If you check any healthcare news on the topic, you’ll see that citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C. You already know this – grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges, and tangerines are rich in this immune-boosting vitamin that makes them the go-to fruits of those who have colds or the flu.
But aside from being a Vitamin-C source, there are a number of other health benefits that these tangy and refreshing fruits offer. Here are five reasons citrus fruits are great for your health:
1. They promote heart health
Citrus fruits have flavonoids, which are good for the heart. In a published study, researchers found that in patients who suffer from coronary atherosclerosis and have undergone bypass surgery, red grapefruit actually lowered both bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Citrus flavonoids also help keep free radicals from damaging the cells and reduce inflammation. Likewise, they can even help minimize oxidative stress and improve blood pressure.
On top of that, its potassium content helps lower the risk of getting a stroke and the risk of heart disease. However, it is worth noting that if you are taking cholesterol-lowering statins, grapefruits may interfere with your medication. For this reason, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before continuing!
2. They may help protect against cancer
One study showed that people who consumed either one serving of grapefruit juice or one grapefruit on a daily basis had a lower risk of lung cancer. There’s also research showing that vitamin C may be effective in reducing the growth and preventing the spread of cancer cells.
3. They may help aid weight loss
Citrus fruits are fiber-packed, which helps keep you feeling satiated for much longer compared to non-fibrous foods. These healthy fruits also help you meet your daily fiber goal. Since two-thirds of the fiber content in citrus is soluble, it can regulate glucose levels and lower cholesterol.
Citrus fruits even make a great snack if you are watching your calories. Here is the caloric content of several fruits:
- Juice of 1 lemon – 12
- 1 orange – 62
- 1 clementine – 35
- ½ white grapefruit- 39
- ½ pink grapefruit – 52
Aside from being low in calories, the water and content of citrus fruits are truly filling as well.
4. They may aid in minimizing the risk of kidney stones
Kidney stones are mineral crystals that can form when you have excessive amounts of stone-forming minerals in your urine. One cause for this is the low level of citrate in the urine.
Citrus fruits are known to raise the urine’s citrate levels and help lower the risk of kidney stones. Eating citrus fruits fresh or drinking their juice is an excellent alternative to taking supplements for potassium citrate. Data even shows that kidney stones are more common in those who eat fewer citrus fruits.
5. They may help protect the brain
As mentioned above, citrus fruits contain flavonoids, which are an effective anti-inflammatory. Certain types of flavonoids, such as apigenin and hesperidin, are said to help improve brain function by protecting the brain cells in mice during tests.
In humans, there are studies that show citrus juices, when consumed by older adults, may help boost brain function. The flavonoid content of citrus fruits may contribute to the fight against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Citrus fruits are indeed worth more than just being a cold-busting fruit. With the benefits mentioned above, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t add these fruits to your regular diet. Anyway, these citrus fruits are so tasty; nobody would mind having them every day!
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