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Oranges deserve all the praise we give them

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The name orange evolved from a Sanskrit word meaning fragrant. Today oranges are known for far more than their distinctive aroma.

Like all citrus fruits, oranges are well-known for their high vitamin C content. But they deliver more. Food scientists say there are more than 170 phytochemicals in an orange, including some 20 antioxidants from the carotenoid family alone.

These antioxidants are able to block free radicals before they do harm. Free radicals are corrosive oxygen molecules that can damage cells. This is important because free radical damage can set the stage for clogging of the arteries, a key risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Substances called limonoids, which are partly responsible for the fruit's slightly bitter taste, appear to be particularly active in oranges.

Doctors at Duke University Medical Center say that among all cancers studied, lab animals showed a 70 percent reduction in tumors when fed a diet consisting of 10 percent limonene such as found in oranges. No wonder citrus-lovers show low rates of stomach and lung cancers. Limonoids appear to be helpful in blocking breast cancers also.

The vitamin C in oranges does some important things. In addition to controlling free radicals, it is an important aid for healing and for boosting immunity. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron from food, and people with high levels of C appear to have the lowest risks of all types of cancer.

Orange-onion-yogurt salad

Peel 4 large navel oranges and cut each crosswise into 4 or 5 slices. Cut a small red onion in half and slice very thinly. Arrange decoratively on a platter, alternating oranges with onion slices.

In a small bowl, combine º cup nonfat plain yogurt, 2 tablespoon fresh orange juice, and º teaspoon dried tarragon. Whisk to mix and drizzle over the oranges and onions.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Oranges deserve all the praise we give them

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