As I walk Paddy through the orange groves, still heavy with fruit, I am eternally thankful to whatever or whoever brought me to this place, because I love oranges, and they are truly healthy. Everyone knows that oranges are full of vitamin C, and that’s important for health, but to someone like me with an auto-immune system disease like Lupus, vitamin C is crucial. It boosts my immune system, and guards against infection. This is really important for me, because a simple cold can turn into a chest infection with depressing ease.
Strong Spanish antibiotics might clear the infection, but I’m left with inflammation on the lungs, and that can take weeks to settle down. I start each day with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, made from two large locally grown Valencian oranges. This way, I’m doing my best to stay naturally healthy – especially since recent research has shown that getting vitamin C from its food source is much more effective than taking supplements.
Getting to the science bit, the flavenoid herperidin, which is found in the skin and pith of oranges, can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Personally, I’m not a fan of orange skin and pith, but I do make a food processor marmalade that uses the whole orange, so I get the full health benefits from my oranges. I’ll post the recipe for you to try, while the oranges are still really cheap and flavourful.
If you want a quick pick up for tired skin, juice some oranges and freeze them in ice cube trays. Then just rub a cube of frozen orange juice over your skin to close the pores and tone your skin. And you can make an excellent conditioner for your hair by mixing the juice of an orange with an equal amount of water and a spoonful of honey. Apply to clean hair and leave for 5 – 10 minutes before rinsing out. This conditioner also stimulates hair growth – that’s another plus for me, because due to the Lupus, I moult almost as quickly as Paddy. Using this conditioner once a month keeps my remaining hair looking shiny and healthy.
When it comes to keeping your body and your skin healthy, you don’t have to spend a fortune. Nature has everything you need – particularly here in Spain, where fruit and vegetables are seasonal and affordable.