Adding some citrus to your day can have great health benefits. Yahoo has a good slide show on the many ways eating more citrus is good for your health.
What are citrus foods?
Although most people can rattle off a host of citrus foods, surprisingly many people I talk to are unsure of what foods are in the citrus family.
Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, limes, lemons, mandarin oranges, clementines are all citrus fruits. (Top 10 Citrus Fruits)
What are the health benefits of eating citrus fruits?
- Vitamin C – a water soluble vitamin that you should be part of your diet every day. Vitamin C is known for building our immune system and fighting off infections. Eat just one orange and you get all the vitamin C you need for the day.
- Fiber – An orange can add 2.3 grams of fiber to your day. A tangerine about 1.6 grams of fiber. The soluble fiber in citrus fruits can help lower your cholesterol.
- Flavonoids – never heard flavonoids? Well, they are one of the substances in plants called “phytonutrients” that have many health benefits. The flavonoids in citrus fruits are good for your heart.
- Colds – Linus Pauling is known for his belief that vitamin C may prevent colds. Although this may not be true, research has shown that vitamin C may shorten the length of a cold and reduce its severity. So if you get a cold, eat more citrus to help you feel better faster.
- Potassium – most of us know Americans get too much sodium and salt in our diets. But many Americans are also not getting enough potassium. Citrus fruits are good sources of potassium. Potassium helps counteract the harmful effects of sodium by helping your body get rid of sodium. Eating more potassium rich foods can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Potassium is also good for our muscles and for mineral balance.
- Vitamin C helps you absorb the mineral, iron – Eating a cereal fortified with iron? Drink a glass of 100% orange juice to help you absorb that iron.
- Staying hydrated – so many people focus on 8 cups of water a day. But all fluids count. A glass of 100% orange juice, grapefruit juice would count towards your 8 cups a day. Eat an orange and you are also adding “water” to your day as oranges are up to 87% water and grapefruit about 88% water.
- Healthy skin – vitamin C helps your skin produce collagen so important in helping your skin look smoother. At least one study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating more vitamin C rich foods can result in less wrinkles and less dry skin.
- Vitamin A, folate, magnesium, copper and other nutrients are in citrus fruits. Skip the juice drinks like Sunny D, and Hi-C and go for 100% real fruit juice which not only provides vitamin C but many other nutrients.
So look for ways you can add some citrus to your day for a healthier you.
Sources: Yahoo, Top 10 Citrus Fruits, get all the vitamin C you need for the day, phytonutrients, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Image source: Citrus fruits