Photograph by Carin Krasner
Oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit aren’t just refreshing—they’re super-nutritious too. For instance, one medium orange packs more than 100 percent of the recommended daily dose for vitamin C (and some research suggests organic citrus packs up to 17 percent more vitamin C than conventional). And here are more health reasons to have a serving of citrus every day. Eating citrus could…
—Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D. & Lori Longbotham for EatingWell Magazine
Loading up on citrus and vitamin C won’t prevent colds, but high doses of C (400 to 500 mg) may shorten the duration and lessen the symptoms.
Oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are rich sources of flavonoids. The predominant flavonoid in these fruits—hesperidin—is credited with boosting “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Naturally packed with water and fiber, citrus will help you stay full and satisfied, but grapefruit may have a decided advantage, according to a 2006 Journal of Medicinal Food study. When researchers put volunteers on an exercise plan for 12 weeks and asked them to eat either half a fresh grapefruit or drink apple juice and pop a placebo pill before each meal, the grapefruit group dropped an average of 3½ pounds (compared to just ½ pound for the apple group).
Both citrus and salt enhance flavors, so skip the salt and add a spritz of citrus juice instead to keep dishes lower in sodium.
Limonoids, a special class of antioxidants in most citrus, may help guard against colon, lung, breast, skin and stomach cancer.