Does Eating More Oranges Really Help When You're Sick?

Oranges aren't just a sweet and juicy fruit — they can also improve your immune health. That's because oranges are packed full of vitamin C, an essential vitamin and powerful antioxidant that can boost your immune system to help fight off colds and disease (via Healthline). Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, which help protect your body against infections and foreign pathogens, like bacteria. As an antioxidant, vitamin C can also protect white blood cells from disease-carrying free radicals and other molecules that may cause damage to your cells.

Since vitamin C is not naturally produced or stored in the body, you need to get it from your everyday diet. "Oranges are widely recognized as one of the top sources of vitamin C and offer 70-100 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C in one orange," Frances Largeman-Roth, a registered dietician nutritionist, told Real Simple. "But they provide so much more than just a single vitamin. The whole fruit boasts great benefits that have a positive effect on our well-being."

Other health benefits of oranges

In addition to boosting your immune system, oranges contain a number of other important health benefits. First and foremost, oranges can help prevent constipation and promote heart health (via Livestrong). That's because oranges are a good source of soluble fiber, which can reduce gas and bloating and help lower cholesterol. Eating oranges on a regular basis can keep you regular and lower your risk of heart disease.

Oranges can also promote skin health. The vitamin C in oranges can help assist the production of collagen, a protein that gives your skin its strength and elasticity. Eating more oranges can increase the production of collagen in your body, giving your skin a more healthy and youthful glow. Additionally, oranges can help prevent birth defects (via Shape). Oranges are high in folate, a nutrient that plays an important role in fetal development. Consuming enough folate can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects, or malformations in the brain, skull, and spine.