The Antioxidant-rich Orange
One orange (GI 42) provides you with your whole day’s vitamin C requirement. But that’s not all. This fruit is also rich in anti-oxidants and a good source of folate and potassium. Much of the sugar in an orange is sucrose, a ‘double’ sugar made up of glucose and fructose. When digested, only the glucose molecules have an impact on your blood glucose levels. This and the high acid content account for the low GI. There are many varieties available these days to help you enjoy eating a juicy orange year round. The main ones are jaffa (generally available year round), navel (autumn/fall, winter and spring) and valencia (spring and summer). But try something different. There are many other varieties worth keeping an eye out for. Blood oranges (winter through to early spring) for example are popular in Europe, particularly Mediterranean areas such as Spain and southern Italy where they grow prolifically. This variety, unusually for citrus fruit, contains anthocyanin, the blue/red pigment found in berries, red capsicum (pepper) and eggplant. Anthocyanin functions as an anti-oxidant, minimising the damage to cell membranes that occurs with aging.
Food: Lynne Mullins; Photo: Jennifer Soo
Here are some ideas for upping your orange intake:
- Peel and enjoy the juicy segments with breakfast cereal, as a snack, or as an after-dinner palate cleanser.
- Chop segments into fruit salads, toss into salads, add to soups or casseroles or to couscous; slice oranges and add to fruit punch.
- Carrot and orange make a great couple—enjoy them together in a soup or salad.