Don’t let this humble citrus fruit fool you, it’s packed to the peel with health-boosting properties.

1. Reduces risk of liver cancer
According to studies in Japan eating mandarin oranges reduces the risk of liver cancer. This may be due to the vitamin A compounds known as carotenoids.

2. Lowers cholesterol
Since they’re full of soluble fibre, oranges are helpful in lowering cholesterol.

3. Boosts heart health
Oranges are full of potassium, an electrolyte mineral responsible for helping the heart function well. When potassium levels get too low, you may develop an abnormal heart rhythm known as an arrhythmia.

4. Lowers risk of disease
Oranges are full of vitamin C which protects cells by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals cause chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

5. Fights viral infections
Studies show that the abundance of polyphenols in oranges protects against viral infections.

6. Relieves constipation
Oranges are full of dietary fibre which stimulates digestive juices and relieves constipation.

7. Boosts vision
Oranges are rich in carotenoid compounds which are converted to vitamin A and help prevent macular degeneration that results in a loss of vision.

8. Regulates blood pressure
The flavonoid hesperidin found in oranges helps regulate high blood pressure and the magnesium in oranges helps maintain blood pressure.

9. Protects skin
Oranges are full of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which not only protects the cells from being damaged but which also protects the skin from free radicals and prevents the signs of ageing.

10. Alkalises the body
Although oranges are acidic before you digest them, they contain alkaline minerals which balance out the body after digestion. They are very similar to their citric cousin the lemon which is one of the most alkaline foods available.

11. Provides smart carbs
Oranges, like all fruits, have simple sugars in them, but the orange has a glycemic index of 40.  Anything under 55 is considered low. As long as you don’t eat a lot of oranges, they won’t spike your blood sugar and cause problems with weight gain.

Pssst! And if you’re not a fan of the pulpy orange itself, take your nutrients from the peel – it contains more than four times as much fibre as the fruit inside. Grate it and simply sprinkle the zest on green beans or asparagus.