What people don't always know is that Tarocco oranges, together with Moro and Sanguinello, typically cultivates from central-eastern Sicily, are real natural concentrates of well-being: not only due to their vitamin C, as one might think, but also for their high flavonoid content.
Blood oranges and antioxidants, a natural link
Even more than blonde oranges, blood oranges, i.e., the Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinello varieties, provide more antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, which are found in large quantities in the pulp and are also responsible for their typical colour.
The presence of anthocyanins in the flesh of blood oranges starts to be visible in the final stages of ripening.
This is almost a “magic” of nature, as the formation of this antioxidant and its reddish colouring, is influenced by temperature, location, crop genotype and the type of soil where the plant grows.
In practice, the sudden change in temperature, especially the difference in temperature between day and night on Etna's slopes, is perceived by the plants as stress and complex mechanisms are activated to “protect” the cells of the fruit. Anthocyanins also play a role in protecting plants from UV radiation, especially in the case of young plants or those with new “shoots” and when chlorophyll and wax production has not yet begun, as well as from pathogens.
Anthocyanins: What are the benefits for our body?
The anthocyanins contained in blood orange are bioactive molecules that are very important for the body's health. In fact, these antioxidants have several functions and are able to counteract free radicals and oxidising molecules produced by cellular metabolism by improving and protecting cells and the body's tissues in general.
Blood oranges for a healthy heart
Anthocyanins are ideal for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. In fact, a 16-year study of 34,489 post-menopausal American women showed that a diet of foods rich in flavonoids, especially anthocyanins, reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Anthocyanins are also said to be important in reducing blood pressure.
Anthocyanins: natural anti-inflammatories
Blood oranges, i.e., the Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinello varieties, are rich in anthocyanins, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. They have a dual function: they counteract the production of cytokines and molecules such as nitric oxide, which are responsible for inflammation, but they also stimulate the immune system and thus improve the body's response to bacteria and other pathogens.
Blood oranges are the ideal fruit for fighting flu, fever and colds.
When you consider that the antioxidants are also accompanied by a higher vitamin C content, blood oranges are also the ideal fruit for combating flu, fever and colds.
Blood oranges keep you young
There is no person who does not want to fight the passage of time and, especially, the signs of ageing. Oranges are the ideal fruit for staying young. In fact, the high presence of anthocyanins and other antioxidants belonging to the flavonoid group would be able to combat the signs of ageing by performing an anti-ageing action. This was demonstrated in a study by the Fondazione Veronesi on a nematode, a worm, which lived 10% longer thanks to the administration of anthocyanins.
Why consume blood oranges?
Blood oranges are an extraordinary gift from nature: beautiful to look at with their typical colour and tasty to eat, they lend themselves to many different uses.
In fact, you only need to include blood oranges in your diet to enjoy these benefits. Whether squeezed, eaten fresh in wedges or in salads, blood oranges are a concentrate of well-being that helps you cope better with everyday life, which is often made up of stress, an unbalanced diet, smoking, alcohol and pollution that encourage the production of free radicals.
Take a look at our recipes to bring blood oranges to the table in a different way every time!
Moro, Sanguinello or Tarocco oranges: which should I choose?
There is very little difference in the amount of anthocyanins contained in these three varieties of blood oranges. However, these types of oranges vary in taste and in the colour of their flesh.
Discover the availability of blood oranges on our calendar.