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Oranges don’t just taste refreshing but are also good for you.
They are rich in vitamins, phytonutrients, and offer a number of health benefits.
Thanks to vitamin C, oranges help support our immune system, skin health, and resilience to stress.
Oranges are a much healthier alternative to refined sugar, which is basically empty calories.
This article answers the question “does eating oranges reduce stress”, along with exploring other benefits of this citrus fruit.
Health Benefits of Oranges
Oranges belong to citrus fruits. They have many health benefits for the body, including (1):
- Help reduce the risk of kidney stones
- Contain fiber which supports gut health
- Low in calories
- Improve cholesterol levels
Vitamin C For Stress
Along with the benefits mentioned above, citrus fruit like orange helps protect your body from free radicals, which cause havoc in the body and increase stress. (6, 7)
Now, the reason why oranges help you against stress is due to vitamin C.
Found in high quantities in oranges, vitamin C makes your body more resilient to stress. No matter if it’s emotional (an argument with a friend) or physical (hard training in the gym).
What’s more, vitamin C is shown to reduce cortisol, one of the stress hormones. (2)
Cortisol is usually not a threat to us.
Typically, you’ll have higher cortisol in the morning as a part of the mechanism to wake you up and get you going.
Then throughout the day, it slowly levels off, reaching its lowest point in the evening when you go to bed.
But if you’re under constant stress, you know what happens.
Cortisol stays high and you’re unable to fall asleep, along with other issues that cortisol brings.
Luckily, this is where oranges can be of great help. Thanks to vitamin C they help reduce cortisol along with overall feelings of stress, which could help you maintain balanced stress hormones throughout the day and night.
How Phytochemicals in Oranges Reduce Stress
Alongside vitamin C, there are phytochemicals in oranges which also reduce stress.
In fact, this combination of antioxidants is extremely powerful from protecting your cells from damage.
Phytochemicals, aka, antioxidants in oranges work together with vitamin C to (1):
- Lower inflammation
- Improve blood flow
- Fend off free radicals
Ultimately, this makes oranges one of the ultimate stress-relieving foods.
Does Smelling Oranges Relieve Stress?
Who said you have to eat oranges to reduce stress?
According to Prevention, smelling them can be just as beneficial.
And studies confirm this. It turns out that aromas from citrus fruits are shown to reduce tension and anxiety in people who’re experiencing stress. (5)
Other citrus fruits that provide similar benefits include:
Other Ways of Reducing Stress
If you aren’t into smelling or eating oranges, no worries. There are plenty of other, science-proven ways to reduce your stress levels and improve mood. Let’s have a look at the most effective ones:
Being mindful is one of the most powerful ways of reducing stress. There are many definitions for mindfulness, but essentially, it’s a practice of focusing on a present moment – giving your full attention to the activity you’re currently doing. Whether that’s listening to music, walking down the street and paying attention to the sounds around you, or watching the birds fly on a sunny day. Not thinking about the past, nor future. One easy way you can practice being mindful is to meditate every day for 5 minutes, focusing on your breath. This is proven to calm the mind and reduce stress. (3)
Any type of exercise is good for relieving stress. But perhaps the most effective one is HIIT (high-intensity interval cardio). This includes doing short but intense bouts of exercise followed by a period of rest. A good example would be sprints, where you sprint for 15 seconds followed by 1 minute of rest. (4)
Anti-stress nootropics are big right now. These natural brain-boosting supplements are shown to alleviate tensions, anxiety, and depression while boosting your neurotransmitters. Some nootropics also act like adaptogens, meaning they make your body more resilient to stress. Things that used to disturb you start to have little effect after taking nootropics. Some of the best nootropics currently on the market include Mind Lab Pro and Performance Lab Mind. These two nootropics use an array of proven ingredients which work together to boost your mental health, mood, and resilience to stress.
Conclusion: Does Eating Oranges Reduce Stress?
So, does eating oranges reduce stress?
The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
See, oranges contain a good amount of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant which is shown to reduce stress hormones, including cortisol.
Along with this, oranges provide plenty of other benefits. What’s more, they are high in disease-fighting antioxidants.
And if you’re aren’t a fan of eating oranges, smelling them can offer similar benefits – reducing your stress levels.
However, combining eating healthy foods like oranges with other methods of reducing stress will ultimately give you the biggest benefits.
Some of the best things you can do to reduce stress now:
- Practicing mindfulness meditation
- Taking anti-stress nootropics such as Mind Lab Pro and Performance Lab Mind
Next time stress knocks on your door, why not try some of these methods?
Let us know in the comments below which stress-relieving method you prefer.
7 Reasons to Eat More Citrus Fruits. (source)
Eat Right, Drink Well, Stress Less: Stress-Reducing Foods, Herbal Supplements, and Teas. (source)
Meditation: Process and Effects. (source)
Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute stress in healthy adults. (source)
The ambient odor of orange in a dental office reduces anxiety and improves mood in female patients. (source)
Effects of Oral Vitamin C Supplementation on Anxiety in Students: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. (source)
The impact of essential fatty acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc supplementation on stress levels in women: a systematic review. (source)