Oranges are one of the most beloved fruits on the planet.
A single orange delivers almost the entire recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
If you, like most, spit seeds out when eating an orange, you might reconsider that after reading this article.
The palmitic, oleic, and linoleic acids found in the seeds have been linked to increasing energy levels and helping with lethargy and fatigue.
The oils extracted from orange seeds are commonly used in hair care products such as conditioners and serums.
The vitamin C, folic acid, and bioflavonoids found in the seeds increase blood flow to the scalp, accelerating hair growth and strengthening the hair roots and follicles.
Seeds can also be used in cleaning agents.
Oranges are citrus fruits containing a compound called d-limonene.
D-limonene is a natural solvent that can remove grease and dirt, keeping your house smelling fresh.
In addition, d-limonene has been known to prevent cancers of the lung, skin, and breast.
The oils extracted from orange seeds are used in flavorings, nutritional supplements, and other beauty products.
Holistic medicine practitioners use the seed extracts for treatments of certain diseases like arthritis and heart disease.
Oranges and their seeds are also rich in vitamin B6 and magnesium, both nutrients needed to keep your blood pressure low and support the production of hemoglobin.
The fiber and fructose in oranges help control blood sugar levels, making oranges suitable for people with diabetes.
The fiber also helps with gastrointestinal problems and improves bowel health.
Vitamin A from the carotenoids in oranges plays a crucial role in maintaining the mucous membranes in your eyes.
Vitamin A also helps prevent muscular degeneration when aging and helps the eyes absorb light.
Is It Ok To Eat Orange Seeds?
Yes! The seeds, like fruits, are rich sources of antioxidants and vitamin C, both essential nutrients for a healthy immune system.
Antioxidants are necessary for your body to balance free radicals.
They can taste bitter when chewed but can be blended into smoothies or juices to hide their taste.
Vitamin A, C, and antioxidants help your body’s immune system fight free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules with an odd number of electrons.
They can cause chemical imbalances in the body by binding to other molecules and reacting in an oxidation process.
Antioxidant molecules bind to the free radical molecules and make them less unstable.
Our bodies naturally produce free radicals, all part of the body’s complicated process of staying healthy.
Free radicals are also found in the environment, from external factors like:
- Some pesticides
- Chemical cleaners
- Tobacco and cigarette smoke
- Saturated fat
Oxidative stress happens when there is an imbalance of the number of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. When the free radicals are more than the antioxidants, they can damage fatty tissue, DNA, and proteins. The damage can lead to a range of severe diseases including:
- Deterioration of the eye lens
- Inflammation of the joints or arthritis
- Damage to cells in the brain, a condition that can contribute to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s
- High blood pressure and hypertension
- Increased risk of heart disease since free radicals help cholesterol clog arteries.,
It is near impossible to avoid exposure to all free radicals, so we’ll need to up the intake of antioxidants to ensure we remain balanced and healthy.
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of antioxidants.
In addition to fruits and veggies, other sources of antioxidants include:
- Green tea
Certain lifestyle choices can also minimize your exposure to free radicals, like not smoking and drinking alcohol.
Use chemicals with caution, such as pesticides, fertilizers, and cleaning solutions.
Do Orange Seeds Have Cyanide?
The seeds of citrus fruits contain a minimal amount of cyanide and are not harmful if ingested accidentally or blended into smoothies.
In comparison, seeds, or “pips”, of stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, and cherries should not be blended or consumed.
They contain amygdalin, a compound that metabolizes into hydrogen cyanide.
The National Institute of Health says an average 150-pound person can consume 703mg of hydrogen cyanide a day before suffering damage to the body.
Cyanide toxicity is risked at doses of 0.5 to 3.5mg per kilogram of body weight. Symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps
The chances of you getting cyanide poisoning from the seeds of fruits is extremely rare.
It will take an incredible number of seeds to make you sick.
Raw apricot seeds contain about 9mg per seed, while peach seeds contain about 4mg.
It is unlikely you feel the effects of accidentally eating a seed or two.
Apples and crabapples also contain amygdalin but in much lesser amounts.
It would take a whole cup of apple seeds to make ingestion dangerous.
The only way to get cyanide toxicity from apple seeds would be to remove the seeds from an entire bushel of apples and eat them all at once.
Can You Eat Orange Peels?
Be sure to thoroughly wash peels before consumption to remove any lingering pesticides that might have been used to protect oranges from mold and insects.
Alternatively, only use peels from organically grown oranges but still wash them.
The peels of oranges contain a good amount of polyphenols that protect against diseases.
They also contain limonene, a natural chemical that is known to reduce the risk of cancer.
The essential oil in orange peels has anti-inflammatory properties and is linked to boosting immune systems.
Orange peels are roughly textured and bitter, not everyone’s favorite taste.
To counter this, you can eat small amounts at a time or make orange peel tea.
To make orange peel tea, add one teaspoon of finely chopped peels to some water and bring it to a boil.
Boil the mixture for 10 minutes, then strain the tea into the cup, and voila! Orange peel tea!
Orange peels also help with constipation and improve overall gut health.
They have also been credited with reducing acidity and preventing heartburn.
In addition, you can use the peels to make citrus-flavored seasoning salt or citrus-flavored sugar.
You can keep some dried orange peels perpetually on hand to add to salads and drinks by roasting them in an oven to dry them out and storing them in an airtight jar.
Alternatively, you can make orange peel powder and add a dash to drinks and food for the extra citrus zest to dishes.
Grated orange peels also make great additions to soups and salads.
Orange peels have several other uses.
Placing them in a jar of sugar will stop the sugar from hardening.
They absorb moisture and prevent the sugar from solidifying.
You can use unwanted peels as a natural sponge.
The peels are an excellent addition to cleaning products as the oils act as a natural degreaser.
To make a natural homemade cleaning solution, keep some orange peels in an airtight jar and cover them with vinegar and water in equal parts.
Keep the jar in the fridge for a few weeks, shaking occasionally and circulating the liquid.
When ready, strain the liquid and place it in a spray bottle.
Now you’ve got a natural cleaning solution for all your countertops, tables, and whatever you need to wipe down.
The bonus is that your home will smell citrus fresh!
Peels are also great for fighting odors.
Placed strategically throughout the house in mesh or muslin bags, they can help with any musty-smelling areas like basements or trash cans.
Ants, mosquitoes, and some other creepy crawlies seem to avoid citrus fruit.
Scattering peels in your garden or home might help repel some pests.
Make a bug repellant by soaking peels in water for a few weeks and spraying the mixture where you want to stop bugs in their tracks.
Why Is Orange Peel Bad For You?
In addition, pesticides are often used in fruit farms.
Although the fruit itself has been shown to contain little to no pesticides, the peels usually contain much higher amounts. (Source)
When eating peels, wash them thoroughly with hot water to reduce the number of pesticides.
Alternatively, only buy organic oranges grown without the use of chemicals.
Eat small amounts of peels at a time to reduce the risk of any stomach discomfort.