We’re all aware of the importance of eating enough fruit and leafy vegetables, but when it comes to ensuring our vitamin C levels remain optimal, one fruit takes the crown: the humble orange. As well as being packed with skin-loving antioxidants, even a small-to-average size fruit yields up to two-third of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin C. We asked nutritionist Raphaël Gruman and dermatologist Dr. Nina Roos for their expert advice on how - and why - we should be including more of them in our diet.
The future’s bright: how oranges help keep our skin looking healthy
Not only do oranges look good, smell good, and taste good, they work wonders for your complexion. Dermatologist Dr. Nina Roos explains just how all that juicy goodness gets to work under the skin’s surface. Like all citrus fruits, oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, which not only stimulates collagen production - responsible for giving skin a youthful, plump appearance - but also protects the epidermis from external aggressions, such as overexposure to pollution. Oranges owe their vivid color to a pigment known as betacarotene, also known as pro-vitamin A, which is known for helping to combat the visible signs of aging. Finally, oranges are a great source of antioxidants. Other great ingredients with similar levels of betacarotene are (unsurprisingly) carrots, as well as pumpkin, sweet potato and all kinds of squash, while fruits with similar levels of vitamin C include lemons and kiwis. We’re spoiled for choice!
Cooking with oranges: keep it raw
When it comes to life’s little luxuries, there’s nothing like starting the day with a glass of freshly pressed orange juice. Nutritionist Raphaël Gruman explains that to get the best out of your morning squeeze, it’s crucial to drink your OJ as soon as possible to avoid losing essential vitamins. The longer it’s left to stand, the less potent the vitamin C it contains will be for your skin, so try making and pressing your own in-house rather than opting for pre-packaged cartons of juice. Similarly, it’s best to eat oranges raw rather than cooking or baking them. Raphaël explains that oranges are thermocentric, meaning the vitamins and minerals they contain are extremely sensitive to light and heat: in other words, the less you do with them, the better. A few slices of fresh orange added to a fruit salad or a warm dessert are an easy way to incorporate this wonderfruit into your diet - simple, fast and effective.