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Winter is here, and we are super excited because it’s the season for oranges! Yes, this juicy citrus fruit is loved by people of all age groups, thanks to its tangy and sweet taste. Plus, it offers benefits galore, which is why we are completely gaga over it.
“It is definitely a healthy food that helps us stay hydrated during the winter season. After all, it offers vitamin C in abundance to keep our immune system strong. But it’s important to be careful about your orange intake,” shares Avni Kaul, Nutritionist, Dietician and Wellness Coach, and Founder of Nutri Activania.
“A 100 gram of orange contains 47 grams of calories, 87 grams of water, 0.9 grams of protein, 11.8 grams of carbohydrate, 9.4 grams of sugar, 2.4 grams of fibre, and 76% of the DV (daily value) of vitamin C. Although it is rich in nutrition, it contains high amounts of fibre and vitamin C, so it’s best to consume it in small amounts,” she adds.
“If an adult starts to consume oranges in large portions, say 4-5 oranges a day, the excess fibre in the body could trigger stomach upset, cramping, diarrhea, bloating, and nausea. Similarly, the excessive intake of vitamin C can cause heartburn, headache, vomiting, and even insomnia,” says Kaul.
Since oranges are acidic, they can also sometimes cause irritation in the stomach lining in people who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). People suffering from GERD should ideally consult their doctor or their nutritionist prior to consuming oranges.
“Otherwise, it can sometimes cause significant digestive complications including the aforementioned heartburn and vomiting in GERD patients.Also, people who have high potassium levels in their bodies must consult a doctor, prior to eating oranges,” she explains.
Although oranges contain only a mild quantity of potassium, but for a body that already has high potassium levels, additional intake may cause a potentially serious condition called hyperkalemia.
“This can lead to nausea, weakness, muscle fatigue, and arrhythmias. In extreme cases, the condition may even be life-threatening,” says Kaul.
She also advises diabetic patients to consult their doctor or dietitian, before enjoying oranges.
“ Since they have low GI, they trigger a slow spike in your blood sugar levels, making them favourable for people with diabetes. Still, GI shouldn’t be the only factor you should consider, when managing your blood sugar. Your body’s blood sugar response also depends on pairings with other foods like healthy fats or proteins,” concludes Kaul.