Oranges come from many parts of the world including the United States, Mexico and South America. Three major producers of oranges are Florida, California and Brazil, according to Agro Products. Oranges contain many healthy vitamins and orange juice is considered a staple for the modern American breakfast. There are many different varieties of oranges with different sizes, tastes and textures. Try all main varieties of oranges to experience the different flavours and textures of orange.
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Cara and Navel Oranges
The navel orange is so named because the part of the orange that connects to the blossom looks like a navel or belly button. This part of the orange juts out like a wrinkled button. The cara orange is one variety of navel orange that is pink and looks similar to grapefruit. These oranges are fairly large, and are about the same size as a man's fist. These oranges typically have a semi-sweet flavour and are easy to peel and segment.
Small oranges encompass many varieties, including tangerines, Clementines and mandarins. These oranges range in size, but are typically about the same size as a child's fist. The oranges are easy to peel, and may contain a lot of seeds, although there are seedless varieties as well. These oranges are some of the sweetest varieties and make a tasty snack. The peak time to enjoy small oranges is from November to May.
Summer oranges are also called Valencia oranges. These are small or medium sized, and typically have thin skin. The flesh inside the oranges is paler than the small and navel varieties. Because of the thin skin, they can be difficult to peel, and are easiest to eat when cut into slices. The summer oranges are very sweet, and make delicious fresh-squeezed orange juice, with a high content of healthy vitamin C.
Blood oranges are so named because of their dark red interior. Blood oranges look similar to grapefruits, but the flesh of the orange is often even darker than most grapefruits and can look purple or almost brown, in some cases. The blood orange has a thick skin and may contain seeds. The oranges have a slightly less citrusy taste than many other oranges and are smaller than navel or summer oranges.
All varieties of oranges contain the same nutrients and health benefits. In addition to the well-known content of high vitamin C levels, oranges also possess many other nutrients. According to WH Foods, oranges contain vitamin B1, folate, potassium, vitamin A, calcium and healthy fibre. Oranges also contain high levels of antioxidants. According to a study conducted by The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in 2003, diets that included a daily dose of oranges lowered the risk of several health problems, including cancer, heart disease and stroke.
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