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By M. Núñez, C. Navarro and Montse Tàpia
The red pulp of this orange is not only exquisite but is also full of antioxidants that promote health. These months are ideal to enjoy it.
The sanguine or red is a variety of orange that is characterized by its pulp of an attractive burgundy color. It may be somewhat smaller than other varieties and its smooth orange skin is dotted with red specks. Its color is due to the presence of anthocyanins, a class of pigments more common in berries than in citrus fruits and which effectively protects health.
A treasure among citrus
In addition to providing antioxidants, blood orange is light and rich in vitamins.
It provides few calories due to its high content in water and fiber, and moderate in sugars.
Soluble fiber promotes the health of the intestinal flora, a good transit and the reduction of cholesterol. According to studies by the Institute of Oncology in Milan (Italy), blood orange reduces blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, and inhibits the formation of plaques that impede circulation, thanks to the joint action of anthocyanins, fiber and other compounds, such as hydroxycinnamic acids and hesperidin.
Its vitamin C is 40% higher than ordinary oranges in the tarocco variety, which can provide up to 60 mg in 100 ml of juice. This nutrient increases the absorption of iron, calcium and phosphorus, and participates in the synthesis of collagen, thus preventing premature aging. One sanguine a day is enough to obtain the necessary amount of vitamin C (60 mg).
Beta-carotene, another antioxidant pigment, is more abundant in sanguine than in other oranges. It strengthens the immune system and is transformed into vitamin A as the body needs it. Terpenic essential oils, typical of citrus fruits, also fight against free radicals.
It provides folic acid and vitamin B1, necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system and for its development during the growth stage. Some studies link it to intellectual performance, prevention of fatigue, and some types of anemia.
Its minerals include calcium, magnesium and iron, a powerful antioxidant
Anthocyanins, the antioxidant pigments that stain the pulp of blood oranges, accumulate in the vesicles that separate the segments. They are a powerful antioxidant that, wherever it passes, traps free radicals and favors their elimination. In this way, it helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases and various types of cancer - especially those of the colon and stomach - as effectively or more than the antioxidants found in green tea, berries or cabbages.
By inhibiting certain digestive enzymes, anthocyanins lower blood glucose levels and reduce the absorption of fats after meals, thus preventing obesity and diabetes. On the other hand, it highlights the effect on the circulatory system, as it increases the resistance of the walls of blood vessels and decreases their permeability.
Although it is a pleasure to consume blood orange as a table fruit in full season, it can be added to the same recipes in which normal oranges would be used and it is ideal for making juices and smoothies, as well as fruit salads, carpaccio, salads, sauces, ice cream, sorbets, jam and cakes.
With goat cheeses or spread, it contrasts wonderfully.
Nuts and dried fruits combine well with sanguine in dishes of rice, bulgur or couscous as well as pasta or vegetables.
M. Núñez and C. Navarro (health) and Montse Tàpia (kitchen)