The Surprising Reasons An Orange Is The Ultimate Snack To Pack On Your Next Flight

Oranges make for the perfect snack, especially when traveling. They're portable, come with their own wrapper, and are generally TSA-approved (stick to small oranges to be safe). The fruit can be a healthy and refreshing pick-me-up between those questionable in-flight meals. Plus, vitamin C can't hurt, especially when your immune system is being put to the test with jet lag, new environments, and a coughing seatmate.

However, that's not all they're good for. Peeling an orange releases a pleasant scent that can help to freshen up stale cabin air. Think of the fruit as an on-the-go natural deodorizer. Besides smelling good, the scent of oranges can offer some much-needed relief from the stress and exhaustion associated with air travel. A 2012 study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found a link between the smell of sweet oranges and reduced anxiety symptoms. Another 2012 study published in Flavour concluded that citrus aromas have an energizing effect. If you're nearing the end of a long flight and feeling sluggish, inhaling the scent of fresh oranges could help get you moving just in time for landing.

Oranges can quickly upgrade dull in-flight drinks

It goes without saying that oranges aren't just for sniffing — they're for tasting, too, and besides nibbling on slices the traditional way, the fruit's versatility can come in handy when rehydrating mid-flight. A couple of pieces can quickly turn standard airline drinks into a luxurious delight. Try popping some slices in your portable bottle and ask the flight attendant to top it up with water. The citrusy zing will have you guzzling your H2O — a must for staving off dehydration caused by flying.

You can also use an orange to create a cocktail that will bring your taste buds back to life on your flight. Your sense of taste is diminished when you're cruising in the air, thanks to "lack of humidity, lower air pressure, and the background noise," Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, explains to BBC. The Fraunhofer Institute, in partnership with Lufthansa, discovered during a series of studies that while salty and sweet flavors take the biggest hit, fruity and acidic ones tend to taste the same whether on land or in the air. Translation: A squeeze of orange into a boozy cocktail might give it the kick you're looking for during your journey.