Oranges have been called a “perfect food” and contain an amazing array of healing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phyto-nutrients.
Oranges are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, folate, beta carotene, lutein, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.
Do you know just how important vitamin C and oranges are for good health?
Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage in the aqueous environment both inside and outside cells. Inside cells, a potential result of free radical damage to DNA is cancer. Especially in areas of the body where cellular turnover is especially rapid, such as the digestive system, preventing DNA mutations translates into preventing cancer.
Oranges have been known to help prevent cancer, lower high blood pressure, fight off viral infections, relieve constipation, keep bones and teeth strong, and prevent kidney stones and macular degeneration.
Oranges are rich in lime and alkaline salts that help to counteract and prevent acidosis in the body. They are also excellent for the digestive tract and help to remove toxic debris from the colon through enhanced peristaltic action.
Oranges contain a significant amount of glutathione which is critical for healthy eye and lung function.
Oranges are very good for respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis and cardiovascular issues such as hypertension and COPD.
Oranges act as an internal antiseptic to the body and have the ability to purify and strengthen all the organs in the body.
Oranges contain anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties which are particularly beneficial for those suffering with a cold or flu or an auto-immune disorder such as shingles, arthritis, IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and raynaud’s disease.
Oranges are an excellent weight loss food due to their high pectin content which also helps to reduce blood cholesterol.
Oranges are an ideal “fast food”, easy to transport, delicious to eat, and provide a steady form of energy throughout the day.
Many unique recipes with oranges boost the flavor, like orange chicken and using a reduction of orange juice. Deserts and smoothies are great, yet the best eating is pure fresh raw orange, freshly peeled!
Fresh squeezed orange juice is a predigested food and allows for immediate absorption of all it’s abundant healing properties.
However, be aware that orange juice will lose the majority of its vitamin C content within 30 minutes of being squeezed, so for optimum results drink immediately.
Whole oranges, peeled or cut in slices, are the best option as the fiber and pith is where so many of the phytonutrients and healing properties are contained.
Orange trees are now grown all over the world for their delicious and nutritious fruit, and can be grown indoors or in a greenhouse if you don’t live in a warm climate.
The best way to grow a healthy tree that produces fruit is to purchase a young tree or seedling. However, you can plant an orange seed directly into the soil if you want the experience of growing it from the beginning.
To plant citrus trees inside from seeds, remove the seeds from the desired fruit. Soak the seeds overnight in water and plant them ½ inch deep in moist potting soil.
Cover the pot with a plastic bag or wrap and let it sit in a warm and sunny spot for a few weeks until the seeds start to grow.
Then, remove the plastic but keep the pot near a warm and sunny window.
Standard-size orange trees can grow 18 to 22 feet tall, whereas dwarf varieties only grow 8 to 12 feet tall. Most citrus varieties are self-fertile, so only one tree is necessary.
On average, fruit bearing begins when the trees are between 3 and 6 years old; however, exact timing will depend on the type of oranges, the cultivar, climate, the health of the plant and its care, and other factors.
Flowering is not seasonal, but occurs during warm weather and regular rainfall. Flowers and fruits may coincide.
Citrus trees should be planted in a sunny and wind-protected area. In the citrus belt, trees can be planted at any time, however, spring is the best time for container grown plants.
Standard-size trees should be spaced 12 to 25 feet apart and dwarf trees should be set 6 to 10 feet apart.
The exact distance depends on the variety. The bigger the fruit, the farther the distance.
If the soil is not well-drained, plant the trees on a slight mound to prevent water logging.
Depending on the climate, fruits may take 6 to 8 months to ripen. The best indicator of ripeness is taste.
Harvest the fruit by cutting them off with pruning shears or by pulling the fruit stalk from the tree. Undamaged fruit can be stored for several weeks at cool temperatures.
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