- Published on Monday, 06 August 2012 01:15
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter
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TANZANIANS need to include oranges in their diet, as a routine, if they want to protect their bodies from ailments related to cancer.
The International Medical and Technological University (IMTU) Director and Public Health and Family Health Consultant, Dr Ali Mzige, told the 'Daily News' that oranges not only boost immunity but also have a vital nutrient, Vitamin C that the body needs.
"I successfully helped a lady from getting worse from cervical cancer by pushing her to eat lots of oranges and she was able to live for an additional five years," he said. Dr Mzige revealed that consuming oranges together with its peel (cover) was a good source of fibre and that the Vitamin C helps in absorbing iron to increase one's haemoglobin.
He said that Tanzanians should take advantage of being blessed with numerous fruits and vegetables, citing that knowledge on what nutrients can be found from which fruit would go a long way to ensuring people stay healthy. The family specialist said that for instance, guavas had more Vitamin C than oranges though it is unknown to many and that okra (lady fingers) and other green vegetables had more value in vitamins and other protective substances if eaten raw.
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Acting Assistant Director of Traditional Medicine Section, Dr Paulo Mhame, said that he had recently learnt that there were people exporting orange peels and had wondered what it was for. Dr Mhame said that following this, he was motivated to conduct research on orange peels and found that raw orange peel has 1.5 g of protein and is a source of potassium, riboflavin and vitamin A.
"During the peak of orange season it is normal to see orange peelings discarded on the streets and in dustbins, it is quite obvious that many of us don't know that this 'waste' contains many nutritional benefits," he said. He said that experts cite that the peelings have about the same nutritional value as the flesh itself and that regular consumption of orange peel is considered highly beneficial for a number of health ailments.
He said that some of the key health benefits associated with eating orange peels were associated with the availability of a host of nutrients and vitamins present in the peel. According to Purdue University Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, orange peel is an excellent source of vitamins like Vitamin C, A, B5, B6 and also contains minerals like calcium in abundant amount.
It cites that iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, phosphorous are the other minerals which are present in orange peels and if one isn't interested in eating the orange peel, one can extract Vitamin C and calcium by soaking it in a glass of water. "My research showed that flavonones, which are health-promoting nutrients, are found in the peels and in the inner white pulp. Although it is also found in the juicy centre, it is in a far greater concentration in the pulp," Dr Mhame said.
Other benefits of orange peels include the ability to lower Cholesterol as it enhances the effectiveness of cardiac functions and prevents cardiac disorders like ischemic heart disease as well as curing hangovers by boiling the peels in water for 20 minutes, adding salt and drinking it like tea. According to the University of Michigan Health System, simmering 1 to 2 grams of dried peel in 3 cups of water to make a tea might help relieve indigestion and heartburn. Orange peel has also been used to treat insomnia and as a laxative.
"For people who suffer from oily skin, orange peel can help. This is a very good beauty tool; paste of orange peel applied on the face removes the dead skin off. It will also mean benefit in the form of tightening the pores and making the skin look youthful and fresher," the findings of the university said.