We explain why consuming oranges during the winter is good, how to use them, and a suggestion for having freshly picked oranges on your tables.Oranges, the winter fruit par excellence and symbol of the energy of the sun, are a concentrate of healthy vitamins and minerals. To best exploit them, the advice is to consume them fresh and untreated. We tell you a bit of history, the properties, and a suggestion to buy them.
According to Greek mythology, Juno, married to Jupiter, had as a dowry some trees whose fruits were marvelous golden globes, oranges, symbol of fertility and love. Jupiter guarded that precious gift with an extraordinary garden guarded by the nymphs Hesperides, mythical girls with a sweet song. This is the reason for the Greek name of esperidi given to all the fruits of citrus fruits. One of the labors that Hercules had to accomplish was to bring these golden globes to men. From a symbolic point of view, oranges can also be seen as concentrates of the sun’s energy, which you can use during the cold days of winter.
The history of orange
Sweet orange is, thanks to its ability to adapt to different environmental conditions, the most cultivated citrus in the world. There is different information on the history of the origin and spread of this plant. We have news of its presence already in ancient China. The Arabs then introduced the oranges in Asia Minor, in Egypt, in northern Africa and in Europe. During the Arab domination in Sicily (IX-XI century AD), bitter oranges were implanted in so-called “gardens”, a term still used that well suggests the ornamental function that the citrus groves had in the island originally. As for the sweet orange, the most probable hypothesis is that cultivation in Italy (Sicily and Calabria) began around the 16th century following trade with the Portuguese.
The healthy characteristics of oranges
Rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, mineral salts – including potassium, calcium and phosphorus – the red oranges are attributed protective properties of the body and a couple of oranges a day provide us with all the daily needs of vitamin C. Oranges increase resistance of the human body against various chemical, physical and environmental agents, especially in winter, their season. Quenching, remineralising, toning and aperitifs, oranges increasing the immune system against viruses and bacteria, preventing cardiovascular disorders and performing an anti-stress action. Oranges slow down tumor degenerative forms, due to a strong antioxidant action exerted against free radicals, thanks to the presence of beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. They also ensure an active control against acid radicals, toxic chemicals produced by incorrect feeding. We also point out that a Swedish study carried out a few years ago on peoples who consume a continental breakfast, showed that a glass of orange juice improves to double the absorption of iron. The energy intake is only 34 Kcal / 100 grams.
How to eat oranges
We advise you to eat them in slices because half of an orange’s pectin is found in the albedo, the white and spongy part that covers the zest internally. It is therefore better not to be too meticulous in peeling them, because by eating a little white skin you will ensure the right amount of this important fiber. Obviously good also in juices, smoothies, fruit cocktails. As with all fruit we generally suggest eating oranges or drinking their juice away from meals. Sometimes they can also be consumed in sliced salad, seasoned with oil, salt and pepper. Excellent for the preparation of jams, cakes, and liqueurs. A curiosity about aesthetic use: the Sicilian grandmothers to combat the first wrinkles recommend to dab the face daily with bread crumbs soaked in orange juice.