Eating fruits and vegetables every day is an essential part of a healthy diet. As far as fruits go, you can't do better than to choose a citrus fruit such as an orange or a tangelo for a snack. These fruits are loaded with vitamins and micronutrients that may stop or prevent a number of diseases. Enjoy these low-calorie treats frequently to reap the benefits they offer.
Oranges and other citrus fruits such as tangelos are known for having high quantities of vitamin C. A medium navel orange provides 130 percent of the recommended daily allowance for this nutrient. Other oranges, such as blood oranges and Valencia oranges, provide similar amounts of vitamin C. Eating a tangelo will also boost your vitamin C intake, as just one of these smaller fruits provides 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance, according to the database at ProduceOasis.com. Higher intakes of vitamin C are associated with good health, including a lower risk of stroke and some cancers, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Fiber and Water Content
Oranges and tangelos are good additions to a healthy diet, including low-calorie diets. A tangelo provides only 70 calories, while a medium navel orange has only 80. Both fruits are rich in fiber, although if adding fiber to your diet is a priority, go with the orange, which has 7 g of fiber compared to the 2 g found in a tangelo. The fiber and water content of these fruits can help to increase satiety, making them a good choice for a snack between meals.
Polyphenols and Flavinoids
Oranges and tangelos are rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, plant compounds that can have health-protective properties. These compounds are especially prevalent in citrus plants, with more than 4000 polyphenols and 60 flavonoids having been identified, according to a report published by Dr. Katrine Baghurst for the public agency Horticulture Austrialia. These compounds are an excellent reason to include oranges, tangelos and other citrus fruits in your diet, as they have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties.
Coumarins and Terpenes
Grate orange and tangelo peel to add to salads, fish and chicken and baked goods for even more health benefits. The peel contains coumarins, phytochemicals that may be protective agents against cancer and other tumors. While the data on the benefits of these coumarins is still incomplete, current evidence points to it being a promising cancer preventative. Other substances found in oranges and tangelos that have anti-cancer properties are terpenes, some of which can also be found in the peel. These compounds can reduce tumor size in humans and are also used as a treatment for gallstones.