It’s so nice to get more sunshine isn’t it? Summer brings warmth and also one of my favourites – fresh fruit! I am definitely looking forward to enjoying the fresh fruit in the months to come.
We continue on our series focusing on My Favourite Things and Why from the East and West perspective. This month, I’d like to tell you about how much I love one particular fruit, oranges!
One of the perfect fruits of the works, it not only provide great nutrition, but also can help our health including the peel! Let me tell you why from East and West health perspectives. First in Chinese medicine, oranges have an affinity to our digestive health of the Spleen and Stomach. It strengthens our “Qi” or vital energy, particularly in the Spleen and Stomach. We need this in our Spleen and Stomach in order to have enough energy to break down foods and extract what nutrients we need from it, and transport it to the rest of the body. In addition, this “Qi” from the Spleen and Stomach provide physical energy to our body, particularily our muscles and cognitive function, as well as contributes to our immune function and passes this on to the Lung’s Qi function. Even further (great trick coming!), if you save the peel, dry them, and then break them in small pieces, you can put them in your tea or soup, to help with digestion! This is particularly good when you have had a greasy meal, or if you over ate. Orange peel is used in Chinese herbal medicine to help digest and break down food (particularly greasy or fatty foods, we call this “Damp” and “Phlegm”) and circulate Qi in the GI tract. This circulation of Qi is important to make sure we don’t have congestion build up, blocked circulation or inflammation. Now in herbal medicine, we do use a particular orange that the peel is aged, however, you can still take any organic orange peel at home and make it yourself. Organic preferred so you are not ingesting pesticides. Add dried orange peel to your black or oolong tea to enhance the digestive qualities (remember the article <LINK> on fermented foods helping digestion too?!) or combine it with green tea for an anti-inflammatory and cognition boost effect – and they make for great naturally orange flavoured tea! Try it and let me know how it goes!
So what about from the West? In Biomedicine, oranges are one of the most common fruits, and are known for their high vitamin C content. One orange can give us our minimum vitamin C (ascorbic acid) requirement of 65 mg and one glass of OJ can provide about 125mg (Hass, 2006). Note, the ascorbic acid is stored in the watery part of the fruit. In addition, oranges have a high amount of potassium and good amount of calcium. The phytonutrients in oranges are abundant also – more on that below. In fact, oranges contain almost all of the vitamins and minerals, at least in modest amounts, making it a unique whole fruit. Vitamin C is useful for our immune system in treating the common cold. In addition, one important function of vitamin C is the production of and maintenance of collagen, the foundation of connective tissue such as our ligaments, cartiladge, vertebral discs, capillary walls and more. We need collagen and vitamin C to give support and shape to the body, help wounds heal, and maintain healthy blood vessels. But wait, there’s more! Vitamin C is also helpful for relieve of inflammatory back pain and pain from inflamed disks. It is considered among the anti-inflammatory foods because of the phytonutrient content which also gives us protection against age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer (University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine) – remember the article on the connection between inflammation and aging? What a powerful nutritional punch in 1 hand!
Speaking of vitamin C, did you know you can test your DNA to see how much vitamin C is appropriate for you? Dr. Katherine P.S. Chung, ND, did a free info session on June 7 on genetic testing for you health! We will post this to our YouTube channel here soon if you missed it!
Did you know…
- We still carry Argan oil!
- We have gift certificates
- We are open Saturdays! Dr. Katherine P.S. Chung can see you for your Acupuncture and Naturopathic medicine needs.
Lastly, we now offer Direct Billing! Please inform us at the beginning of your appointment if you wish for us to submit for you. Ask us about it the next time you are in.
We hope you have a pleasant summer!
Yours in good health and happiness,
Dr. Sonia F. Tan, DAOM & the Red Tree Wellness team
Haas, E. (2006). Staying healthy with nutrition: The complete guide to diet and nutritional medicine. United States: Ten Speed Press.
The University of Arizona. The Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. www.azcim.org.