Citrus fruits like grapefruits, lemons, limes, mandarins, sweet oranges are nature’s most vibrant and uplifting gifts. Their bright color palette and sprightly flavors make them too hard to resist. However, limiting them to just looks is not right, given their amazing health benefits.
Here are the 5 health benefits of citrus fruits that make them all the more irresistible to include in the diet.
1. Powerhouse Of Nourishment
It is general knowledge that citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C but other vitamins and minerals like B-complex vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and copper are also present in them. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in boosting immunity to delaying aging-related processes in the body.12
Studies have also found that they’ve over 60 types of flavonoids, carotenoids and essential oils that provide them with anti-inflammatory and immunoprotective properties.3
2. An Excellent Source Of Fiber
Citrus fruits are full of fiber and including it in your daily diet keeps your digestive system well-functioning. To make the most of the fiber, it’s best to eat it whole without juicing.
Constipation is a pretty common ailment worldwide and the higher ratio of soluble fiber to insoluble fiber in citrus fruits relieves it. Fiber has several health benefits, like improving digestive health and aiding in weight loss.4
In addition to that, fiber aids in weight loss and lowering serum cholesterol levels.5
3. A Good Option For The Calorie Conscious
The low-calorie count and high fiber content in citrus fruits make them very filling. A healthy bowl of your favorite citrus fruits can combat cravings and tendency to snack intermittently.
Long-term studies have proven that an increased intake of non-starchy fruits like citrus fruits with high fiber and a low glycemic index can help in losing weight with time.6
4. Prevents The Formation Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be very painful and it often develops in people who have really high levels of calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus in the urine. Kidney stones can develop when citrate levels fall as well. Studies have found that diet supplementation with lemonade in patients suffering from hypocitraturic calcium nephrolithiasis was found to increase urinary citrate levels.7
5. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Various studies have found that people who ate at least one citrus fruit a day were at a lower risk of developing cancer of the lungs, esophagus, stomach, breast and pancreatic cancers.
The tumor-protective properties of these fruits are due to ascorbic acid and other flavonoids that have the ability to prevent free-radical damage to tissues.8
6. Boost The Health Of Your Heart And Brain
For a healthy brain and heart, don’t forget to include citrus fruits daily to your diet. Studies have revealed that frequent intake of citrus fruits was linked with lower rates of stroke in the brain and myocardial infarction in the heart.9
In addition to improving both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health, the high fiber content in citrus fruits was seen to raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.10
Researchers claim that quercetin in citrus fruits has excellent anti-oxidative properties that reduce the risks of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It can even reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases like thrombosis, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and arrhythmia.11
The above health benefits will surely make it hard for you to not reach out for a fleshy citrus fruit, the next time you spot one at the grocery store.
|↑1||Schagen, Silke K., Vasiliki A. Zampeli, Evgenia Makrantonaki, and Christos C. Zouboulis. “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.” Dermato-endocrinology 4, no. 3 (2012): 298-307.|
|↑2||Sorice, Angela, Eliana Guerriero, Francesca Capone, Giovanni Colonna, Giuseppe Castello, and Susan Costantini. “Ascorbic acid: its role in immune system and chronic inflammation diseases.” Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry 14, no. 5 (2014): 444-452.|
|↑3, ↑8, ↑10||Lv, Xinmiao, Siyu Zhao, Zhangchi Ning, Honglian Zeng, Yisong Shu, Ou Tao, Cheng Xiao, Cheng Lu, and Yuanyan Liu. “Citrus fruits as a treasure trove of active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for human health.” Chemistry Central Journal 9, no. 1 (2015): 68.|
|↑4, ↑6||Bae, Sun Hwan. “Diets for constipation.” Pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology & nutrition 17, no. 4 (2014): 203-208.|
|↑5||Surampudi, Prasanth, Byambaa Enkhmaa, Erdembileg Anuurad, and Lars Berglund. “Lipid Lowering with Soluble Dietary Fiber.” Current atherosclerosis reports 18, no. 12 (2016): 75.|
|↑7||Seltzer, Marc A., Roger K. Low, Michael McDonald, Gina S. Shami, and Marshall L. Stoller. “Dietary manipulation with lemonade to treat hypocitraturic calcium nephrolithiasis.” The Journal of urology 156, no. 3 (1996): 907-909.|
|↑9||Yamada, Tomoyo, Shinya Hayasaka, Yosuke Shibata, Toshiyuki Ojima, Tomohiro Saegusa, Tadao Gotoh, Shizukiyo Ishikawa, Yosikazu Nakamura, and Kazunori Kayaba. “Frequency of citrus fruit intake is associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease: the Jichi Medical School cohort study.” Journal of epidemiology 21, no. 3 (2011): 169-175.|
|↑11||Elumalai, Preetham, and Sreeja Lakshmi. “Role of quercetin benefits in neurodegeneration.” In The Benefits of Natural Products for Neurodegenerative Diseases, pp. 229-245. Springer International Publishing, 2016.|