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With this article we open a series called “Orange of the month” in which we explain the different types of oranges, their benefits, their history and their uses. In this way, we hope you can get the best out of each fruit and make good use of its advantages.

Navel oranges

The name of this orange comes from the English word “navel” which means “navel” in Spanish. This is because the main fruit has a rudimentary fruit, much smaller, which can be seen when cutting the orange in half. The shape and size of this secondary fruit depends on the weather conditions and is never uniform or equal in all oranges. The navelins originated from a spontaneous mutation around the year 1820 in the area of ​​the current Salvador. He came to our continent for the first time in Portugal, brought from China and Brazil. Currently, they are grown mostly in China, Spain, Morocco, California, South Africa and Turkey. In Venezuela and other South American countries it is known under the name Orange California.

The fruit

Navel oranges have an intense orange color. The bark of variable thickness is easy to peel and the orange has a sweet flavor with an acid touch. This species is more prone to give larger fruits and with fewer seeds than other species of oranges. However, trees are less vigorous and less productive, in addition to having more specific requirements in terms of climate adaptation. For all the above we can conclude that the trees of these oranges have a limited production per year. Uses and benefits: Navel oranges are among the favorites of breakfasts and desserts. They are often used in the creation of orange marmalades and as a complement to fruit salads, but they are undoubtedly better known as oranges for juice. Naveline juice contains low levels of limolin – a very bitter compound that people detect more easily. We only need around 5 parts per million for the juice to taste bitter. It is recommended to mix the juice of the navelines with juice of other species of oranges with low content of lemon, to obtain a sweet and pleasant drink. Other known uses are:
  • The oils extracted from oranges are used to season foods and drinks and also in the creation of fragrances for perfumes and aromatherapy.
  • The husks are used to repel slugs in gardening.
  • Dry flowers are used for teas and desserts.

Nutritional benefits

The navelins have a large amount of antioxidants and vitamin C, like most citrus fruits. Vitamin C is responsible for stimulating the immune system, prevents heart disease and helps absorb iron. You can take the recommended daily amount of vitamin C by drinking 2 glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice during the day. The fiber in these oranges stimulates the movements of the intestinal tract and helps improve cholesterol levels. Beta-carotene helps prevent cell damage. In general, navelins are known to decrease the risk of stomach and esophageal cancer.
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