BLOG 257 CITRUS
Eating citrus is a great way to meet the 5 to 9 recommended servings of fruit. Think of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, tangerines and so on. There are many advantages to your health from this sweet treat. There are different types of citrus with different nutrients that provide these healthy benefits. Some of these benefits include assisting the prevention of cardiovascular disease, skin damage and cancer from the sun. Additionally they’re packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, folate, and fiber. We always hear about having citrus when a cold or the flu hits to boost immunity.
Citrus is great for your heart. This type of fruit contains flavonoids which helps lower the LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Flavonoids give citrus its color and flavor. They help eliminate carcinogens form the body and kill cancer cells. Eating fruit versus drinking fruit juice provides 5 times more the flavonoid power because the membranes and white pith of the fruits contain this nutrient. Flavonoids reduce inflammation through their antioxidant power. Yes, fruit has sugar, but citrus is low on the glycemic index. This means it won’t spike your blood sugar. The glucose that fruit does contain is released slowly into the bloodstream. Energy is boosted without the crash later.
This type of fruit is popular for its Vitamin C contents. This type of vitamin helps produce collagen which is beneficial to the skin and tendons. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for men is 90 milligrams and for women 75 milligrams per day. A small orange contains 53 milligrams of vitamin C while ½ grapefruit contains 34 milligrams. Vitamin C has been linked to lowering the risk for heart disease. Vitamin C has the ability to neutralize free radicals that try to damage healthy cells. In doing so, inflammation is avoided and the risk for chronic diseases is reduced. Vitamin C won’t prevent a cold, but it can reduce its duration and severity. Vitamin C will help reduce sickly symptoms.
Citrus is also loaded with fiber. This fruit contains about 60-70% soluble fiber which lowers cholesterol and keeps blood sugar levels stable. The other 30% or so is insoluble fiber which helps with digestion and constipation prevention. Even a small orange contains 2.4 grams of fiber out of the recommended 25 grams of fiber we should consume per day.
Other benefits include the fact that citrus is loaded in water which means they help with hydration. Oranges are 87% water while grapefruits are 88% water. Their water filled nature means they are low in calories too. Citrus is diet friendly. A 100 gram size orange contains just about 50 calories. Citrus also contains plenty of potassium which can help the body flush out sodium. Citrus is a great choice to add healthy flavor to many options. A healthy community and YOU tops a salad, eats citrus as a snack, with a sandwich, squeezed over fresh fish, or uses it as a dressing. There are many ways citrus can perk up, sweeten up, and add pizzazz to common dishes. Just remember, eat the whole fruit for best nutrient results. Your body and taste buds will thank you.