Winter Fruits – It’s Citrus SeasonJanuary 25, 2016
Grapefruits, oranges, clementines, lemons and limes! With more than 16 members of their fruit family, they are packed with nutritional benefits in abundance this time of year. Most commonly known for their vitamin C content, which is one of the best antioxidants found in food for helping the health of our cells and protecting us against damage. A medium orange contains about 64mg of vitamin C per fruit and the Institute of Medicine recommends 75-90mg per day. Long ago limes were known for the prevention of scurvy in members on long journeys over water. One trip across the Pacific Ocean lost 80% of their crew from scurvy, symptoms known as darkened skin, ulcers, difficulty breathing and even teeth and gums detaching from the mouth! These trips found the importance of vitamin C in the diet for preventing disease, specifically through the addition of limes.
Orange Juice ≠ Oranges. Often times Orange Juice (and other citrus juices) are packed with added sugar and the pulp is removed. The pulp, found in the white part of citrus fruits is the highest source of limonoids, the chemical found in citrus that give them their scent! Limonoids have been found beneficial for their anti-viral, anti-bacterial, cholesterol lowering and cancer fighting properties. Fresh squeezed juices are the way to go if you want to drink your citrus away!
Did you know that citrus fruits are in the top dozen allergenic foods? They’re still below dairy, but many people have issues with citrus. In addition to vitamin C and limonoids, they’re packed with fiber, vitamin A, folate, vitamin B1, potassium and even some calcium! Also, many skins of citrus fruits are injected with color to improve appeal at the store in non-organic citrus fruits. Don’t be afraid if an orange has brown spots or green marks, they’re still just as good. Oranges typically last about 2 weeks in the fridge and on the counter. Eat them as a snack or sauté the juice with meat and onions, they’re great for adding flavor and unlocking nutrients like calcium and iron in green veggies! Don’t forget about the health benefits of fresh squeezed lemon or lime into cooking or salad dressings. See how many of the 16 you can try and when life gives you lemons, enjoy the health benefits!