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It’s All About Citrus Fruits And Their Health Benefits

By Riddhi Parmar +2 more

The summer is almost here, and we all are searching for various juices and smoothies to hydrate ourselves. We have many options to satisfy our dry throat, but citrus fruits can be the best option for summer as well as other seasons. They are tangy, they are zesty, and they are delicious!!

Citrus fruit health benefits

Citrus fruits are bright, colourful, fragrant, refreshing and are not only tasty but also packed with nutrients.  

What are citrus fruits?

Citrus fruits grow on flowering trees and shrubs. They have originated from Southeast Asia. These days citrus fruits are grown in tropical and subtropical climates all over the world. The production hub includes Spain, Brazil, the USA, Mexico, and India. The peak season of common citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits is between mid-December and April.

Varieties of citrus fruits  

 There are a list of citrus fruits that are essential for our health-

  • Sweet oranges – Blood orange, Caracara, Valencia, Navel
  • Lime – Keffir, Key lime, Persian
  • Grapefruit – White, Ruby red
  • Lemons – Meyer, Eureka
  • Mandarins – Tangerine, Calamondin, Clementine
  • Other – Buddha’s hand, Citron, Yuzu, Pomelo

According to Fleming et al. (1998), vitamin C may boost non-haem iron absorption by two to four times. Non-haem iron is the inorganic form of iron present in plant foods. The risk of iron deficiency, which can eventually lead to anaemia, is higher in vegetarians and those who eat minimal meat and other animal products. I strongly recommend the consumption of citrus fruits with high vitamin C content as it may help reduce anaemia and its harmful effects.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Nutritional facts of citrus fruits 

The nutritional fact varies in each citrus fruit. However, loads of vitamin C and antioxidants are constant nutrients that are present in every citrus fruit. Also, they contain –

  • Vitamin B
  • Flavonoids and carotenoids
  • Dietary fibres – pectin
  • Minerals – potassium, calcium, magnesium, and copper
  • Simple carbohydrates – glucose, sucrose, and fructose. 

It has been demonstrated in studies that older people who consume more fruits, vegetables, and other sources of vitamin C and folate are believed to perform better on cognitive tests. An adequate diet that includes nutrient-dense meals appears to be linked to improved cognitive performance in the elderly.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Health benefits of citrus fruits 

 Citrus fruits were well known for their medicinal properties and were used to treat many diseased conditions.

1. Keep your skin young and youthful:

Vitamin C is the best option for our skin health. Citrus fruits are the storehouse of vitamin C that makes them essential for good skin. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is needed to regenerate collagen in your skin. Collagen helps in skin tightening and reduces fine lines over the skin. Citrus fruits are beneficial to lock your skin’s youthfulness and charm. 

2. Help reduce pigmentation:

Hyperpigmentation or dark spot may form because of exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. Vitamin C is an excellent remedy that may help you with your dark complexion. For this purpose, you can either consume citrus fruits or apply their juice topically.

3. Acts as an exfoliator:

Vitamin C is the best and natural exfoliator of our skin, and citrus fruits are rich in it. Citrus fruits help clear your clogged pores and dead skin to make your pores shrink. Orange peels are here to rescue your skin-related problems. 

For lowering the risk of serious birth abnormalities like spina bifida and anencephaly during the first trimester of pregnancy, sufficient folate consumption is believed to be essential. In my experience, citrus foods may help provide enough folate and hence lower the risk of several birth abnormalities by regular consumption.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

4. Strengthen hair and reduce dandruff:

Apply lemon juice topically on the scalp helps deep clean your scalp and get rid of all dandruff. It also makes your hair strong and shiny. 

5. May reduce the risk of kidney stones:

Kidney stones cause due to chronic urine infection and accumulation of minerals in your kidney system. Citrus fruits can raise the levels of citrate in your urine, lowering the risk of kidney stones.

6. Help in weight loss:

Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges are low in calories. Because of this, it becomes a good option for weight loss. It also has high water and fibre content that fills you up and prevents you from feeling hungry.

Also Read: Immunity Boosting Foods for Kids: A Research-Based Guide to Healthier Nutrition

7. Great for heart health:

Citrus fruits contain fibres and flavonoids that may improve cholesterol levels by raising ”good” HDL cholesterol and lowering ”bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Some citrus fruits are rich in naringin which is a good antioxidant that benefits the heart in several ways, such as lowering blood pressure.  

8. May protect brain health:

The flavonoids in citrus fruits may help ward off neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that protect your nervous system. 

Due to the increased level of soluble and insoluble fibre in citrus juice, several clinical investigations revealed that the juice may help regulate elevated cholesterol and significant lipid problems in the human body.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, MD

9. May protect against cancer:  

Vitamin C and flavonoids are present in citrus fruits have anti-cancerous properties that may protect us from this deadly disease. According to various studies, citrus fruits are beneficial against esophageal cancer and ovarian cancer. 

10. Maintain eye health:  

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and other minerals. It helps maintain the blood vessels in your eyes, but it is also essential to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. 

There are so many reasons to eat citrus fruits. One of the main reasons as it is rich in many nutrients that are essential for our body. Consuming citrus fruits can make your body stronger and healthier.  

Citrus flavonoids are believed to have significant anti-diabetic effects, in part via binding to starch, boosting sugar metabolism in the liver. I recommend regular consumption of citrus fruits and juices that may help people living with diabetes.

Dr. Ashok Pal, BAMS

Whole citrus fruits & juices

Citrus juices have a fair amount of minerals, especially potassium in them. Potassium is an important mineral when it comes to human nutrition. It plays an important role in electrolyte balance, heart activity and muscle contraction. Citrus fruits contain natural sugar content and health benefits that naturally make them one of the healthiest additions to your diet. 

However, if you are not a juice person and like to include fibres on your diet as well, you can chop up your fruits and add them to various meals throughout the day. Some of the easy ways you can include citrus fruits in your diet are as follows:

  • Add pieces of oranges or grapefruit segments to your morning fresh salad.
  • Add a dash of lime or squeeze of lemon to your guacamole.
  • Squeeze lemon juice over your salmon, smoked chicken or seafood.
  • Make a citrus sauce for roasted beef or pork.

While orange and grapefruit juice contains a high amount of Vitamin C in them, it is also not very healthy to consume these fruit juices regularly. Instead, consuming whole fruits delivers much less sugar and much more fibre. Moreover, when your body takes in large amounts of fructose (the type of sugar in fruit juice), it is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. Thus, it is better to include whole citrus fruits in your diet instead of juices.

Read more about: The Amazing Noni Fruit Juice And Its Health Benefits

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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