Citrus fruits are winter fruits. The sweetest and juiciest citrus fruits are produced in the winter, even though many citrus fruits are available year around in North America. We are ever mindful of the high concentration of immune boosting vitamin C found in citrus fruit. Eating oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons, mandarins and others in season is a great way to flood our body with even more natural Vitamin C during the colder, chilly months. I love the fresh, energizing smell of citrus in food preparation.
I remember picking lemons from this tree in my Aunt Hazel’s yard in California and recognizing them as Meyer lemons because of the smooth skin and relatively small size.
There are greater health benefits in eating the whole fruit compared to drinking the juice. The rind and seeds of lemons, grapefruits and oranges contain limonoids. Limonoids are a subcategory of a broader class of phytochemical called terpenes. Briefly, phytochemicals are compounds in foods that can offer health benefits to help us live longer, look younger, and feel better. Phytochemicals are grouped on the basis of similarities of their protective function.
Citrus fruits contain numerous additional benefits including:
- Being a good source of soluble fiber – which can improve cholesterol levels
- Rich in vitamin, minerals and plant protein
- Help protect against certain types of cancer
- Can lower the risk of kidney stones
- Have been shown to boost brain function
- Can ward off cold and flu symptoms
- Can help to promote a healthy heart
Citrus can add a bite of sunshine to your winter day!