight in gold. That’s because people of the time valued oranges for what they were: miracle fruits.

Oranges have lost their luster in the public eye.  Yet Oranges are full of the coenzyme glutathione, which goes into activation because of their high content of flavonoids and limonoids. This is a relationship that makes oranges a key to healing the 21st-century epidemic of chronic illness. Together, glutathione, flavonoids, and limonoids fight off viruses, protect the body from radiation damage, and deactivate toxic heavy metals in the system.

It’s time to reconnect to that period when we appreciated oranges true value. These citrus fruits are life-giving, and they should be a foundation in the diet. The next time you walk by a navel, blood orange, Valencia, mandarin, honey Murcott, clementine, or Minneola tangelo, think about what it might have meant to an ancestor in the early 1900s and rejoice that progress has given you the opportunity to bring its sweet nectar into your life.

Vitamin C, Potassium
SECONDARY MICRO NUTRIENTS Vitamin A, B1, B5,Folate, Calcium, Copper
  • Vitamin C; Pectin; Carotenes
  • Citrus Bioflavonoids Limonene and Hesperidin – highest content in inner peel and inner white pulp
  • valuable for inflammatory, highly acidic diseases such as arthritis; they also help lower high fever
  • Pectin fiber content – cholesterol lowering
  • Vitamin C properties
    • benefits immune system, lens of eye, adrenal glands, reproductive organs, connective body tissues (such as joints and gums)
    • anti-oxidant protection against cancer
  • Carotene content – Anti-oxidants, enhance immune functions, anti-tumor, stimulate anti-oxidant mechanisms
  • Citrus Bioflavonoids content
    • Anti-oxidant
    • improves blood circulation
    • increases ability of key nutrients to leave capillaries and reach cells
    • protects against colon cancer, enhances activity of Vitamin C
    • benefits those with weak gums and teeth
  • Terpenoid Limonene – gallstone treatment, anti-cancer (blocks carcinogens), enhances detoxification (boosts production of Glutathione)
  • Flavonoid Hesperidin – shown to lower blood cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Cooling thermal nature; sweet-and-sour flavor
  • General tonic for weak digestion and poor appetite
  • Regenerates body fluids
  • Helps cool and moisten those who are dry and overheated from disease processes, physical activity, or hot weather
  • The peel has qi-stimulating, digestive, and mucus­ resolving properties
  • Buy organic – High pesticides, and an artificial colour may be injected to give a uniform colour
  • Tangerines make a good substitute for commercial oranges since they have many of the same properties but are sprayed less with  chemicals
  • The inner white lining, placed directly on the eyelids, helps to dissolve eye cysts
  • Common allergen food
  • Peel contains high levels of oxalates
  • Oils in peel can interfere with body functions – e.g. Citral in citrus peel antagonises some of the effects of Vitamin A
RDA Oranges, raw, all commercial varieties % RDA
Nutrient Unit per100g
Water g 3700 86.75 2.3%
Energy kcal 2600 47 1.8%
Protein g 90 0.94 1.0%
Total lipid (fat) g 87 0.12 0.1%
Carbohydrate, by difference g 224 11.75 5.2%
Fiber, total dietary g 38 2.4 6.3%
Sugars, total g 9.35
Calcium, Ca mg 1000 40 4.0%
Iron, Fe mg 8 0.1 1.3%
Magnesium, Mg mg 420 10 2.4%
Phosphorus, P mg 700 14 2.0%
Potassium, K mg 470 181 38.5%
Sodium, Na mg 0
Zinc, Zn mg 11 0.07 0.6%
Copper, Cu mg 0.9 0.045 5.0%
Manganese, Mn mg 2.3 0.025 1.1%
Selenium, Se µg 55 0.5 0.9%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 90 53.2 59.1%
Thiamin mg 1.2 0.087 7.3%
Riboflavin mg 1.3 0.04 3.1%
Niacin mg 16 0.282 1.8%
Pantothenic acid mg 5 0.25 5.0%
Vitamin B-6 mg 1.7 0.06 3.5%
Folate, total µg 400 30 7.5%
Choline, total mg 8.4
Betaine mg
Vitamin B-12 µg 2.4 0 0.0%
Vitamin A, IU IU 5000 225 4.5%
Vitamin E, total mg 15 0.18 1.2%
Vitamin D IU 600 0 0.0%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 120 0 0.0%

RDA – Recommended Dietary Amount recommendations are based upon calculations for a 40 year old very active man that I have adapted from USDA’s Dietary Intake Guidelines. Using this link you can make your own calculations

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

USDA food database:

Other information sources:

World’s Healthiest Foods – an excellent online food and nutrition encyclopedia

Self Nutrition Data: an online nutrient breakdown of foods

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