Citrus Fruits – Excellent Health Benefits You Can Enjoy Daily!
Citrus fruits are delicious year round but seem to be especially good during the cold winter months. They bring a bit of sunshine to a winter day and can brighten up even the gloomiest of times. As well as being really tasty and fun to eat, they boast a variety of health benefits that make them a great part of your diet. Read on to discover some of the lesser known health benefits of these delicious fruits and see why you should be eating them whenever possible.
All About Citrus Fruits
Most people are familiar with oranges and often ate them growing up. Although they may be the most popular, they certainly aren’t the only kind of citrus that you can enjoy. As a whole, these fruits grow on trees and have a rind. You will want to remove the rind and the bitter white pith underneath it to get to the juicy flesh that is so enjoyable.
Citrus fruits are grown mostly in warm environments, although some people can grow the trees indoors during the winter and allow them to summer outside. In this way, even people in cooler climates can enjoy having these fresh fruits at their homes. If you live where they can’t be grown outside it’s still worth trying to keep one as a houseplant, as the fresh fruit is truly amazing!
High in Fiber
Fiber is important for digestive health, losing weight, and keeping your cholesterol at healthy levels. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough fiber in their daily diet due to eating a lot of processed foods. The best way to get the recommended amount of fiber each day is to include a lot of fresh foods in your diet. Orange are one of the prime fruits for this. One cup of oranges has a whopping four grams of fiber – all of which will help keep your food digesting properly and keep you as healthy as possible. There’s a reason that high fiber foods keep you so healthy – they keep the food you eat moving through your body and usually come packed with lots of vitamins that you need. Oranges are no exception!
Low in Calories
Perfect for anyone watching their weight grapefruit and other citrus are a wonderful way to add variety and flavor to a diet without adding too many calories. Eating this fruit has also been linked to weight loss. Due to the high water amount and the high fiber that they boast, they will fill you up without a lot of additional calories. This is perfect for anyone looking to lose a few pounds without sacrificing flavor.
Citrus fruits make a wonderful snack in between meals, and certain ones, such as clementines or tangerines are a great dessert after dinner. Although they do have some naturally occurring sugar, it’s nothing compared to the highly processed sugar that most desserts have. They definitely are the smarter choice! The calories contained in these fruits are easily used by the body to give quick energy that will help pep you up during a slump in your day.
Citrus Fruits are Good for Heart Health
Just as some citrus are especially good for lowering your cholesterol and keeping you healthy that way, grapefruit in particular is wonderful for keeping your heart as healthy as possible. Adding some of these to your diet will have the added benefit of lowering your blood pressure. With so many people on blood pressure medication these days it makes sense to try to lower your blood pressure naturally with the healthy foods that you eat.
Protect Against Cancer
A cancer diagnosis is scary for anyone, but what if you knew that certain foods could decrease your likelihood of getting cancer? It may seem crazy, but it’s true. When a person consumes citrus fruits regularly they may have a lowered risk of developing breast, pancreatic, stomach, esophageal, and lung cancers. The flavonoids that are in these fruits act as antioxidants. Once consumed and in the body they can actually block some of the genes that cause cancer.
Another way that these antioxidants help protect you against cancer is by stopping new cancer from forming. These studies show that eating these fruits is important whether or not you’ve received a cancer diagnosis. Any way to get healthier and avoid having this awful disease is something worth looking into, especially when it may be as delicious as eating some tropical fruit!
Get Healthier Skin
Packed with Vitamin C, citrus fruits are wonderful in the fight for younger, healthier skin. Vitamin C is important in making collagen. Without collagen your skin won’t be elastic and healthy. It’s also important in maintaining healthy tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and helping your body heal any wounds. When you eat foods that help with collagen production you will see the benefits in visibly healthier skin and a healthier body as well.
Enjoy a Healthier Brain
Remember the flavonoids that help protect you against cancer? They also are anti-inflammatory, which make them very useful in keeping other parts of your body healthy, especially your brain. Many diseases in the brain are caused by inflammation. These include Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, there are not cures for these two diseases, but eating some of these wonderful fruits may give your body the power to help protect your brain from them. Flavonoids are really doing double duty here as they help protect you from inflammation not only in your brain, but throughout your whole body. There are a host of medical problems that stem from inflammation, and knowing that you can combat that problem through your diet is reason enough to pick up some oranges the next time you’re at the store.
Lower Your Risk of Kidney Stones with Citrus Fruit
The development of kidney stones is often caused by lower than normal levels of citrate. This is something that will inhibit the creation of kidney stones and is present in your urine. Instead of taking supplements to raise the level of citrate that is in your urine, you can do this naturally by eating citrus. It stands to reason that since eating these delicious fruits will raise the level of citrate that is found in your urine, you will be at a lower risk of developing certain kinds of kidney stones. That’s good news for anyone who wants to avoid this painful medical problem!
As you can see, there are many health benefits that you can gain when you add citrus fruits to your diet. There are so many different kinds available that you’re sure to find one that you like to eat. When you make the effort to add these to your diet you will reap many benefits, from weight loss to healthier skin.
It’s important to remember that a lot of the nutrients, such as fiber, are found in the actual flesh of the fruit, not just the juice. Make sure that you’re eating, not just drinking your citrus. Although fruit juices are delicious, they don’t offer near as many health benefits as eating the actual fruit does. The next time you’re at the store try to pick up a kind you haven’t tried before. You may just find a new favorite!