Orange, Cirtrus sinensis, is cultivated in a great number of varieties, some used to make juices, others to be consumed, of different sizes, colors of pulp, thickness of skin, aroma and taste.
Navels have a thick skin and a blond pulp, firm and sugary, and are mainly used for direct consumption. Valencias have a thin peel, juicy and acidulous pulp with few seeds. Sicilian blood orange has a red pulp because of the presence of anthocyanins; it can be of different varieties, moro with bright red pulp, sanguinello with bright orange pulp and very juicy and tarocco with yellow-orange pulp with red shades, moderately juicy.
100 grams of orange have from 35 to 50 kcal, most of which come from sugars (about 9 grams). Fats are absent, whereas proteins are just 1 gram. Discreet is the content of minerals, mainly potassium, calcium, magnesium and copper. Well present is vitamin C which covers the daily needs. Present in good quantities are folates, vitamin B and vitamin A.
The yellow-orange color is due to the presence of lycopene, beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin.
The sour taste is due to citric acid.
In the laboratory, isolated flavonoids have demonstrated the ability to reduce the proliferation of several types of cancer cells. Laboratory data also indicate a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, cognitive decline related to aging.
Oranges are rich in polyamines, which are organic compounds containing nitrogen. These substances are also produced in our organism (in the intestine, thanks to the microbiota, where they participate in the growth and differentiation of cells, DNA replication, transport through membranes).
The concentration of these substances decreases with aging in different cell types, therefore, the regular consumption of oranges would help to maintain the values of these substances in the normal range, although there are objections to this point.
Oranges must be consumed and must be part of a varied and balanced diet, they bring fibers and therefore are preventive towards colon cancer.