When the days get colder and shorter, and fresh local produce runs scarce, it can be more challenging to eat a nutritionally complete diet. But, never fear. Winter is also the season for bright, beautiful specialty oranges like the rosy pink Cara Cara orange or rich, fragrant Moro blood orange. They’ll add color, flavor, and a wealth of nutrients to your winter diet.
Moro Blood Oranges
All types of edible oranges are loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients. Blood oranges add anthocyanin, the compound that gives them their uniquely dark red pigment. There is a growing body of clinical evidence from scientific studies that indicate anthocyanins play an important role in preventing disease.
- Specifically, they help prevent oxidative damage and the conditions that can arise from it – including cancer and heart disease.
- Blood oranges are also important because of the bioavailability of the nutrient – in other words, your body can easily use the anthocyanin from the blood oranges you eat.
Cara Cara oranges
The beautiful pink hue of the flesh of Cara Cara oranges comes from a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. It is the same bioflavonoid that gives tomatoes their ruddy coloring. Lycopene is a carotenoid which protects cells against oxidative damage. In fact, lycopene as a phytochemical is used to treat a variety of conditions. While the studies are ongoing, there is evidence that increased consumption of lycopene is associated with,
- Lower risk of stroke
- Possible lower risk of prostate and other tyeps of cancer
- Lower risk of heart disease.
In addition to what makes them colorful, both types of oranges are good sources of many other nutrients.
- Fatty acids, predominantly linoleic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid and linolenic acid
- Ascorbic aci & hydroxycinnamic acids
Of particular note is the fact that there is evidence that these oranges – and all oranges – have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Our understanding of chronic inflammation and the role it plays in health and disease is still developing, but it seems clear that it is key.
Nutrition is of course important at any time of the year, but during Moro blood orange and Cara Cara orange season, your diet can benefit from these gorgeous and flavorful fruits.