Double Whammy: Oranges & Onions and Tears

The post is a double-whammy this time! Two posts in one! I realize that I have written a post on oranges previously. This post, however, has some new information. Also, reminders never hurt!

Oranges!

Did you know that oranges carry an abundance of benefits?  They are not only juicy and sweet, but the nutrients in these berries can fight cancers through the antioxidant properties and the vitamin content. Just one orange can provide more than 100% of the daily recommendation for vitamin C.  Two cups of orange juice daily has been shown to reduce the pH of the urine and thus lower the chance of the development of kidney stones.  Oranges have the ability to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  Rubbing orange peel on acne has been shown to reduce the outbreak. The limonene content in oranges makes orange peel and its products effective in killing houseflies and fleas. This compound is also what contributes to the citrusy smell of oranges! Orange peel contains “saponins” that have the ability to kill larvae. Saponions are glycoside compounds that also produce foam or lather (Dr. Edward group, 2016).  Oranges can also bring down inflammation.  The compound that is responsible for this quality is “hesperidin,” found in the orange peel and in the white membrane.  Hesperidin has great healing abilities and the ability to provide relief for upset stomach and constipation (Milind and Dev, 2012). The hesperidin in the oranges has been shown to bring down blood pressure. Eating oranges after a major operation such as surgery has been shown to help with the healing of the wound and reduce inflammation (Morand, Dubray, Milenkovic, Lioger, Martin, et al, 2011).

Oranges are not only flavorful, beautiful, and juice-ful, but they also house an abundance of beneficial qualities.  So add oranges to your grocery list.  As the saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” maybe it would be wise to rotate apple and oranges!  Any harm? No. Any benefit? Boat loads!  A cold orange is a great snack on a hot summer day.

Onions and Tears

Have you ever cut onions and started “crying?” It happens to me all too often.  I love onions, but the painful tears are a price to pay.  Why does this happen?  When the onion is cut enzymes are released and create a gas which irritates the eyes.  Yes, it’s really that simple.  Touching the eyes while cutting should be avoided as this can worsen the problem.

How can the tears be avoided in the first place?  Here are some tips: besides wearing protective goggles, using an oh-so sharp knife will result in a smoother cut and thus less of the enzyme is released.  The root holds a lot of the enzymes so be sure to keep the root in intact!  Starting with a cold onion or rinsing the onion periodically will decrease the release of the irritant.  Lighting a match or candle releases sulfur which turns off the enzymes, keeping them from bothering the eyes (VSP: Individual visual plans, 2017; Peninsula laser eye medical group, 2017).

Here is the in-depth process of the reaction that happens in a cut onion and the eye:

“1.  Lachrymatory-factor synthase is released into the air when we cut an onion.

  1. The synthase enzyme converts the amino acids sulfoxides of the onion into sulfenic acid.
  2. The unstable sulfenic acid rearranges itself into syn-ropanethial-S-oxide.
  3. Syn-propanethial-S-oxide gets into the air and comes in contact with our eyes. The lachrymal glands become irritated and produces the tears!” (Library of congress: Everyday mysteries, 2017)
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