OPINION: Orange-eating shower sessions are an experience you didn’t know you needed


Emma Sutton / Hilltop Views

Eating an orange in the shower not only has a comforting, primal sense, but it also invites a citrus aroma that is healthy and calming.

Sometimes as a child if I had a particularly bad day, my mom would tell me to eat an orange in the shower. I would peel the orange while the water got nice and steamy, taking my time to eat each individual slice. I have kept up with this habit throughout my life and never thought it was odd until I told my friends about it: They had never heard of anything like it and were confused as to why I do it. 

For me, eating an orange in the shower is therapeutic. It takes me back to something primal: tearing apart a piece of fruit with your bare hands, not caring if you get juice all over yourself. When you peel it, the orange emits a citrus aroma that when mixed with the steam of the shower creates a wonderful atmosphere. When you live in university housing, you want all the spa-like experiences you can get. 

I’m not eating oranges in the shower every day — that would be a little too much indulgence for me — but eating one every now and then is the perfect way to end a stressful day.  

Research has shown that citrus scents can help relieve stress. Some people like to knock aromatherapy — trust me, I’ve been there too — but sometimes it really does work. According to the National Cancer Institute, aromatherapy can help reduce stress and anxiety. Aromatherapy has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety, especially in cancer patients.

Besides relieving stress, oranges are incredible for your immune system and your gut health. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C: vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to improve iron absorption, boost immunity and keep your skin looking nice and glowy. For adults, it is important to get 75-90 milligrams of vitamin C everyday, as our bodies don’t create it on their own. Oranges can support nearly 70% of your daily vitamin C quota. 

Have you ever been to a Chinese restaurant and been given oranges after your meal and wondered why? The answer: Oranges are good for digestion. Oranges are naturally high in fiber and anti-inflammatories, making them perfect for an after-dinner treat to better your gut health. All in all, oranges are good for you and even better for you in the shower: what a double whammy. 

When I asked my mom why she had me eat oranges in the shower, she couldn’t really come up with an answer.  It was something she probably only told me to do once, but it clearly stuck with me. I’ve been eating shower oranges on and off for the last 10 or so years, and I will continue my ritual, even if people think it’s odd.

Before reading this if you thought “she’s crazy, I would never eat an orange in the shower,” I hope I’ve convinced you to try it at least once. I promise my ritual is worth a try, even if you don’t end up adopting it. Happy oranging!