When we hear citrus, we usually first think oranges. But grapefruit, lime and lemon facts will make you want to put these juicy jewel-like treats on the menu every day as well.
Whether sweet or sour each of these special fruits packs their own nutritional punch.
Because they share their health benefits and all qualify as super foods, we have grouped them together here.
Here are a few reasons we should include citrus fruits in our diets every day.
Orange, Grapefruit, Lime and Lemon Facts
We are all aware that citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C and we’ll see that vitamin C is a powerful nutrient.
Another of the amazing orange, lime, grapefruit and lemon facts is that citrus fruits also contain many citrus flavonoids and phytochemicals that help protect our bodies from disease.
Oranges in particular have over 60 different flavonoids and more than 170 phytochemicals, each of which has health giving properties.
Oranges also contain potassium and folic acid.
All citrus fruits contain valuable fiber, especially in the membranes separating the sections and in the white part of the rind (or pith). For that reason, when you eat a fresh orange or grapefruit, it is always best to try to eat at least a bit of the white around the juicy sections of fruit.
Orange, Grapefruit, Lime and Lemon Facts For Health
The benefits of lemon, lime, and the other citrus fruits are many. To begin with, the citrus bioflavanoids in all of these fruits have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties.
Many of these citrus bioflavanoids have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and blood clot inhibiting abilities.
The consumption of even one serving of citrus fruits has been shown to decrease the risk for stroke by as much as 19%.
One of the citrus flavonoids found in the white pith of oranges has shown great promise in the lowering of high blood pressure and cholesterol, which means it is a good idea if at least some of our consumption of oranges and grapefruit is in the form of the whole fruit rather than just the juice.
The vitamin C found in oranges and other citrus fruits performs many important functions in our bodies. It neutralizes damaging free radicals and can help prevent cancers, especially colon cancer.
Citrus also helps prevent stomach cancer and cancers of the mouth and larynx.
Vitamin C in oranges and other citrus fruits helps prevent LDL or bad cholesterol Some compounds in the peel or rind of oranges has been found to lower LDL cholesterol levels as much as some cholesterol lowering drugs!
Vitamin C has also been linked to a reduction in the severity of inflammatory conditions, like asthma and arthritis, both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also protects the heart from cardiovascular disease and can slow the progression of diabetic heart disease.
Vitamin C helps to maintain a healthy immune system so it is good for preventing colds.
Citrus fruits contain a good amount of folate. Folate lowers levels of homocysteine in the body and high levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
The potassium in citrus fruits helps to lower blood pressure and protects against stroke.
Citrus fruits are also a good source of fiber, which will help keep blood sugar levels under control. Fiber is an aid in lowering cholesterol levels as well and helps prevent hardening of the arteries.
Fiber also helps make you feel full on fewer calories – great for those of us trying to find our waistlines again!
Orange, lime, grapefruit and lemon facts show undeniably that these juicy and delicious fruits are powerhouses of nutrition and belong on any list of 10 healthiest foods.
How to get more Citrus Fruits in your Diet:
- Grate orange, tangerine or lemon peel and add it to tea, yogurt, or a hot cereal like oatmeal.
- Add orange or lemon zest to salad dressing or sprinkle on your salad.
- Make a salad dressing using fresh lemon, lime or orange juice instead of vinegar. It’s both tasty and refreshing.
- More lemon facts: Adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to fresh cut fruit or a fruit salad will keep fruits like apples and pears from going brown and add that extra nutritional zip.
- Toss orange slices or canned mandarin oranges on your salad.
- Slice oranges or lemons and place them on top of fish or chicken before baking or grilling.
- Don’t forget to just eat oranges, tangerines and grapefruits whole. The bit of white pith you will eat with the flesh is very healthy and adds fiber to your day.
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