Oranges are one of the most popular types of fruit around the world. They are tasty, usually inexpensive, and versatile. There are also many great health benefits that an orange delivers and this includes the peel. They have been cultivated in China since 2500 BC so have a long and rich history both in recipes and natural remedies.
If you boil an orange, the process softens and mellows the flavor of the pith and extracts the goodness from the pith and rind in the peel. It’s usually quite difficult to incorporate the peel into our diet because of its toughness and bitterness. It’s also not a good idea to eat the peel unless it’s from organic fruit so that can get in the way. However, an organic orange has many healthy properties. While it’s fairly common to grate the rind into dishes or dressings, using the pith can take some more creativity.
Today, I’m going to show you how to make orange water so that you gain more nutrients from just 1 orange. First, let’s look at some of the medicinal benefits they offer.
The Medicinal Benefits Of Oranges
It’s no secret that orange juice and the inner fruit are a great source of Vitamin C. However the peel is also a great source of nutrients, containing higher levels than the inner fruit in many cases. Here are some of the benefits you can get from an orange peel:
- It has nearly 3 times the amount of Vitamin C than the inner fruit.
- It has 4 times more fiber.
- It has a higher concentration of polyphenols.
- It contains essential oils, most of which are made of limonene.
- It contains other important nutrients such as folate, Vitamin B6, calcium, riboflavin, and thiamine.
I’m not saying the inner fruit isn’t good though, but combining all of the fruit you get the best that an orange has to offer. Here are some of the benefits for your body and different health conditions that oranges can help prevent and/or treat:
Anemia – they help to increase iron absorption of foods.
Cholesterol – regular consumption can increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
Collagen – help in the process of making collagen which is good for your skin and healing wounds.
Immune system – help to keep your immune system strong and healthy due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – slows down the advance of AMD which affects vision.
Cardiovascular Disease – they can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The hesperidin found in oranges can also lower high blood pressure.
Cancer – the flavanones can help protect against cancer.
The Health Benefits Of Drinking Water
As well as the orange in the recipe, drinking enough water each day is essential. As well as keeping us hydrated it has many other medicinal benefits.
Here are some of the benefits that water has on our bodies:
- It flushes bacteria from the bladder.
- It helps to stabilize the heartbeat and blood pressure levels.
- It regulates our body temperature.
- It can relieve joint pain by lubricating the joints.
- It carries oxygen around the body.
- It’s essential for the bowel and digestive system.
- It dissolves nutrients and minerals so that it’s possible for them to travel around the body.
The Best Way To Boil An Orange
Now that we’ve looked at the health benefits, I’m going to show you how to get the most of your oranges by boiling the orange peel. The water will absorb the beneficial properties, meaning the nutrients will be leached into the water. You don’t want to boil the inner fruit as this will harm the vitamin C content and it’s easy to extract this portion of the fruit just by juicing the orange.
There are approximately 47 calories in each orange. Oranges are considered a low-sugar fruit. However, they still contain sugar (approximately 12 grams per fruit) so limit yourself to one of these drinks a day, and reduce that further if you need to watch your sugar intake. You can drink this orange water at any time of the day but it’s best before lunch or in the early afternoon. Oranges are considered a high-energy food because of the Vitamin C they contain and the sugar so they can give you a boost. This isn’t usually a good idea before bed.
- 1 x organic orange
- 1.5 x cups of filtered water
- 1 x small cooking pot
- 1 x orange squeezer
- 1 x container or vessel
The reason I use an organic orange in this recipe is to avoid pesticides. If you can’t get organic oranges make sure you wash your orange extra carefully under running water first and use a vegetable scrubber to ensure it’s as clean as possible.
- Rinse your orange under running water in case there is any debris or dirt on it.
- Cut your orange in half.
- Squeeze the orange using a squeezer and reserve it for later.
- Cut your two orange peel halves in quarters, so that you have 8 pieces.
- Add your orange peel pieces and 1.5 cups of filtered water to your pot and turn the stove on to high heat.
- Bring it to a boil and leave boiling for 3 minutes.
- As soon as the time is up, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the hotplate or stovetop and let it steep for approximately 10 minutes if you want to drink it warm or until it has cooled down if you want to drink it cold.
- Pick out the orange peel pieces with your hands if cold or use tongs if the water is hot, then discard the pieces.
- Pour the contents into a container along with the rest of the juice that you reserved and mix it together, then pour it into a glass or mug. It’s ready to drink.
In the cooler months, it is lovely to drink this while it’s still warm. This is also nice with a sprinkle of cinnamon stirred in when you have it warm. If it’s really hot where you are, feel free to throw some ice cubes in for a refreshing and healthy thirst-quencher.
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