Citrus fruits supply a healthy amount of vitamin C, which helps protect our bodies from cell damage, as well as improve skin, gums, mood, and memory. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of calcium and iron.
A deficiency of vitamin C has been linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The National Cancer Institute has called oranges a complete package of every known natural anti-cancer inhibitor.
Citrus fruits contain pectin, a soluble fiber which helps control cholesterol levels and binds with toxins in the digestive tract to remove them from the body. In animals, pectin was shown to inhibit the metastasis of prostate and melanoma cancers.
Pectin has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar by lowering glucose absorption in those with type 2 diabetes.
Limone is found in the oil of the peel of oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes, and in smaller amounts in the pulp. Limone has been shown to cause the regression of tumors. Studies have shown lower rates of certain cancers in those who regularly consume citrus peel.
Eat some of the pith (white part between the fruit and peel), as it contains high amounts of fiber, pectin, limonene, and other health-protecting compounds. The peel also has beneficial amounts of these substances, but you need to wash the fruit well and buy organic.
Citrus fruits contain potassium, which helps keep bones strong and protect the cardiovascular system.
Citrus fruits contain flavonoids that help strengthen blood vessel walls and are widely used in Europe to treat diseases of the blood vessels and lymph system, including hemorrhoids, easy bruising, and nosebleeds.
Citrus flavonoids have also been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth, act as anti-inflammatories, and possess anti-viral activity.
An average orange contains about 64 mg of vitamin C, 238 mg of potassium, 61 mg of calcium, and 3 grams of fiber.
Orange pulp contains twice the amount of vitamin C as the peel and 10 times that found in the juice!
For the most health benefits, eat the whole fruit, preferably organic. When consuming juice, squeeze it fresh. There is much nutrient loss in packaged juices. If you do buy juice, choose those with high pulp content to get more of the fiber and pectin.
Eat a serving or two daily during citrus season. Choose from oranges, tangerines, kumquats, grapefruit, lemons, and limes.
Tip: When choosing a vitamin C supplement, look for one that contains bioflavonoids.
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.