Orange juice is delicious and all, but there are so many more benefits of citrus fruits than you might imagine. These sweet yet tart picks will help you boost your health in more ways than one.
Boost immunity with Cara Caras.
Reddish-orange Cara Caras taste like a sweet mix of orange, tangerine and berry. And UCLA scientists say these gems offer up to 10 times more beta-carotene than navel oranges, plus 150 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. That ups the production of virus-fighting immune cells by 33 percent, helping you dodge winter colds.
Smooth your skin with red grapefruit.
To keep your skin radiant, savor a red grapefruit daily. Australian scientists say its compounds (nobiletin and naringin) strengthen skin tissue, increase moisture retention, reduce flaking and improve skin tone by as much as 35 percent, often in as little as one week.
Life your mood with clementines.
Clementines are nicknamed “ zipper oranges” because they’re so easy to peel. And if you’re having a blah day, enjoying two of them can help you feel 55 percent cheerier in 20 minutes. UCLA scientists say the mix of natural sugars and citric acid increases the production of happiness-boosting brain waves.
Get energized with limes.
Working a small lime into your daily diet can increase your energy and focus by up to 40% in two days, say Stanford University researchers. Credit goes to compounds called limonoids, which enhance the ability of muscle and brain cells to soak up energizing blood sugars.
Slim your belly with lemon.
For effortless winter weight loss, mix the juice of one lemon into 28 ounces of water and sip throughout the day. According to Canadian scientists, a compound (d-limonene) turns on fat-burning enzymes inside liver cells and prods your kidneys to flush trapped fluids. The result: You’ll shed belly fat 33 percent faster and lose three pounds of abdominal bloat in two weeks.
Deeper sleep with kumquats.
Eating four kumquats at night can help you doze off in 10 minutes and sleep 25 percent more deeply, British scientists say. Thanks go to a muscle-relaxing compound (hesperidin) that reduces blood pressure by six points. Plus, the flavor prompts the release of sleep-inducing brain waves.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.