Citrus Fruits for Optimum Health

The many potential health benefits of consuming citrus fruits regularly are not to be ignored! There are many fruits within this category, meaning there is bound to be one or many more that you enjoy the taste and texture of. This type of fruit is commonly used to make juice as well as being enjoyed whole!

What are Citrus Fruits?

The most commonly known citrus fruits are lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. However, there are many more fruits within this fruit family. Mandarins, blood oranges, satsumas and pomelos are also well-loved choices.

These types of fruits will generally grow on flowering shrubs and trees. Although the majority of citrus fruits are native to Southeast Asia, New Guinea and Australia, they are now grown all over the world in tropical and subtropical climates.

Vitamin C

Citrus fruits are known to be excellent sources of vitamin C, which is an essential component of a healthy immune system.

Just one medium sized orange will contain all of the vitamin C that you need to consume in a day. So, you can see how easily you can boost your health and your immune system through consuming citrus fruits every day.

Fiber

If you do not have an adequate amount of fiber in your diet then your health is going to suffer in several different ways. Fiber is necessary for your digestive health as well as managing your cholesterol levels. Furthermore, if you are trying to lose weight then fiber can be useful and upping your intake of citrus fruits could aid your weight loss efforts. They are low in calories, which means that you can consume more to satiate your hunger without piling on the pounds!

Cancer Risk

Several studies have taken place to investigate the link between citrus fruit consumption and the risk of cancer. It has been shown in many incidences that the high presence of antioxidants in certain citrus fruits can be beneficial in protecting against cancer.

For example, a study that investigated the preventative benefits of grapefruit showed that drinking a serving of grapefruit juice every day could be seen to lower the risk of lung cancer. Separate studies have shown that the risk of a person developing pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer and oesophageal cancer can potentially be lowered through the regular consumption of citrus fruits.

It is believed that certain plant compounds found within these fruits act as antioxidants in the body, combatting the presence and damage caused by free radicals. Additionally it is thought that citrus fruits are able to prevent new cancers by deactivating carcinogens in the body.

Heart Health

The nutrients that are found within citrus fruits can potentially go a long way to protecting the health of your heart.

A study conducted in Japan found that people who consumed citrus fruits regularly were less prone to heart disease. The study additionally showed that the incidence of strokes was also lowered when these fruits were included in the diet often.

Evidence presented earlier this year has shown that grapefruit consumption is linked to lower systolic blood pressure. Your systolic blood pressure is indicative of how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls as your heart beats. If you have a high systolic blood pressure reading then you are more likely to experience cardiovascular diseases and associated health issues.

Younger Looking Skin

Nutrition experts are generally in agreement that citrus fruits are beneficial for the appearance of the skin. This is largely thanks to the amount of vitamin C contained within. This useful vitamin contributes to effective collagen production, thereby keeping your skin both supple and smooth in appearance. It has therefore been suggested that adequate vitamin C consumption could be connected to a lower incidence of wrinkles, dry skin and other signs of ageing.

Brain Health and Function

Many fruits in the citrus category contain on abundance of flavonoids. These are compounds which are thought to be useful for protecting against neurodegenerative diseases. The most well known neurodegenerative diseases are Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. These diseases can begin to develop as a result of cells in the nervous system beginning to break down. Inflammation in the body can be a contributing factor to this.

Flavonoids have exciting anti-inflammatory capabilities, meaning they can help to prevent against this inflammation and the impact it has on the nervous system.

Including Citrus Fruits

Making the decision to include citrus fruits in your diet is a great one! However, as with all things you should certainly do so in moderation. These fruits are generally quite acidic, and can therefore contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel if consumed in excess.

It is best to consume citrus fruits whole instead of opting to drink them as juice. This is because fruit juices will also generally be high in sugar and contain less fiber than the whole fruit would.

References

1) https://authoritynutrition.com/citrus-fruit-benefits

2) http://www.health.com/nutrition/citrus-fruit-health-benefits