Citrus fruits are part of most people’s diets in one form or another, but many do not fully realize how important and beneficial citrus fruits are. For a small fruit they are full of nutrients and well known for being full of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. This vitamin is probably the most well known vitamin of all and getting plenty into your body is vital. On top of this, citrus fruits are also packed full of vitamin B6.
Citrus fruits have long been a popular fruit to tackle disease and ailments because of the high levels of vitamin C. They used to be given to sailors on long voyages to prevent the onset of scurvy. However, the benefits of the citrus fruits are not limited to historic voyages across the sea, and they’re beneficial properties reach far and wide across the spectrum of healthy living.
Below, we have listed 9 benefits of consuming Coconut Oil:
1. They’re Low In Calories
The first thing to note about citrus fruits is that they’re very low in calorie content. This means you’ll be easily able to get some in your diet with little impact on your calorie counter. For example, the average amount of calories in a single orange is 80 calories and the average amount in a lime is 20 calories.
2. They May Help With Weight Loss
Not only is the calorie content low, but citrus fruits can also help with your weight loss battle. Citrus fruits do not contain any saturated fats or cholesterol, which are both contributors to gaining weight. We have also previously mentioned how grapefruit essential oil can help suppress your appetite, and citrus fruits are great at filling you up.
3. They Can Strengthen Hair
If you have hair problems then the citrus fruit will be a trusty ally in tackling your struggles. The collagen-producing qualities of vitamin C provide strength to your hair and prevent it from breaking. Lemon juice is also good at cleaning your scalp and its acidic qualities will help rid it of dandruff. It will also make your hair look thicker and shinier.
4. They’re Useful For Keeping Your Eyes Healthy
Thanks to the high levels of vitamin C present in them, citrus fruits will help maintain the healthiness of blood vessels in your eyes. They also reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration, which is the main cause of blindness in people, aged over 55.
5. They’re Beneficial For Skin Health
Ascorbic acid is one of the most beneficial nutrients for your skin and will keep it looking young and healthy. The reason it is so effective is due to its ability to regenerate collagen, which maintains the elasticity of your skin. The amount of collagen in your skin reduces as you age, so keeping citrus fruit in your life will help maintain healthier skin into later life.
6. They’re An Excellent Source of Fiber
Citrus fruits are a great source of fiber and as we’ve previously mentioned, fiber is a great addition to any diet. Citrus fruits have a higher ratio of soluble fiber to insoluble fiber, which differs from other fruit and vegetables. Oranges in particular are high in soluble fiber and this is great at lowering cholesterol level.
7. They May Have Natural Cancer-fighting Properties
Citrus fruits contain flavonoids, folate, carotenoids, and vitamin, which significantly reduce the risk of cancer, and specifically esophageal cancer. In addition to this, vitamin C can prevent the formation of new blood vessels that help in spreading cancer to other areas of the body.
Please note: you should always listen to the advise of your healthcare professional when it comes to treatment for cancer.
8. They Can Help Reduce Stress
Two of the major factors in stress levels rising are due to the increased levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol and a rise in blood pressure during anxious situations. The ascorbic acid in citrus fruits will fight both these issues and subsequently reduce you stress levels.
9. They Can Contribute Towards Immune Health
In addition to the vitamin C and vitamin B6 that citrus fruits are famed for, citrus fruits also contain plant compounds such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and essential oils that are linked to the health benefits associated with them.
10. They Could Help Prevent Kidney Stones
Kidney stones form in your body when citrate levels in your urine drop and by taking on citrus fruits you will increase the level of urinary citrate levels, and reduce the risk of kidney stones forming in your body.
11. They’re Useful For Brain Health
Your brain is central to the health of your body and citrus fruits can help yours fight off neurodegenerative diseases. Brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s result in the breakdown of cells in the nervous system. These diseases are partly caused by inflammation and flavonoids found in citrus fruits contain anti-inflammatory properties that protect against the deterioration of the nervous system.
Other studies have also shown that citrus fruits can boost brain function in older adults. With regular intake of a flavanone-rich orange juice, the study showed that there was a significant positive on cognitive function.
The Different Types of Citrus Fruits
These are a small selection of the available citrus fruits, which you can be putting into your daily diet. There are more available, and also a number of varieties too. We included some of the most well known ones to get you started.
- Orange – The orange is probably the most popular of all the citrus fruits. It is commonly eaten fresh and makes the ideal healthy snack on the go thanks to it protective skin. It is also very popular in juice form and consumed with breakfast. To get the full benefits of its juice ensure that you are drinking freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Grapefruit – Another popular breakfast item is the grapefruit. It is normally consumed by slicing in half and then eaten with a spoon. It is more of an acquired taste and can be bitter, as such, some people add a sprinkling of sugar to it as well. You can also consume the grapefruit in juice form and it’s also most commonly enjoyed in the morning.
- Lemon – The lemon is a versatile and tasty addition to many dishes. It is rarely eaten on its own and is instead used as an ingredient for many different recipes from all over the world. It is often referred to as a natural MSG thanks to its ability to enhance the flavor of any food it is added to.
- Lime – Like the lemon, lime is commonly added to food to enhance its flavor or add an additional layer of taste. The little green fruit is also popularly used in drinks, particularly cocktails.
How To Get Citrus Fruits Into Your Diet
With all these positive attributes you will no doubt want to get some more citrus fruit in your life. However, you might be wondering how to get it into your body because chomping down on bitter grapefruit and lemons is not for everyone.
Supplements – One way to get more citrus fruits into your body are supplements. This is a particularly good option for people who do not enjoy the taste of any citrus fruits. There are many supplements available with citrus fruit in them so do your research to find out more information on the products available.
Drink it – Taking your juice on in drink form is a great way to up your consumption of citrus fruits. Many juices are available to purchase but it’s usually better to make your own from fresh fruit. A lot of the juices available in shops are full of additives and contain high levels of sugar. You can gain a much tighter control of what you’re putting into your body by making your own juices or smoothies.
Cook it – Adding some citrus fruit to your food will not only benefit your health; it will also make your food taste great. There are some excellent recipes available that use a lot of citrus fruit so get researching and find the best ones to suit your palate.
The benefits of citrus fruits really are amazing and we hope that you’ll now make a more concerted effort to get more of them into your diet. From helping with weight loss, to helping fight cancer, the humble citrus fruit is truly a powerful ally to have in your quest for a healthier life.