Oranges may well have been America’s first “health food.” Long recognized as a potent source of vitamin C, oranges are considered by most to be tasty, juicy and all too familiar. And, yet, no one gets very excited about an orange in a lunchbox—but they should.
The discoveries being made about the power of oranges to support heart health and prevent cancer, stroke, diabetes, and a host of chronic ailments should bring oranges and other citrus fruits back to center stage as crucial components of a healthy diet.
Oranges originated in Asia thousands of years ago and have become one of the most popular fruits the world over. Christopher Columbus brought orange seeds to the Caribbean Islands in the late 15th Century, and Spanish explorers then brought oranges to Florida in the next century. About 200 years later, in the 18th Century, Spanish missionaries brought oranges to California. These two states remain the primary producers of oranges in the United States.
Portable fruits, they are easy to eat and crucial to good health. They are easy to put in children’s lunchboxes and bags, and they are the perfect mid-day snack when you are craving something sweet. Oranges are also great flavor boosters when cooked with chicken or lean turkey breast.