In Season: Oranges

This time of year is tough. All the holiday parties are over, the gifts have been opened (and in some cases returned), the family has been gathered and been seen off, and all the goodies eaten. And there are still months of winter ahead of us.

If you’re feeling a bit down about this, as I am, go grab an orange. These little balls of sunshine are packed full of vitamin C, and they’re a sweet infusion of goodness into your dreary winter day. Look for organic oranges, preferably unwaxed. Clemetines are great for instant snacks, as they peel easily and divide neatly into bite-sized sections.

A great way to entice your kids into eating oranges, if they aren’t already fans, is to have a peeling contest: whoever manages to create the longest piece of unbroken peel wins a fun prize (maybe a reprieve from a little daily chore).

Oranges are a great source of potassium; getting adequate potassium in your diet helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Oranges also contain the antioxidant vitamin C, which is crucial for the production of collagen, aiding in the regrowth of skin cells. Vitamin C helps bolster the immune system and eliminate free radicals as well.

Oranges also help your eyes; they contain beta-carotene and other carotenoids that can help protect you from chronic eye diseases. The vitamin C and other antioxidants in oranges help guard against cataracts and can slow macular degeneration due to aging.

If all that isn’t reason enough to peel an orange and slice it right now, consider the wonderful dose of aromatherapy you receive each time you cut open or peel an orange. That uplifting citrus fragrance tends to stick around and can reduce both blood pressure and anxiety.

Oranges: simply good for you, inside and out!

Photos courtesy of Pixabay and Amy Bissinger.