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Beyond Vitamin C: The Other Essential Roles Citrus Fruits Play in Your Health


In the eighties — before we had FedEx and Amazon — I remember getting these huge boxes of oranges, lemons, and grapefruit from my great-uncle. He worked for a citrus supplier in Florida, and as a result my family rarely got winter colds. Nowadays, fresh citrus fruits that are in season aren’t such a luxury, at least in North America.

Clementines, Meyer, and Ruby red, Oh my! Citrus fruits offer a delightful burst of much needed vitamin C year-round. But what exactly are the other health benefits of these sunshine fruits? Here’s why a tablet of vitamin C just isn’t an adequate replacement for a juicy mandarin orange or key lime.

Does citrus have healing properties?

In a word, yes. And they go far, far beyond just being great sources of vitamin C. Do you have diabetes? What about heart disease? Or arthritis? Do you want to lose weight? What about boosting your natural immunity? Citrus fruits are treasure troves of vitamins such as C and D, but also contain significant amounts of soluble fiber, a known component in weight loss, antioxidants, flavonoids, and potassium. And let’s not forget the superstar for all of us women over 40: Calcium! Calcium-filled foods protect and strengthen our bones as we age.

Is citrus good as an anti-inflammatory?

Because citrus fruits are a powerful source of phytochemicals flavonoids and carotenoids, they are a perfect addition to your diet. Phytochemicals are plan-produced chemical compounds that may help humans fight cancer and other inflammatory-related diseases. Which basically means the majority of diseases, since inflammation is a potential cause of many diseases in the body.

So, whether you opt for the sunset blood orange, the sweet cara cara, the solid navel, or the cute clementine — or give yourself a squeeze of the radiant Meyer lemon or piquant Key lime, you’ll not only be warding off a cold, but boosting your entire body’s natural defense response. Orange-you glad you have this health tip?

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