When you see bright, colorful citrus fruits in winter, they simply bring sunshine in your life. However citrus fruits are just not colorful, they have a lot of benefits to offer on your health. There are different categories of citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes and many more. You may even find some hybrid varieties of citrus fruits in the market, which can be equally beneficial.
Citrus fruits come with a whole bunch of advantages, from fighting cancer to boosting your immune system. To know the importance of citrus fruits on your health, you need to first know its characterization and distribution. You will find citrus fruits growing on various shrubs and flowering trees.
Citrus fruits are characterized by the presence of a leathery rind, with a white pith containing the juicy parts. The native distribution of citrus fruits includes parts of Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia, and New Caledonia. Nowadays, you can see the cultivation spreading to tropical and subtropical regions. The major hubs for the production of citrus fruits are China, Mexico, Spain, India, Brazil, and the United States.
Interestingly, you will notice that almost one-third of all citrus fruits can be used for producing juice. Citrus fruits are available in all times of the year. However, the peak time for harvesting grapefruits and oranges in the northern hemisphere is in the month of mid-December to April.
What are the available varieties?
- Mandarins- tangor, Satsuma, tangelo, clementine
- Sweet oranges- blood orange, Valencia, caracara, navel
- Lemons-Meyer, Eureka
- Limes- key lime, Persian, kaffir
- Grapefruits- oroblanco, ruby red, white
- Other varieties- pomelos, sudachi, citron
Can citrus fruits aid in weight loss?
- Citrus fruits are rich in dietary fiber
Did you know that apart from bananas being so rich in fiber, citrus fruits also have brilliant amounts of it? If you have a single segment of orange in a day, you will get a supply of almost 4 g of dietary fiber. When you look for good diet options containing more fiber and fewer calories, you can easily opt for citrus fruits. If you calculate, 14 g of fiber is equivalent to a thousand calories that you may unknowingly consume every day.
So if you are looking for weight loss programs through diets, you know which fruits to opt for. A good amount of fiber in your body can help you improve your digestive system, and also promote weight loss. Oranges have a very high content of soluble fiber, which aids in lowering the level of bad cholesterol in your body. If you compare the fiber content of other vegetables and fruits, citrus fruits have more soluble fiber than insoluble ones.
- Citrus fruits have very low calorie to offer
If you want to put a check on your calorie uptake, citrus fruits are your best friends. Lower uptake of calories can produce surprising effects on your body weight. Citrus fruits have very high levels of fiber and water, with low-calorie content. So if you want to lose body weight, citrus fruit is a smart choice to make. You can check out the calorie content of some citrus fruits listed below:
- 1 lemon- 12 calories
- 1 orange (medium-sized)- 62 calories
- Half a grapefruit (pink)- 52 calories
- 1 clementine (small sized)- 35 calories
- Half a grapefruit (white)- 39 calories
What are the potential benefits?
- Citrus fruits are rich sources of nutrients and vitamins
You will find very high content of vitamin C in citrus fruits. Vitamin C boosts your immune strength and helps in maintaining smooth and elastic skin. If you eat one medium sized orange, it will provide you with sufficient vitamin C for an entire day. Apart from vitamin C, there various other phytoactive compounds and minerals present in citrus fruits such as-
- Vitamins belonging to class B
There are a lot of bioactive compounds present in citrus fruits that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Try to expose yourself to these two major properties by consuming an adequate amount of citrus fruits in a day. If you can really do so, then automatically you can solve more than half of your health problems. Citrus fruits have important phytochemicals like flavonoids, essential oils and carotenoids, offering you myriad health advantages.
- Reduces the risk of developing kidney stones
If you have ever suffered from kidney stones, you know how much painful it is. To eradicate the chances of developing it, you can focus on consuming more citrus fruits in your diet. Kidney stones are basically the formation of crystals of different minerals. It happens when your urine becomes extremely concentrated, or you notice more of mineral crystals in your urine than usual. One major reason behind the formation of mineral stones is a lower level of citric acid in your urine.
To build up the citrate level adequately, you need to eat citrus fruits every day in optimum quantities. Citrus fruits actually act as a natural replacement to packaged supplements of potassium citrate. In this way, you can raise the level of citric acid in your urine and alleviate chances of kidney stone formation.
- Improves your heart health
You can lessen the risk of cardiovascular disorders by eating a good amount of citrus fruits every day. The rich level of dietary soluble fiber and bioactive flavonoids helps in raising the level of good cholesterol. Grapefruits can bring down your systolic blood pressure, marking good heart health. A flavonoid called naringin acts as a good antioxidant in benefiting your heart.
Can citrus fruits fight cancer?
According to studies, citrus fruits can help you fight different types of cancer like oesophageal, breast, pancreatic and stomach cancer.
Do you know what happens when you eat one whole grapefruit or drink one glass of grapefruit juice every day? You can potentially reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.
Certain antioxidants present in citrus fruits as flavonoids suppress the expression of specific genes responsible for degenerative disorders. Phytochemicals in citrus fruits block the promotion and progression of cancerous cells, by inactivating carcinogens in your system.