Citrus: Health-Boosting Super Fruits - PIH Health

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Published on December 04, 2014

Citrus: Health-Boosting Super Fruits


Citrus: Health-Boosting Super Fruits

From the produce section of a grocery store to the sunny aisles at local farmer’s markets, citrus fruits can be found just about anywhere, all year long. The versatility of citrus fruits spans from a glass of orange juice in the morning to a great addition to a tangy salad dressing for lunch. But the great taste is just one of the many benefits to adding citrus fruits to your diet. Here are a few more reasons to include citrus to your meals:

Daily Dose of Vitamin C

We all know that oranges are a great way to get our daily dose of Vitamin C, but did you know a medium orange has 70 mg, which satisfies nearly 100% of your daily needs? Vitamin C is your body’s primary water soluble antioxidant. Vitamin C is important for healthy skin as well as helping your body absorb iron from your food. Your body prefers Vitamin C in small doses, rather than the mega-doses found in supplements so nature provides the perfect amount in a single orange.

Strengthens Your Immune System

Because they contain vitamin C, citrus fruits have been recommended to help fight off the common cold and flu. They also support proper function of the immune system.

Cancer-Fighting Agents

Fruits such as lemons and limes contain limonins, which have been associated with decreased risk of cancers of the mouth, skin, lungs, breast and stomach. In a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study, limonin remained in the bloodstream for up to 24 hours.

Good Source of Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber not only helps promote digestive health, but it also helps lower cholesterol levels. Tangerines and Mandarin oranges are types of citrus rich in fiber as well as vitamins C, A, B1, B2 and B6.  To get the fiber, you need to eat the whole fruit – not just the juice.

Full of Potassium

Potassium, a mineral found in many foods, is necessary for the metabolism, muscle tissue regulation, blood pressure control and proper function of body cells. Citrus fruits like oranges or white grapefruits contain high amounts of potassium, nearly 10 percent of your daily recommended intake.

Here are a few ways to work citrus fruits into your diet:

  • Use limes as a natural salad dressing
  • For added flavor, include lemon slices in your water or squeeze the juice over some vegetables
  • Lemon is a great seasoning – sub lemon juice for salt to lower your sodium intake
  • Freeze fresh lemon juice in an ice cube tray and use the cubes to flavor and cool your water
  • Snack on tangerines for a sweet treat during the afternoon
  • Add chopped fruit such as grapefruit to your breakfast or to a salad at lunch

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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