It almost seems silly to look for reasons to eat more citrus. After all, it is so delicious! But citrus has unique benefits that set it apart from other types of fruit.
Whether you prefer to eat oranges or grapefruit or another variety, here are the things you need to know about citrus.
Citrus fruit comes from flowering trees and shrubs. The different fruits that we have today are all hybrids from three species: the mandarin orange, the pummelo and the citron. The plants that they grow from have evergreen leaves and the fruits have leathery rinds that need to be peeled to reveal the fruit below.
Citrus fruits have segments and inside each one is pulp. The fruit is considered mature when it is done growing, but it is not ripe until the inner starches turn to sugar and the acid levels fall. The best way to tell when it’s ripe is by the softening flesh and change in color.
Besides their great taste, citrus fruits are also known for their strong fragrance.
Citrus is good for you in so many ways. Here are just a few:
Citrus protects your heart.
Citrus is loaded with flavonoids. These are antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. They protect us against heart disease by improving blood flow through our arteries. They boost good HDL and prevent bad LDL cholesterol from forming.
Citrus heals the skin from the inside out.
Citrus is very high in vitamin C. A single orange has more than 100% of the recommended daily dose, and organic oranges may have even more. Vitamin C is another antioxidant that synthesizes collagen. It helps our bodies to heal wounds and to form the strong cells that bind our bones, blood vessels, tendons and ligaments. It also helps us to absorb the iron in our food and has been shown to cut the time and symptoms of the common cold.
Citrus is high in folate.
Folate helps our bodies to synthesize DNA. It has also been linked to reduced risk of depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Citrus helps widdle your waistline.
Citrus holds a lot of water and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both help you feel full longer, and that can help you lose weight. It can also help you avoid constipation. Grapefruit, in particular, has been linked to boosting weight loss efforts.
Citrus is a powerful flavor enhancer.
It can help you to cut down on your use of salt.
Citrus may help you live longer.
A study showed that elderly men and women who ate at least two servings of citrus per week had a reduced mortality rate than those who ate it less than once per week on average.
Citrus won’t spike your blood sugar.
Oranges and grapefruit both have low glycemic index scores. Eating one does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
If you are going to add more citrus to your diet, it is important that you do so with whole fruit rather than juice. Most juices you can buy at the grocery store are loaded with sugar.
A great way to boost your citrus intake is to add it to salads. Orange sections are delicious with dark greens, beets, fish and other healthy foods.
If you’re looking for deliciously healthy and simple recipes to incorporate more citrus in your day, grab a copy of Danette’s cookbook that’s filled with over 150 quick and easy fat burning recipes.
Yours in health,
Guest Post by Danette May