Why should you prefer the blood orange to the orange? What more does it offer?
The blood orange has a deep red color, which is caused by the anthocyanins it contains. These anthocyanins are common to many purple vegetables and fruits, but not found in other citrus fruit. The blood orange is in season from January to April, has the highest vitamin C content of any other kind of orange and is easier to peel.
Orange vs Blood Orange
From a nutritional viewpoint, the blood orange is very close to the orange. The blood orange is one of the richest sources of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and supports your body’s immune system. It is also high in vitamin B1, folic acid, and potassium. Finally, it contains a plethora of other vitamins and minerals in smaller quantities, such as calcium, magnesium and b complex vitamins. But really the basic difference between the blood orange and the orange is in antioxidant capacity. Like the orange, the blood orange contains carotenoids and flavonoids, which protect your body from the harmful effects of free radicals and the risk of developing chronic diseases. Polyphenols and flavonoids, in combination with a high vitamin C content, protect your body daily from the destruction caused by free radicals caused by environmental pollution, stress, and smoking. However, the blood orange contains anthocyanins in addition to all of the above – this is what makes it so different.
Anthocyanins: Health Protectors
Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid that gives many fruits and vegetables their red-purple coloring. The richest sources of anthocyanins are raspberries, raisins, strawberries, red and purple grapes, red wine, cherries, prunes, eggplant, red cabbage and of course the blood orange. Research indicates that anthocyanins play an integral role in health maintenance and the prevention of heart disease. Specifically, it was found that those who consumed more anthocyanins had lower blood pressure and improved artery health. Anthocyanins are also anti-inflammatory and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Finally, anthocyanins are anti-cancer and boost memory and the learning function.