There are tons of citrus foods to eat. They are reputable for their signature flavor and scent, and apart from the tanginess they add to desserts and dishes, they are also very rich in vitamins, minerals & antioxidants. Newer studies have emphasized a lot on the vast range of health benefits to enjoy from these citrusy superfoods. From tackling kidney stones to battling cancer development, there are several reasons to throw in more citruses to your diet.
But, is apple citrusy? How many varieties of oranges do you know? What will eating more citruses do for you? This blog takes an insightful look into this tasty family of fruits, discussing the benefits attached to eating them and some simple recipes, to begin with.
What Are Citrus Fruits?
Citrus fruits are a part of the rue or Rutaceae family of fruits. They are obtained from flowering citrus shrubs and trees which grow across the world, majorly in Asia and Australia.
Ranging from the familiar ones, such as oranges and lemons, to less popular ones, such as pomelo and citron, these fruits are unique for their thick rind and notable flavor, which cuts from sweet to sour.
It may be impossible to get the accurate nutrients in all citrus fruits, but they are generally rich reservoirs of vitamin C, antioxidants & fiber. They are commonly used in making jam, juices, marmalades, sauces, smoothies & side dishes.
15 Most Nutritious Citrus Foods To Eat
We are familiar with many citrus foods, but there are others we have not heard of. You may, of course, know lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges, but how about kumquat, tangelo, and yuzu fruit? Let us look at your 15 healthiest options.
- Bitter orange
- Blood orange
- Buddha’s hand
- Mandarin orange
- Seville oranges
There are other citrus foods with great nutrient levels, of course, but these 15 are apparently above the charts.
6 Benefits Of Citrus Foods To Eat
So, are there any special benefits attached to eating more of the citrus foods mentioned above? The answer is unarguably in the affirmative. Let’s look at what citruses can offer you apart from the generous, outstanding flavors.
Supports Digestive Function
Citrus fruits are rich sources of fiber, a form of indigestible carbohydrate that supports gut health. Therefore, the fruits help to add bulk to a stool to prevent constipation. Apart from this, fiber has proven beneficial in the processes of several other digestive functions. To be particular, research has established that increased fiber consumption will reduce the risk of digestive illnesses, including acid reflux, hemorrhoids & diverticulitis.
In addition to these, citruses contain special fiber types, which serve as prebiotics, for example, pectin. As you may know already, prebiotics strengthen the helpful gut bacteria, which influence several internal reactions ranging from nutrient absorption to inflammation control.
Protection Against Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are disturbing formations in the kidney. They are formed when mineral deposits accumulate in the kidneys’ inner lining, resulting in pain, vomiting, nausea & blood-tainted urine. There are several types and causes of kidney stones, but low citrate levels in the body remain one of the major causes. Citrate is responsible for preventing the formation of these mineral deposits in the kidneys.
Thankfully, studies have pointed towards citruses' ability to influence more citrate production in the body, thus ensuring that mineral deposits do not gather. Also, there are suggestions that regular citrus intake will significantly reduce the risk of kidney stones.
Tackle Cancer Cells
Antioxidants are one of the most prominent nutrients in citrus foods. Now, these are powerful, helpful compounds that improve the management of oxidative stress to avoid cell damage. This is a crucial effect, given that it is the cells damaged by oxidative stress that become free radicals, which are cancer propagators. I suppose everyone can agree to several studies considering antioxidants as important health compounds.
In 2015, Medicine published a meta-analysis that established that abundant levels of citruses in the body would effectively reduce the risk of developing esophageal cancer. This, alongside multiple research, has led to suggestions that continuous citrus intake reduces the risk of different cancer types, specifically lung, stomach, pancreatic, and breast cancers.
Enhanced Brain Function
Polyphenols, flavonoids, and other antioxidants found in citrusy superfoods have long been proven to bolster brain functioning and slow down cognitive decline. A 2016 Italian review strongly suggested that citrus flavonoids could act as neuroprotective compounds, potentially preventing the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & multiple sclerosis.
As it stands, more evidence is needed to be authoritative on this supposed benefit, but there are promising signs already. A publication of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that after a study requiring older adults to take orange juice every day for eight weeks, the participants reported considerable upgrades in cognitive behavior compared to a control group.
Citrusy superfoods are dense in fiber, yet low in calories, making them ideal for individuals pursuing weight-loss. Many citrus foods are brimming with pectin, a unique soluble fiber that curbs cravings and fosters satiety to assist weight-loss.
Interestingly, PLoS Medicine published a study in 2015 that had for 24 years, studied 133 000 men. The researchers reported that there was a direct connection between the consumption of citrus foods and their weights. According to the study, the higher the consumption of citrusy superfoods, the better your weight. And if you have to lose weight, increased citrus consumption may be an excellent method.
Takeaways From The Citrus Foods To Eat
As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, there are tens of citrus foods to eat, each with generous nutrients. These superfoods are filled with fiber but little calories. They possess rich levels of antioxidants and Vitamin C. There are several uses for them too, and we can’t disregard their flavorful, out-of-the-world tastes. Citrus foods should, unarguably, be an essential part of your diet.