If you want to lead a healthy life, eating citrus fruits is a must. These fruits are some of the most nutritious fruits you can add to your daily diet. In addition, they contain many essential nutrients that are important for your body to stay in shape and function at its highest potential.
You have eaten oranges and grapes in your life lots of times. So why are they called citrus fruits, and why are they so important? Continue reading to learn more about different types of citrus fruits and their health benefits.
What Are Citrus Fruits?
Citrus fruits have a rough leathery exterior, while the insides are pulpy and juicy and are typically sweet or sour. These fruits generally are delicious and are best eaten during hot summers. However, they are an evergreen choice of healthy fruits that you can eat throughout the year.
These fruits are essential for everyone to include in their diet because they contain many essential nutrients like Vitamins B, C, and fibers. They also have fewer calories than other fruits, making them healthier overall.
Types Of Citrus Fruits
You might be wondering, are apples a citrus fruit, or is lemon citrus? While there is no official classification for citrus fruits list, they get categorized as:
- Sweet Oranges: Oranges of various types like Valencia, blood orange, caracara, and navel. They are typically used as cooking ingredients in multiple dishes and consumed as juices.
- Mandarins: Mandarins are sweeter oranges typically consumed as juices or get peeled and eaten raw. Some such oranges include satsuma, clementine, tangor, and tangelo.
- Limes: Limes are some of the sourest citrus fruits you can find in the market. These look like oranges but are more greenish and smaller in size. Some types of limes include Persian, key lime, and kaffir.
- Grapefruits: Grapes are tender and juicy fruits that everyone loves to eat. Available in various green and black types, they are delicious and high in vitamins. Some types of grapes are white grapes, ruby red, and oroblanco.
- Lemons: Like limes, lemons are yellowish and sour citrus fruits that are not eaten raw. Instead, their juice adds extra flavor to other dishes, like salads and spicy foods. Some types of lemons include Eureka and Meyer.
- Other Kinds: Some other citrus fruits include citron, pomelos, and yuzu – rarer fruits used in specific dishes.
Why Are Citrus Fruits Important?
Citrus fruits are some of the best foods that should be essential for your diet. This is because of the high amount of nutrients it provides.
Some of the primary health benefits of citrus fruits are:
1. Boosts Your Immunity System
Citrus fruits are high in Vitamins B and C. These are essential nutrients that boost the strength of your immunity system, protecting you against deadly diseases and infections. Therefore, we recommend eating oranges and grapefruits every day, especially during winters, to add lots of Vitamin C to your diet.
To protect you from inflammation, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are present in these fruits. These include nutrients like Vitamin B, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, and Magnesium. Therefore, keep in mind the benefits of boiling grapefruit and lemon peels.
2. Lowers Risk Of Having Kidney Stones
You are right if you think that citrus fruits are named sop because they contain minerals like citrates. Citrates are an essential mineral that many people, unfortunately, lack in their diet. In addition, citrates are helpful to overcome the risk of developing kidney stones.
Kidney stones develop because of the concentration of extra solid wastes in your urine. Citrates help break down these solid wastes, allowing them to pass through your urine unhindered.
A survey recorded kidney stone cases in the US in the past 40 years. It got found that most people who suffered from kidney stones had fewer citrus fruits in their diet.
3. Lowers Risk Of Cancer
We suffer from cancer when our body cells start to multiply unnaturally. To reduce the chances of suffering from cancer, incorporate a lot of citrus fruits into your diet. To fight carcinogens, eat a lot of grapes and drink grapefruit juice daily if you can.
Citrus fruits contain many antioxidants, flavonoids, and various plant compounds that help make the carcinogens in your body inactive. Therefore, these fruits can effectively protect you from developing cancer, especially stomach, lung, and breast cancer. The same can be said for tofu and salmon too.
4. Improves Heart Health
If you want good blood circulation in your body, citrus fruits are a must for your diet. The flavonoids and antioxidants in these fruits help lower your systolic blood pressure, reducing the chances of you suffering from strokes and heart attacks.
Citrus fruits also contain a lot of soluble fibers that help increase the amount of good HDL cholesterol in your system. It also lowers triglycerides and bad LDL cholesterol. Other foods like almonds and quinoa also help in improving heart health.
5. Increases Cognitive Functions
Do you want to make yourself smarter and more intelligent? Then we recommend eating more oranges, lemon fruit, and limes. This is because it contains lots of flavonoids that help in increasing your cognitive skills by making your brain sharper.
Therefore, doctors suggest that eating citrus fruits can keep neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s at bay. These diseases are caused due to inflammation of nerves, which flavonoids like apigenin and hesperidin can reduce.
6. Makes Your Skin Glow
Lemons may be sour, but they help your skin glow brighter. This is because lemons contain antioxidants and Vitamin C that help form collagen. Broccoli and yogurt also do the same for your skin.
Are There Any Downsides To Eating Citrus Fruits?
The few downsides to eating citrus fruits are:
1. Can Cause Cavities
Citrus fruits are typically either very sweet or sour. Therefore, the high amount of citrates and acids present in lemons and limes can deteriorate the enamel of your teeth, forming cavities. Therefore, do not overeat, or else you risk your teeth getting eroded due to acids.
2. Packaged Juices Are Sugary
While we can make citrus fruit juices in our kitchen using a mixer or a juicer, the packaged fruit juices can be dicey. This is because they contain a lot of added preservatives and sugars that cause more harm than good. The added sugars can be harmful to diabetic people and lead to weight gain.
3. Reaction To Medications
Seville oranges and grapefruits contain a lot of Furanocoumarin, a chemical that binds to chemicals in your gut. This lets enzymes in your stomach, liver, and intestines absorb way more of the medications that you are on. This can lead to harmful situations, even sometimes being fatal.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is apple citrus? No, they are not.
Oranges, grapes, and lemons are the most common citrus fruits.
No, a banana is not a citrus fruit.
Apples, bananas, and citrus fruits are the healthiest fruits.
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapes, lemons, and limes are some of the best fruits you can add to your diet right now. They are rich in Vitamins, Flavonoids, and Citrate that help in the proper functioning of your body’s immunity and digestive systems.
Therefore, we recommend adding these fruits to your daily diet, especially for breakfast, since they make your skin glow and lower cancer risk. However, don’t overeat if you have bad teeth or consume some form of prescribed medications.
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