Of all fruit trees, one of the best known, cultivated and studied all over the world is the orange tree. Like all the other citrus plants, the orange is a native of Asia, but the region of its origin is still involved in controversy.
Some historians say that citrus plants may have come out of the eastern part of Asia, in the regions which today include India, China, Bhutan, Burma and Malaysia.
The trajectory of orange through the world is not well known. According to most researchers, it was taken from Asia to North Africa and, from there, to the South of Europe, where it would have arrived during the Middle Ages. From Europe it was brought to the Americas during the time of the discovery of the New World, around the year 1500.
The orange spread through the world, suffering mutations and giving origin to new varieties. During the major part of this period, citrus cultivation was more like a natural development - the culture of seeds would randomly change the flavor, the aroma, the color and the size of the fruit.
Vitamin C – Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevent scurvy and also aids in the body's overall natural healing process.
Potassium – One medium orange contains 260 milligrams of potassium – 15 percent of what the FDA recommends per day. Potassium plays a key role in many important health functions. Plus it provides energy for the body, which is necessary for the body's growth and maintenance.
Folate – Oranges are a good source of folate. This nutrient helps to prevent neural tube birth defects, and guards against anemia.
Fiber – Eating a medium-size orange provides 28 percent of the recommended daily value for dietary fiber. Oranges are an excellent source, providing more fiber than any of the top 20 consumed fruits or vegetables.
Clearly important is the role of soluble fiber in maintaining already healthy cholesterol levels and promoting cardiovascular health.