The Benefits of Citrus

Citrus: 5 Reasons You Need It in Your Life

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As you may know, citrus fruits, (think grapefruits, tangerines, oranges, lemons and limes), are an excellent source of Vitamin C.  While many reach for these fruits to boost their immune system and combat the flu and common cold, there are a number of additional benefits to including citrus in your diet.  Here are 5 reasons you should add a little extra zest to your life.

 

  1. They are a Good Source of Fiber

Studies show that the average US woman is not including a healthy amount of fiber in their diet.  It is recommended that for every 1,000 calories you consume, you should have about 14 grams of fiber. If you are struggling to find ways to incorporate more fiber into your diet, reach for some citrus fruit.  A large orange contains about 4 grams, while a full grapefruit contains about 5.  

 

  1. They Have a Low Glycemic Index

Fruits with a glycemic index of 0-55 are generally considered low, meaning they won’t cause spikes in your blood sugar. Grapefruits and oranges fall low on the GI scale, with scores of 25 and 45, respectively. In other words, the sugars found in citrus are slowly released into your body, giving you a steady stream of energy.   So, if you need a midday pick-me-up, reach for citrus instead of sugary foods like donuts or candy that will cause your body to crash after an initial high.  

 

  1. They’re Good For the Heart

Citrus contains a significant amount of flavonoids, which are compounds proven to promote heart health.  Eating a serving of citrus everyday helps to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol.  However, it should be noted that grapefruit cannot be eaten if you are currently taking medicine that regulates your cholesterol levels.

 

  1. Citrus is an Excellent Source of Potassium

Bananas aren’t the only fruit that provides your body with potassium.  While it is recommended that you get about 4,000 mg a day, a glass of orange juice can contribute a substantial 500 mg to your daily total.  Eating potassium-rich foods is important because they help promote muscle function, regulate fluids, and control your body’s sodium levels by flushing out excess salt.

 

  1. They Are Hydrating

Citrus fruits have a high water content, meaning that they effectively quench your thirst and keep you hydrated throughout the day. Oranges are about 87% water, and lemons are a whopping 97%.  Try adding slices of citrus fruit to your glasses of water. They will make your drinks look beautiful, taste refreshing, and most importantly, extra hydrating.

 

Citrus fruits are the perfect food. They are flavorful, versatile, easily found at grocery stores, and above all, healthy.  Although they are often found in eye-catching centerpieces, these nutrient-rich fruits should be displayed in your drinks and dishes, not on your countertops.  So treat yourself to a glass of orange juice, or a dish flavored with a splash of lemon.  Your body will be sure to thank you.

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