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Yesterday, I couldn t resist picking the seasonal special bright Indian oranges. My hunger pangs coaxed me into eating the orange en route home. So I removed the peel and popped a slice in my mouth. My friend on the other hand, was delicately removing the pith from the slice and trashing it. Hasn t she heard that the pith is very nutritious? Maybe she hasn t, just like many others. So I decided to speak to our expert dietitian and sports nutritionist Deepshikha Agarwal and get the facts for you. You may already be aware of the health benefits of the orange, here s what the pith packs.
What is the pith?
For those who are still wondering, the pith is the white threads you see on the fruit. Some of it is stuck to the peel while a few stay on the fruit, depending on how you peel the orange. Even the peel packs in a lot of benefits.
Benefits of the orange pith
Rich in fibre: The visual appearance itself denotes that the pith is rich in fibre. In fact, orange as a fruit can be rich in fibre only if the pith is consumed along with it. Removing the pith reduces the fibre content of an orange by almost 30%. Pectin, a form of fibre is present in the pith, which helps relieve you of diarrhoea and control cholesterol.
Source of Vitamin C: Orange is rich in Vitamin C, so is the pith. You will be surprised to know that the pith contains the same amount of vitamin C that is present in the fruit. Eating the pith along with the fruit will up your vitamin C intake.
Antioxidant-rich: Antioxidants in the form of flavonoids are present abundantly in the pith. This give a powerful boost to our immune system and is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial in nature. Naringen, a substance present in flavonoids increases the good cholesterol (HDL) level of your body.
Eating the orange pith
The best way to consume it is along with the fruit. Remove the peel delicately so a large proportion of the pith stays on the fruit. It may taste slightly bitter in the first go, but it will add a new flavour to the tangy, sweet orange. You can also collect the pith, churn it in the grinder and add the coarse powder in orange based desserts or marmalades for enhanced flavour and nutritive value.
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