When people think of Florida, they often think of sandy beaches, sunshine and… oranges. On May 4, we can celebrate oranges with National Orange Juice Day.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida grows more oranges than any other citrus crop, with 90 percent of those oranges used to make orange juice. Enjoying a glass of orange juice is good for your health. And, consumers have lots of orange juice varieties to choose: no pulp, some pulp, lots of pulp, some mixed with pineapple, others combined with strawberries, still more… well, you get the picture.
But why is including orange juice so good for us? Oranges, along with other citrus fruits like pineapple, strawberries, peaches and grapefruit, provide our bodies with vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. We need vitamin C on a daily basis. It helps keeps our gums healthy, for one, and we use it to produce collagen that holds our muscles, bones and other tissues together. Vitamin C also helps to heal cuts and woundsm and protects us from infection by stimulating the formation of antibodies, which, in turn, boosts our immunity.
If you’re not a fan of drinking orange juice, try blending it together with a banana and other fruits to make a delicious smoothie. Use orange juice to make a tangy sauce to add over chicken, pork or fish. Add orange slices to your salad greens. Create a fruit salad using oranges. Or, just peel one and eat it fresh, as a delicious snack.
Any way you enjoy an orange, remember: it’s not only locally grown and delicious, it’s good for you, too.