We eat, and we barely focus on why we’re eating certain things. We know the basics … fruits and vegetables are good for us, but we don’t take time to
find out how beneficial they are to us.
The difficulty in sticking to a diet is something we’ve all faced. Whether or not it’s a healthy one, we all have a diet. For most people, citrus fruits are part of that diet. Citrus is commonly known as a good source of vitamin C, but there is more to it than that.
Citrus fruits are high in nutrients and vitamins. Many people consume oranges, lemons, tangerines and other citrus fruits daily, often to soothe their taste buds but without giving a thought to how beneficial they are to their health. Here are a few benefits to be gained from including citrus in your diet.
- A good source of fiber. Fiber – soluble and insoluble prevents constipation, helps lower blood pressure, weight gain and cholesterol and helps regulate glucose levels. Fruits such as oranges, tangerines, clementines and grapefruit are high in fiber and should be part of your daily diet.
- Reduce the risk of stroke. Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and oranges, which contain flavanones, components that reduce ischemic strokes (when the brain is deprived of oxygen) can reduce the risk of strokes in women by approximately 19 percent.
- Protect you against cancer. The vitamin C and a specific flavonoid (nobiletin) prevent the formation of new blood vessels that help to spread cancer to other areas of the body.
- Help you maintain good vision. Vitamin C not only helps to maintain the health of the blood vessels in your eyes, it can also help to reduce the risk of contracting cataracts or any other macular degeneration due to age.
- Reduce stress. The vitamin C found in citrus fruits helps to reduce stress by combating both the rise in the stress hormone and a rise in blood pressure. Research by Japanese medical experts showed that an aromatic compound known as linalool, which is found in lemons, mangoes, lavender and other fragrant plants, altered blood chemistry and the activity of genes and this reduces stress levels in rodents exposed to stressful conditions.
- Reduce the duration of colds. While vitamin C does not entirely get rid of the cold, consuming citrus fruits will reduce the duration of the illness by a day or more.
- Reduce risk of kidney stones. Kidney stones are known to form when the citrate levels in urine are extremely low. Keeping it regular by drinking orange or lemon juice daily would help reduce the risk of kidney stones forming.
- Citrus is filled with potassium. Potassium is a mineral found in foods such as bananas, avocado and citrus fruits. It helps to reduce blood pressure and regulate essential functions in the body, including water balance, nerve impulses, digestion and the heart rhythm.
If you’re not eating enough citrus fruits, or none at all, then this is your cue to start consuming at least one fruit a day. In addition to the list of health benefits listed above, citrus fruits are also beneficial to your hair and skin. Vitamin C helps to exfoliate your skin and reduce pigmentation, in addition to preventing hair loss and dandruff when applied to the hair and skin. It’s better to strengthen your diet now and prevent health problems later. Citrus can help you do just that.