Citrus Fruits Can Make You Healthier
Citrus fruits belong to the genus citrus family, found mostly in the tropical and sub tropical regions of the world. They consist of 16 species of evergreen aromatic shrubs and trees with thorny branches. These fruits have long been a valued part of a nutritious diet and the flavours these fruits lend are very popular worldwide. Citrus fruits are not only tasty but healthy too. And the most commonly found citrus fruits are orange, lemon, lime, grape fruit, tangerine, citron and kumquat. Their bright colours and sweet tangy flavours make them popular fruits among all age groups. They are also eaten to detox the body and to lose weight.
Citrus fruits and their products are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and dietary libre that are essential for healthy growth and development and also overall nutritional well-being. The phytochemicals present in citrus fruits are also said to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
“Citrus fruits are nutrient dense fruits which make them good sources of carbohydrates, dietary fibre and many vitamins and minerals”
Fruits of this nature also contain an impressive list of essential nutrients including potassium, calcium, carbohydrates, folate. niacin, thiamine, vitamin B6, copper, phosphorus, riboflavin, magnesiurm, pantothenic acid and a variety of phytochemicals. Citrus fruits have no fat, sodium and cholesterol.
An important vitamin present in citrus fruits is vitamin C. This vitamin helps in the formation of collagen that is very important for tissue development in the body. It is also important for the maintenance of healthy skin, tissue repair, ligaments and tendons. Therefore, any tissue related problem is a sign of vitamin C deficiency. It also helps fight against regular ailments like common cold and anaemia. The antioxidants present in these fruits, help fight ailments like cancer and also help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
Folate in citrus fruits helps in the formation of new cells and in the production of ribonudeic acid, maintaining the structure of the DNA and red blood cells, which ultimately prevents anaemia. Also, the presence of potassium maintains acid and water balance in the body.
Potassium aids in the contraction of muscles, maintaining blood pressure levels and transmission of nerve impulses. The daily requirement of potassium is approximately 2000 mg. So, overall citrus fruits are nutrient dense fruits which make them good sources of carbohydrates, dietary fibre and many vitamins and minerals.
“Citrus fruits play a beneficial role in our daily lives to control many regular ailments like flu and colds”
Best Citrus Fruits
Sweet oranges are low in calories but rich in dietary fibre, vitamins A and B, thiamine and pyridoxine. They help reduce blood pressure because of the presence of potassium and calcium. These fruits are also often used in marmalades and pastries as they are sweet and juicy.
Also known as bitter oranges, sour oranges are very juicy but their pulp is bitter and sour. They are often used in pickles as not many people enjoy eating them raw.
Lime or more popularly known as nimbu, are native to India, Their pulp is acidic to taste and they are used in a variety of ways in Indian cooking. Its juice is added to drinks, salads and even curries. Lime contains citric acid which is a natural preservative.
Citrus lemon is mostly cultivated in India and lemon juice is consumed in many ways. It is added to water and consumed as a refreshing drink, used to bake and as a confectionary ingredient. Lemon peels are also used to make lemon oil.
Grapefruit is a hybrid between a pummelo and a sweet orange. This fruit is largely canned and added to salads, Marmalades and juices are also made from it.
In conclusion, citrus fruits play a beneficial role in our daily lives to control many regular ailments like flu and colds. They also help in weight loss, anaemia, prevent kidney stones, asthma, and osteoporosis, improve bone metabolism and even hypertension. Therefore, consume one citrus fruit a day to be healthier.