Zesty, juicy and delicious, citrus fruits are loved worldwide and highly favored because of their astounding health benefits. Popular citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruits and oranges are not only eaten in their natural form but also pressed for juice, added into jams and marmalades and also used in cooking to flavor meats and vegetables with their tangy taste.
What Are Citrus Fruits?
What is citrus fruit is a question many people have. Citrus fruits are acidic exotic fruits in which the seeds are surrounded by juicy and fleshy pulp. Originally cultivated in South East Asia, citrus fruits have found favor all around the world. A visit to the fruits section at your local departmental store would bombard you with a confusing variety of citrus fruits to choose from so here’s a look at the top ten list of citrus fruits that provide the most health benefits for all of us who shop for groceries keeping in mind a healthy and balanced diet.
Top Ten Citrus Fruits List:
1. Lemons:Loaded with antibacterial, antiviral and immune boosting properties, the lemon is also used as a weight loss tool as it is a digestive aid and cleanses the liver. Lemons contain citric acid, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, bioflavonoid, pectin and limonene which are known to boost the immune system.
2. Grapefruit:This large subtropical fruit known for its slightly bitter and sour taste is called a grapefruit as it grows in clusters like grapes. High in enzymes, water content and having less sodium, grapefruit helps accelerate weight loss. It also helps in cancer prevention, boosts immune levels and aids digestion. It is rich in vitamin B, magnesium, iron, folic acids, manganese, calcium and potassium.
3. Oranges:Rich in vitamin C, potassium and beta carotenes, oranges are an ideal source of multiple health benefits. It promotes cardiac health, prevents kidney disease and lowers cholesterol. Oranges are by far one of the most popular citrus fruits.
[ Read: Strawberry Benefits ]
A specific variant of Mandarin oranges, tangerines are set apart and cost more than common oranges. Tangerines have a distinctly less sour and sweeter flavor and are considered a source for the word tangy, a common adjective for all citrus fruits. Rich in vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene, Tangerines are known to promote digestion, heal wounds and cuts and limit the risks of obesity.
5. Limes:Green in color as opposed to the yellow lemon and has a bitter/sweet taste, limes are cousins of the lemon and considered two different fruits. Rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, potassium, magnesium and other minerals, limes can reverse the signs of aging, make the skin look younger and are even known to prevent formation of kidney stones.
[ Read: Lemon For Weight Loss ]
Largest amongst citrus fruits, the pomelo is a great source for vitamin A, B1, B2 and C, bioflavonoid, proteins, fiber, healthy fats, potassium, antioxidants and enzymes. Pomelo is known to aid digestion, promote cardiac and dental health and boost the immune system against common flu and colds.
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7. Blood Orange:
Considered the tastiest of citrus fruits, the blood orange is equally potent for its health benefits. High on vitamins C and A, it is also rich in folic acids, anthocyanins and calcium. It is good for preventing cancer, building teeth and bones and promotes cardiac and digestive health.
8. Buddha’s Hand:
Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, more commonly known as Buddha’s hand is rich in vitamin C and is commonly used to make tonics and stimulates. Unlike other citrus fruits it is dry and has no seeds.
9. Citron:Originated from India and Burma, the citron has vast health benefits. The antioxidant qualities of citron make it ideal for disease caused by oxidative stress such as Alzheimer’s. The peels have hypo-glycemic properties that make it an ideal treatment for diabetes. It also has a pain killing action on wounds cuts and burns.
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Oroblanco, commonly put into the segment of white grapefruits is rich in natural sugars, dietary fibers and is a great source of antioxidants that prevent free radicals from causing cellular damage to our bodies. It is also sodium free and has a high concentration of beta carotene.
Health Benefits Of Citrus Fruits:
- Promotes Weight Loss: The juice of one lemon with honey added in warm water is being followed for ages as a mantra for weight loss. It works most effectively if it is consumed on an empty stomach in the morning. Lemon contains Pectin, a soluble fiber that helps to burn fat and promotes weight loss.
- Increases Immunity: Most citrus fruits are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C clubbed with its antioxidants helps to increase the immunity of your body. Research has shown that people who consume citrus fruits are known to be less prone to common infections like common cold, cough and flu.
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Figs ]
- Improves Digestion: Lemon / lime are highly recommended to improve digestion. Drinking a glass of lemon juice with a meal helps to eliminate harmful bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract.
- Protects from Osteoporosis: Citrus fruits like lemons contain calcium in a small quantity. The potassium level in the lemon helps to maintain bone calcium density in your body. Potassium helps to prevent the loss of calcium through kidney, thus protecting from osteoporosis.
- Protects from kidney stones: Most citrus fruits contain citric acid and regular consumption of citrus juices help to increase the citrate level in urine. People prone to kidney stones should consume lots of water to prevent the formation of kidney stones. But adding the juice of lemons can help to reduce the risk of calcium stone in kidney.
[ Read: Sweet Lime Benefits ]
- If you will be consuming the citrus fruits within a week, store them at room temperature or else store it in the fruit box of your refrigerator to and it will remain fresh for at least a month.
- If you are having an upset tummy, drink a glass of lime juice to get respite from a stomach ache or any gastric problems.
- You can squirt some lemon juice on freshly cut fruits to prevent them from browning.
- Drinking lemon juice with honey early in morning will clear your skin complexion.
- Since citrus fruits (especially lemon and lime) are acidic in nature, it helps to balance body’s pH.
- Most citrus fruits contain less than one hundred calories per serving, so this is a perfect healthy snack option too.
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