I love finding out what my favourite or sometimes not so favourite foods have to share nutritionally wise – we are often told that so many vegetables and fruits are “bad” however, this is not always the case, yes fruits have sugar in them – these are fruit sugars and not the same as processed sugars – we are better reaching for an apple or pear than a chocolate bar or fizzy drink. IF you are in doubt there are many apps that can help with finding out if it is a low or high carb/ calorie content etc. and also FODMAPs are an issue too that can also be worked out from elimination of high fodmap foods.
However, if we can focus on the goodness within these we can still enjoy some fruits such as mango for instance – moderately and still gain the health benefits.
Well here wer are at the end of Mad March it came in like a Lamb, has been freezing cold, sand storms from the Sahara and beautiful sunshine over the last weekend of the month! And of course we saw the last Full Moon of Winter and here we are into Spring again and the temperature is dropping to Zero and minus 1 as we go into April!!
So for this month, we have the Letter 0 – there are so many amazing Fruits and Vegetables to eat and of course listing them all would take for ever and a day!
It seems obvious to start with the all star of vitamin C the Orange…especially as many of us are feeling run down or have/recovering from the ever present Covid or indeed trying to keep up the immune system from colds, covid and allergies (which can also be quite debilitating!)….
Citrus sinensis, or the sweet orange, is the type people typically enjoy fresh and in juice form.
Sweet orange trees originated in China thousands of years ago and are now grown in many areas around the world, including the United States, Mexico, and Spain.
Oranges are a treasure trove of nutrients and protective plant compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Studies show that consuming oranges regularly may benefit your health in several ways….
Here’s the nutritional breakdown for 1 orange (140 grams)
- Calories: 66
- Water: 86% by weight
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Carbs: 14.8 grams
- Sugar: 12 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Vitamin C: 92% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Folate: 9% of the DV
- Calcium: 5% of the DV
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
Like most fruits, oranges mainly comprise carbs and water, contain very little protein and fat, and are relatively low in calories.
Oranges are a good source of fibre One orange (140 grams) packs around 10% of the Daily Value.
Getting enough fibre on a daily basis is essential for overall health and helps keep your digestive system healthy by supporting regularity and fueling your beneficial gut bacteria.
Oranges are an excellent source of various bioactive plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These include flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C.
Oranges are also high in certain nutrients, especially vitamin C and folate.
One 140-gram orange covers 92% of your daily vitamin C needs. This water-soluble nutrient is essential for your health. Your body uses it for immune function, collagen synthesis, iron absorption, and more.
Folate is a B vitamin that plays a role in metabolism, fetal and placental development, and many other important processes.
In addition to vitamin C and folate, oranges provide smaller amounts of other nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and thiamine (vitamin B1).
Health benefits of oranges
According to research findings, regularly consuming citrus fruits, like oranges, may benefit your health in a number of ways.
Helps promote heart health!
A number of nutrients and plant compounds found in oranges, including vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenoids, may help promote heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease if you consume them at optimal levels.
May help support immune health!
Regularly consuming fruits, which are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds, can help promote healthy immune function.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and helps protect against the process of oxidative damage.
Many other compounds in oranges, including hesperidin and naringenin, have anti-inflammatory activities.
Chronic inflammation can negatively affect immune response, so regularly eating foods rich in anti-inflammatory substances may help support immune functioning.
Fibre is another nutrient provided by oranges that can help promote immune health. Your body needs fibre to maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which influence immune system development and function
If you’re looking for ways to include oranges into your diet, try scattering orange slices into your favorite salad. Their sweet taste pairs well with savory salad ingredients like fish, chicken, nuts, and cheese.
For more Zesty ideas why not take a look HERE
And if you are looking to for another fine little fruit then the mighty Olive is one for you….
Olives are small fruits that grow on olive trees (Olea europaea). They belong to a group of fruit called drupes, or stone fruits, and are related to mangoes, cherries, peaches, almonds, and pistachios.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OLIVES
Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer.
The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet.
Olives are often enjoyed in salads, sandwiches, and tapenades. The average olive weighs about 3–5 grams.
Some immature olives are green and turn black when they ripen. Others remain green even when fully ripe.
In the Mediterranean region, 90% of olives are used to make olive oil.
Olives contain 115–145 calories per 3.5 ounces (100 grams), or about 59 calories for 10 olives.
The nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of ripe, canned olives are :
- Calories: 115
- Water: 80%
- Protein: 0.8 grams
- Carbs: 6.3 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fibre: 3.2 grams
- Fat: 10.7 grams
- Saturated: 1.42 grams
- Monounsaturated: 7.89 grams
- Polyunsaturated: 0.91 grams
Olives contain 11–15% fat, 74% percent of which is oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid. It is the main component of olive oil.
Oleic acid is linked to several health benefits, including decreased inflammation and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Carbs comprise 4–6% of olives, making them a low-carb fruit.
Olives are a good source of vitamin E, iron, copper, and calcium. They may also contain high amounts of sodium if packaged in saltwater.
Olives are particularly rich in antioxidants, including oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleanolic acid, and *quercetin.
Olives are one of my favourites to be added into salads, mashed potato with black olives is dinner party worthy and making your own marinated olives is so simple and cost effective!
My go to Recipe is by my friend Jools, she would often pop a bowl of her marinated olives on the table for us all to enjoy…. and we really did – refreshing and zingy is best way to describe them!
*I say would as she relocated, safe to say I miss her alot along with her lovely olives and carrot cake!!
Jar of Green Olives
Lemon or Orange
Minced Garlic cloves (optional but worth it)
I add thyme or rosemary and mixed herbs
Empty your olives into a sieve and rinse through
put into a container with a lid
Squeeze the lemon (or orange)
Zest the Lemon (or Orange)
add in the juice and zest
mix in your minced garlic
add your herbs
add olive oil to over the olives
and that’s it – pop the lid on the container and leave in fridge to marinate for a day if you can wait that long, then serve!
*you can also add Balsamic and seeds of choice such as Cumin, Fennel Caraway etc.
Paprika, dried chili flakes and ginger also make lovely additions!
Looking for more lunch or dinner ideas to incorporate olives and maybe oranges? Then this recipe works with black or green olives along with your oranges!
A note about Vitamin C and quercetin benefits for allergies….
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine, which means it can lower histamine levels, inhibit histamine production, and lessen allergic reactions and symptoms! And because vitamin C is usually ingested through food or a dietary supplement, you don’t have to worry about the drowsy side-effects associated with traditional antihistamines.
Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid). It is found in many plants and foods, such as red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, American elder, and others. Buckwheat tea has a large amount of quercetin.
It is known for its antioxidant activity in radical scavenging and anti-allergic properties characterized by stimulation of immune system, antiviral activity, inhibition of histamine release, Quercetin may be most well known for its ability to ease seasonal allergy symptoms.
I have found out about the possible health benfefits Quercitin by reading about Olives – I am not suggesting that either Vitamin C or Quercitin can cure all as there are many natural remedies and foods that can help with seasonal allergies, colds and flu. If you feel that this is something of interest then please, make sure you do your research first 🙂 One size does not fit all!
So that leaves us with another selection and if you do end up making any of the above recipes – please let us know if you enjoyed them or not!
I always try and keep recipes that I am sharing about nutritional benefits and sometimes just because it’s nice to try something different!
A rainbow of colours on your plate will ensure you are getting the right nutrients in your diet, if you can’t eat something due to health issues, there are always alternatives, and whether you feel you can’t eat it because it’s not a nice taste, or you have visions of it slopped up on your plate at school meals, then choose other ways of cooking or serving!
disclaimer *I’m not a doctor! – these articles are purely for your own takeaway. There is by no means any intended medical advice given and all articles are read from trusted sources, coursework and books I have read and am reading. If you have any health issues then please seek advice of your doctor before approaching a nutritionist. If you would like to talk about any of the issues or foods on my website for a holistic nutrition approach then please contact me directly. I cannot offer advice other than what I have gained holistic nutrition / massage diplomas in.