Over the past few months, I’ve been working on some exciting projects, and one being researching the health benefits of blood oranges. Here are some of the highlights and why you need more of these crimson beauties in your diet.
Blood oranges come with genuine sass.
With a colour like no other, these bloodied splendours have long been revered for their natural beauty. What you may not know is they’re technically classified as a berry* (yes, really!); they’re at their absolute optimum onwards from August – a time when we can often be left uninspired as we wait to usher in the spring deluge of stone fruits and summer berries, and they pack a serious health punch.
Nutrition-wise, blood oranges are unique amongst citrus varieties. When compared with other citrus fruits there are significant differences in nutrients between blood oranges and other orange varieties. Beyond the alluring aesthetics, blood oranges offer health-promoting nutrients and traits that have wide-ranging protective powers.
With nine times the antioxidants, double the Vitamin A of navel oranges and a raft of polyphenols (potent plant chemicals) that regular oranges don’t have, they outclass their citrus cousins for their health-promoting benefits with one blood orange equivalent to eating a whole bag (around 2 kilograms) of navels to get the same hit of antioxidants.
They also hold their own against berries, particularly when assessing affordability and glycaemic load (GL). What’s more, blood oranges are the only commercially available citrus fruit to contain anthocyanins (which are more commonly found in blueberries, cherries and red wine). In addition to anthocyanins, blood oranges contain many other beneficial phytonutrients, known as phenolics (or commonly referred to as polyphenols).
These phenolic compounds in blood oranges have been associated with improved cardiovascular health, protection from UV cell damage and improvements in metabolic disease including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, obesity and have an array of immune boosting properties.
As a bonus, blood oranges also represent an economical way to get these phytonutrients into your diet. Nutrition-wise this health cocktail of phenolic compounds make blood oranges unique amongst citrus varieties.
Well, what are you waiting for? Be sure to add some of these bright red beauties into your shopping trolley today.