Citrus Fruits: Health Benefits
What are citrus fruits?
Citrus fruits are fruits produced by trees and shrubs belonging to the Rutaceae genus of plants.
They include fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and lime.
They have a high citric acid content and are typically round or elongated with a juicy, fleshy pulp surrounding their seeds.
Besides being delicious, citrus fruits are also a treasure trove of nutrients.
Citrus fruits are very nutritious, offering a host of vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that help keep you healthy.
Anti cancerous property
Citrus fruit may have a role in preventing certain cancers.
One large study in Japan found that people who had citrus fruits or juices 3-4 days a week were less likely to get cancer than those who had them 2 or fewer days a week.
Oranges are particularly high in soluble fiber, the kind of fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels
Several compounds in citrus fruits can improve markers of heart health. For example, their soluble fiber and flavonoids may improve cholesterol levels by raising “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
Citrus fruits can control hyperglycemia
Citrus fruits have relatively low glycemic index score on the 100-point scale, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar as much as some other foods.
This means the glucose in citrus fruit is released into your bloodstream slowly, offering you a steady feeling of energy—without a crash later on.
Because oranges have a low GI, they trigger a slow rise in your blood sugar levels, making them more favorable for people with diabetes
Citrus fruits contain many compounds that can help keep your heart healthy.
Their soluble fiber and flavonoids may help raise healthy HDL cholesterol and lower harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
The fruits may lower high blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease.
Citrus fruits prevent kidney stones
Increase your intake of citrus fruits and juices.
Citrate in these fruits inhibits stone formation by binding to calcium, which makes it unable to bind with oxalates and form stones.
Lemon and lime have been proven to be best sources of citrate, followed by oranges and then grapefruits.
These fruits are high in vitamin C, a nutrient known to help give your immune system a boost.
The Vitamin C with its antioxidant property can protect the cells in our body
It promote the production and function of white blood cells that are responsible for fighting infections.
Two major reasons for a rise in stress levels are the increase of the hormone cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) and a rise in blood pressure during high anxiety situations.
The vitamin C in fruits works to combat both these issues and reduces stress
Protect the brain
Eating these fruits can have a positive impact on brain health, particularly during ageing, according to new research
Damage to brain and nerve cells is one of the earliest signs of degenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline.
The flavonoids in citrus fruits may help ward off neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which result from the breakdown of cells in the nervous system.
Oranges and other citrus fruit contain vitamin C, which is key for eye health.
The vitamin, found mainly in fresh fruits and vegetables, contributes to healthy blood vessels in your eyes.
It can combat the development of cataracts, and in combination with other vitamins and nutrients, age-related macular degeneration.