How to Get More Fresh Oranges Into Your Diet
Even though it is easily America's favorite fruit, most oranges are enjoyed in liquid form. How do we know? Because more than 90 percent of Florida oranges, or around 70 percent of the total U.S. supply, are sent to processing plants for juicing. That leaves only around one-third, or less, that are sold as fresh fruit. Why is this a problem?
For starters, orange juice isn't nearly as healthy as fresh oranges. The reason for this is simple: most of the good stuff is discarded during the juicing process. That includes the skin, pulp, and pith, all of which contain healthy vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. And although OJ does contain a good dose of vitamin C in each glass, some of that is also loss at the processing plant. Then there's the sugar.
Did you know that some fruit juices, even those that are sold as healthy alternatives to soda, have just as much sugar as soft drinks? On average, a glass of OJ has more than twice as much sugar, and therefore more than twice as many calories, as fresh oranges. That's why prominent figures like the U.S. Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, have recommended that Americans cut back on their fruit juice intake. More specifically, Ms. Benjamin suggests replacing fruit juices with fresh fruit. Here's how.
When get hungry and need a snack, most of us eat what's close at hand. Whether that's something from a vending machine or the cupboard, it must be easy to access or we'll simply find something else. In other words, you must keep fresh oranges in the house or take them with you to work if you hope to add them to your diet.
At home, we recommend storing them in a bowl on the kitchen counter for fast snacking. Simply keeping them in sight should help you and your family increases your daily servings of fresh fruit. And don't worry about them going bad. On average, oranges should last for several weeks, whether refrigerated or at room temperature.
It takes a bit more effort than are other tips, but making a fruit salad with oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, and pineapple is an easy and delicious way to enjoy fresh fruit. Serve the dish with any meal or have it as a snack.
Because they have peels, oranges don't make the best grab-and-go snacks. But if you simply take the time to peel, segment, and store them beforehand, you can enjoy them on the run. Another advantage of this tip is that unlike many other types of fruit, orange will stay fresh for several days after than are peeled and segmented.