Well, we made it. Another winter has wrapped up and summer is here to grace us with its presence. It was long and cold, (Shush, warm climate dwellers. We’re not talking to you!) but we made it.
With the arrival of these warmer months comes more than one reason to celebrate. There are fun outdoor activities to look forward to along with balmy nights, and heaps of delicious food. Break out the grill, because we’re ready for a barbecue.
But while we’re undeniably thrilled at the prospect of juicy burgers and some grilled sweet corn, it’s important not to forget the fruit! Fresh melon and ripe berries can certainly add a burst of sweetness to any summer day, but we’d like to focus on a lesser-sung MVP: Citrus.
Yep, that’s right. Citrus. Bright, tart, and zesty citrus.
These fruits might not be at the forefront of all summer options, but that doesn’t mean they don’t add their own burst of flavor to the season. Who hasn’t cooled off with a glass of cold lemonade on a hot day, or added a squeeze of lime to some guac? Or even tossed an orange or two (or 4 or 5) into their backpack before heading off on a hike?
A bit of citrus can go a long way towards a flavorful summer. But if you need a few extra reasons (namely, their various health benefits) we are more than happy to oblige.
But before we talk about the many ways citrus fruits are good for us, we would like to give a special thanks to C&L Fruits, a family business that has been producing fruit in Chile for over 40 years. They provide citrus to major markets in both the USA and Canada and are a go-to for fresh, delicious, and most importantly, healthy citrus like oranges and clementines. This article was made possible by them.
Whenever you peel an orange or sip some grapefruit juice, you get a lot more than just a delicious flavor. Citrus fruits offer us a whole plethora of vitamins and minerals that can be very beneficial to our health.
For one thing, citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, an important nutrient for maintaining a healthy immune system. This vitamin is also essential for collagen production so if you’re looking to have healthy and elastic skin, meeting your daily requirements is a good place to start. You don’t even need to eat a lot. Just one orange can provide the complete recommended daily intake.
Despite this undeniable claim to fame, however, don’t think that vitamin C is the only thing citrus has to offer. These fruits also contain varying amounts of other nutrients such as B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium.
If you’re looking for a little extra fiber in your diet. Citrus fruits may be a tasty place to start. It’s generally recommended that people consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories. This usually comes out as 21 to 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 for men daily, according to Mayo Clinic.
Oranges, in particular, are a good source of soluble fiber, a type of fiber that can be beneficial in lowering cholesterol levels. They also contain insoluble fiber to help keep us full and our digestive system regular.
Just make sure you’re going for the whole fruit on this one as juicing can take out a lot of the fiber.
Citrus fruits may also be helpful in staving off certain types of cancer. They’re high in phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids. These nutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which may go a long way in keeping a variety of illnesses at bay.
Healthy Heart, Healthy Mind
Speaking of preventing illnesses, citrus can also be very good for our heart and brain health.
Not only do the anti-inflammatory properties of phytonutrients in citrus help prevent illnesses like heart disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, but their high potassium and fiber content can help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
Looking to stay hydrated, but not a fan of lugging around a huge bottle of water all day? Eating foods with high water content is one way to help you get there.
Now, guess what citrus fruits have a lot of. Lemons and limes may be a bit intense to eat on their own, although they are certainly great in infused water. Oranges are 88% water, while grapefruit clocks in at about 90%. Overall, citrus fruits can help us stay hydrated and keep all of our body’s systems functioning; not to mention they taste amazing as well!