Citrus fruit juice is one of the most popular flavors in the world because it tastes good but a lot of people do not know that it can also improve our health. Follow me on this post as I point out 10 amazing health benefits of citrus fruits and other information you might not know about yet.
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The Origins Of Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are produced by citrus trees and shrubs that originate from Asia, Melanesia, and Australia.
Afterward, it then spread to the Middle East, Mediterranian, and Europe.
They are native to subtropical and tropical regions of Asia.
Common Citrus Fruits
Health Benefits Of Citrus Fruits
Sometimes we associate citrus fruits with Vitamin C but we don’t know that they also have a lot of other vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids.
That is why you will be left out of its maximum benefit if you are only taking the Vitamin C supplement as a part of your diet.
Here is the message: Eating the whole fruit is more beneficial than just drinking the juice.
Also, bear in mind that these tips are for educational purposes only. You should consult your doctor for nutritional advice.
OK, let’s dive into the benefits of citrus fruits.
1. Boosting Our Immune System
Do you drink lemon or orange juice whenever you are down with the flu?
Do you know why, apart from tasting delicious?
That is because all citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C which helps boost your immune system.
Vitamin C actually helps increase the production of white blood cells which fights infections in our bodies.
Because our bodies cannot produce Vitamin C we must take it from the food we eat.
And citrus juice from oranges, lemons, and grapefruits is one great source of Vitamin C.
Citrus fruit also contains Vitamin B, a folic acid that can help prevent kidney diseases and birth defects in babies.
In case you are not aware the kidney filters our blood of poison that ends up in our urine.
2. Smoothes The Skin And Elasticity
Grapefruit is particularly high in Vitamin C which stimulates collagen production.
Collagen helps repair your skin damage by stimulating new skin growth. This is especially important for kids who play soccer outdoors and expose to the sun.
It also helps reduce cellulite or fat deposits under the skin.
One expert even suggests that you cut the end of the grapefruit and rub it on the cellulite area before and after the shower.
3. Repair Damaged Tissues
During an intense sport like soccer muscles of the body sustained a lot of damage to muscle tissues, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels.
All this causes fatigue when you feel tired and experience sore muscles.
Vitamin C aids in the healing process by building protein to heal the damaged tissues.
Vitamin C in citrus juice also has antioxidants that get rid of free radicals that formed in the blood after exercising and playing soccer.
This helps speed up your recovery time and gives you energy for the next game.
4. Reduces Heart Disease, Stroke, And Hypertension
Eating one grapefruit daily decreased levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
Citrus fruit compounds such as soluble fibers, folate, and flavonoids are found to improve markers for the health of the heart.
5. Reduce Obesity And Promote Weight Loss
Citrus fruits are low in calories and do not contain any saturated fats or cholesterol.
The benefits of low calories are that it does not contribute to storing fat in your body and help stabilize blood sugar.
Whole orange fruits contain 14 grams of fiber which fills your stomach and stops you from feeling hungry sooner.
6. Boost Digestive Health
Citrus fruits, especially oranges have a high amount of 2 types of fibers. One is soluble fiber and the other is insoluble fiber
Soluble fiber absorbs liquid in our intestines and slows down the digestive process.
In doing so, it allows our body to absorb vitamins, fatty acids, glucose, and amino acid in the small intestine.
Normally without soluble fiber, our bodies lose out on these nutrients and go to waste. By maximizing the benefits of the food we eat, our bodies will stay healthy.
Insoluble fiber helps clean up our intestine and makes the fecal matter soft for easy passing of stools.
In other words, insoluble fiber helps reduce constipation.
7. Reduce Kidney Stone Risks
A kidney stone is formed when there is a build-up of minerals due to low levels of citrate in the urine.
This can cause the formation of a certain type of kidney stone.
Therefore, drinking lemon juice raises the level of citrate in the urine and minimizes the chance of kidney stones.
8. May Help Fight Or Protect Against Cancer
Citrus juice contains flavonoids such as antioxidant that suppresses cancer by removing free radicals.
It blocks the formation of new cancers by making carcinogens inactive.
9. Boost Brain Function
Citrus juice contains flavonoids that reduce neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Caused by inflammation
- Citrus has anti-inflammatory capabilities
- Hesperidin and apigenin protect brain cells and improve brain functions
- Boost brain function
10. Help Our Body Absorb Iron
Iron is one of the most important minerals our body needs in order to make red blood cells.
If we have a low red blood cell count in our body then we are going to be sick with Anemia.
Sometimes due to other illnesses, our bodies cannot absorb iron, therefore, resulting in anemia.
Vitamin C plays a major role in aiding iron absorption.
Side Effects Of Consuming Too Much Citrus Juice
Just because citrus juice is beneficial to our body, it does not mean we have to consume it excessively.
Actually, our bodies only need a certain amount of vitamins and minerals, therefore, consuming too much citrus juice can have its side effects.
- Citrus juice is acidic therefore drinking a lot of lemon water can cause tooth cavities. This is the result of the acid corroding the enamel that is coating the teeth. The simple way to avoid it is to wash your mouth with water so that it dilutes the high acidity in your mouth.
- Too much citrus juice can also cause stomach pain due to the acid reacting with the wall of the stomach.
- Drinking juice from grapefruits can interrupt some medication drugs for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and depression.
- Poor handling of citrus fruits during packaging and transporting can cause mold to grow on the fruit. The mold can cause an allergic reaction to people who are allergic to mold. Therefore it is important to carefully check the fruits for mold before buying them.
Buying From Shop Versus Making Your Own Juice
Citrus juice bought from the store has sugar and additives added to thus it is not healthy for those who want to eat healthily
On the other hand, your homemade juice is healthier because its fresh has lower sugar content, and has no additives
Homemade orange juice contains the beneficial fiber that is missing from juice bought at the store and it is cheaper too.
How To Store Your Orange Juice
When storing your orange juice it is best not to store it in plastic bottles or containers as its acidity will eat the plastic.
Stainless steel containers may also react with the acid and give a bad taste
The best storage containers are glass pitchers or jars.
A freshly squeezed orange juice in an airtight container can last for 2 – 3 days in the fridge.
How To Juice
Orange juice is perfect for rehydration when your kids are out playing soccer. So make sure you have some juice readily available in the cooler.
There are 3 ways to extract juice from an orange.
- By hand
- Electric juicer
- Blender or food processor
- 1 sharp kitchen knife
- 1 cutting board
- It can be messy so work carefully.
- 1 orange the size of a tennis ball will not fill a normal-sized coffee mug. For yourself, I suggest 4 oranges as some juice may spill out during processing.
- If you have a cut on your finger or palm you need to wear gloves. This is to avoid the juice getting into it which will cause a sting or an irritation to the cut. Trust me it is not nice at all.
1. By Hand
- Wash the oranges clean to remove any contaminants.
- Soften the fruits by rolling them with the palm of your hand on the counter or table. Apply a little pressure just enough to break the pulp inside. Too much pressure will break the fruit and the juice will spill out.
- Cut the fruits in half
- Remove the seeds
- Take one piece of the fruit with your strong hand and squeeze it into a cup or container. If you followed step 2 properly, squeezing the juice should be easy. Do this to all the fruit pieces you cut.
- Alternatively, you can use a plain juicer which will save you from squeezing the fruits. Or a handheld juicer that looks like a kitchen thong can save you some energy.
2. Using An Electric Juicer
- Wash the fruits clean
- Cut fruit into 4 parts and peel off the skin
- Load the fruit pieces into the juicer.
- Turn on the juicer.
- Please read the manual on how to operate the machine.
If you need to make a lot of juice then squeezing by hand will take up a lot of time. An electric juicer will do the job faster for you.
Some orange juice is already sweet so you don’t need to add sweetener. Sweet oranges are the navel and Valencia varieties.
Florida oranges have more juice than others.
You may need to add on fruits like lime and lemon and water to dilute the sourness. Suggested sweeteners are sugar, syrup, and stevia.
Tips On How To Make Lemon Water
Some people put a slice of lemon in their drinking water for a lot of reasons.
Firstly, lemon water changes the taste of the water, therefore, making it more drinkable.
The Harvestkitchen has a great tip that the kids will definitely enjoy:
- Cut up 2 – 3 large lemons
- Remove the skin
- Pop them in the juicer
- Add a little, and run the juicer until the lemon becomes smooth (you may add a little sweetener at this stage)
- Pour it into the ice cube trays and freeze them to solid
- Remove the cubes and store them in plastic freezer bags
- When needed, get some ice cubes and drop them into a glass of water
Citrus fruit is an excellent part of your family’s diet because of all the vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids it contained.
Bear in mind that too much intake of citrus juice is not beneficial and causes discomfort instead.
Please leave a comment below about what you think.