Benefits of Eating More Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits that are sweet and vividly colored add a splash of sunlight to the gloomy winter days. Citrus fruits, however, are not only aesthetically pleasing and tasty; they are also healthy.
Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit are among the various hybrids and variants of this family of fruit.
They offer several health advantages, from enhancing immunity to preventing cancer.
Discover 7 good reasons to eat citrus fruits by reading on.
What Fruits Are Citrus?
On flowering trees and shrubs, citrus fruits can be found. They are distinguished by a leathery rind and a layer of white pith surrounding the juicy segments.
They are indigenous to Southeast Asia, Australia, New Guinea, and New Caledonia.
They are now grown all over the world in tropical and subtropical regions. Spain, Brazil, China, the United States, Mexico, and India are significant industrial centers.
Interesting fact: Juice is made from almost a third of all citrus fruits.
All year long, citrus fruits of every variety are available. Between the middle of December and April, the Northern Hemisphere’s peak season for oranges and grapefruits occurs.
Here are a few popular citrus fruit varieties:
- Sweet oranges: Valencia, navel, blood orange, cara cara
- Mandarins: Satsuma, clementine, tangor, tangelo
- Limes: Persian, key lime, kaffir
- Grapefruit: White, ruby red, oroblanco
- Lemons: Eureka, Meyer
- Other kinds: Citron, sudachi, yuzu, pomelos
Read on for 7 reasons to add these fruits to your diet.
1. They’re Rich in Vitamins and Plant Compounds
Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, which helps to maintain healthy skin and a strong immune system.
In actuality, one medium orange provides all of the vitamin C you require for the day.
Additionally, citrus fruits are a wonderful source of B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper, which your body needs to function effectively.
Additionally, they contain a lot of plant chemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as other health advantages.
Numerous health benefits of citrus fruit are caused by a group of substances called flavonoids, carotenoids, and essential oils that come in over 60 different kinds.
SUMMARY:Citrus fruits are very nutritious, offering a host of vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that help keep you healthy.
2. They’re a Good Source of Fiber
Fiber is abundant in citrus fruits. Four grams of fiber are included in only one cup of orange segments.
In order to put that into perspective, you should ingest 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume. In the US, only 4% of males and 13% of women are thought to receive that amount.
Improved digestive health and weight loss are just two of the many health advantages of fiber.
Particularly high in soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels, are oranges.
Citrus fruits are distinct from other fruits and vegetables in that they have a higher proportion of soluble to insoluble fiber.
SUMMARY:Citrus fruits are good sources of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and aids digestion.
3. Citrus Fruits Are Low in Calories
If you’re watching your calorie intake, citrus fruits are a good choice.
They’re low in calories, yet their water and fiber contents help fill you up.
Here’s how many calories the main kinds of citrus fruits contain
- 1 small clementine: 35
- 1 medium orange: 62
- 1/2 pink grapefruit: 52
- 1/2 white grapefruit: 39
- Juice from 1 lemon: 12
What’s more, a 2015 study that looked at people’s eating habits and weight over 24 years found that eating citrus fruits was linked to weight loss
SUMMARY:Citrus fruits are low in calories, making them a smart choice for people seeking to lose or maintain their weight.
4. They May Reduce Your Risk of Kidney Stones
Mineral crystals known as kidney stones are uncomfortable.
They may develop if your urine is particularly concentrated or if your urine contains more mineral stones than usual.
Low citrate levels in urine might lead to certain kidney stones.
Citrate levels in urine can be increased by a variety of foods, especially citrus fruits, which reduces the incidence of kidney stones.
Citrus fruits and their juices might serve as a healthy substitute for potassium citrate tablets.
Kidney stones are more likely in persons who eat fewer citrus fruits, according to data on American eating habits over the past 40 years.
SUMMARY:Eating citrus fruits may help lower the risk of kidney stones in some people by raising citrate levels in urine.
5. They May Help Fight or Protect Against Cancer
Citrus fruit consumption has been associated in numerous studies to a lower risk of developing certain malignancies.
One study found a decreased incidence of lung cancer in those who consumed one grapefruit or one dish of grapefruit juice daily.
According to other research, citrus fruits may help guard against malignancies of the pancreas, esophagus, stomach, and breast.
These fruits contain a variety of plant chemicals, such as flavonoids, which may offer cancer protection.
Some of these flavonoids function as antioxidants and may prevent various genes from expressing, which are linked to some degenerative disorders, such as cancer.
Citrus fruits may also reduce the risk of cancer by preventing the growth of new tumors, inhibiting the spread of existing tumors, and rendering carcinogens inactive.
SUMMARY:Citrus fruits have been widely studied for their protective effects on a variety of cancer types.
6. They Contain Nutrients That Boost Heart Health
Consuming citrus fruits may be beneficial for your heart.
According to a Japanese study, those who consumed more of these fruits had lower incidences of heart disease and stroke.
Additionally, a 2017 review contends that grapefruits may help lower systolic blood pressure.
Citrus fruits contain a number of chemicals that can enhance heart health parameters.
For instance, its soluble fiber and flavonoids may raise “good” HDL cholesterol and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, hence decreasing cholesterol levels.
Additionally, many of the flavonoids found in citrus fruits, such as naringin, are potent antioxidants that have numerous heart-healthy benefits.
SUMMARY:Many compounds in citrus fruits can benefit heart health by improving cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure.
7. They May Protect Your Brain
Citrus fruit flavonoids may protect against neurodegenerative illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, which are brought on by the death of nervous system cells.
These illnesses are partly brought on by inflammation.
Citrus fruit flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties and are thought to help prevent the series of events that lead to the degeneration of the nervous system.
In rodents and test-tube investigations, specific flavonoids, such as hesperidin and apigenin, have been found to protect brain cells and enhance brain function.
Citrus liquids may improve brain function, according to several research on elderly persons.
SUMMARY:Citrus fruits and juices may help boost brain function and protect the brain from neurodegenerative disorders.
The Downside of Citrus Fruits
While the overall picture of citrus is pretty rosy, there are a few potential downsides.
High Amounts Could Cause Cavities
Consuming a lot of citrus fruits or liquids may make cavities more likely. This is because citrus fruits’ acid erodes tooth enamel.
If you drink lemon water all day, bathing your teeth in acid, you are especially at danger.
It’s interesting to note that some substances in citrus peels may fight the germs that cause dental caries, but additional research is need to see how that knowledge might be applied.
Fruit Juice Isn’t as Healthy as Whole Fruit
Despite having high levels of vitamin C and other elements typically found in entire citrus fruits, orange and grapefruit juices aren’t quite as beneficial.
This is due to the fact that compared to a serving of whole fruit, juice has a significantly higher sugar and fiber content.
That presents a challenge for a few reasons.
In the beginning, more sugar per serving equals more calories. Fruit juice and other calorie-dense beverages can make you put on weight.
Second, fructose, the sugar found in fruit juice, is quickly absorbed by your body and sent to your liver when you consume substantial amounts of it.
When your liver receives more fructose than it can process, some of it is converted to fat. These fat deposits may eventually lead to fatty liver disease.
Given that you consume lower amounts of fructose at a time, eating whole fruit is not a concern. In addition, fruit’s fiber buffers fructose, causing it to enter your system more gradually.
Grapefruit Can Interact With Certain Medications
If you take certain drugs, eating grapefruit or consuming grapefruit juice may cause problems.
Your gut contains an enzyme that decreases the absorption of several drugs. An ingredient in grapefruit called furanocoumarin binds to this enzyme and prevents it from functioning normally.
Your body absorbs more medication than it should as a result.
Oranges from Seville and tangelos also contain furanocoumarin (the kind used for marmalade).
Grapefruit has an impact on a number of prescription and OTC medications, including:
- Some statins, for high cholesterol, including Lipitor and Zocor
- Some calcium channel blockers, for high blood pressure, including Plendil and Procardia
- Cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant drug
- Some Benzodiazepines, including Valium, Halcion and Versed
- Other medications, including Allegra, Zoloft and Buspar
SUMMARY:While citrus fruits are generally healthy, they can have some drawbacks. Their acid can erode tooth enamel and grapefruit can interact with some medications.
The Bottom Line
The consumption of citrus fruits is beneficial for numerous reasons.
In addition to being nourishing, they contain plant components that can guard against a number of illnesses, including as cancer, heart disease, brain dysfunction, and kidney stones.
However, try to limit your intake of fruit juice because of its high sugar content. Instead, opt for whole fruits.
Citrus fruits are generally wholesome, low in calories, and easy to eat. The majority of people would benefit from increasing their citrus intake.