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Wellness Tip: Citrus Fruits Can Boost Your Health

Grapefruits are unique. They may not be everyone’s favorite citrus fruit, but their flavor can be used in various ways. Whether in a cocktail or straight up, they also contain essential vitamins and minerals. We compiled some of the best health facts to help you celebrate National Grapefruit Month this February.

Immunity and Skin Elasticity

From the sunny coast of Florida to the outback of Australia, citrus foods are grown all over the globe. However, all carry the same nutrient: vitamin C. You’ve heard stories about sailors getting scurvy from a lack of vitamin C. That’s because citrus strengthens our immune systems

It also helps your skin retain its elasticity. So you can boost your immune system while keeping your skin firm. On top of that, the fruits contain vitamin B, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper. They are rich in antioxidants and help with inflammation in the body.

Photo Courtesy Anna Wlodarczyk

Heart, Gut, And Weight

Eating citrus fruits is beneficial for the gastrointestinal system, too. They are chock full of fiber — a cup of oranges contains four grams. If you think you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet (and you wouldn’t be alone), try drinking a glass of orange juice or taking orange slices as your work snack. There are a lot of cardiovascular benefits of fiber, such as lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Citrus fruits are also low in calories. Half of a single pink grapefruit is 52 calories, and oranges, lemons, and clementines range between 35 to 62 calories, respectively. The fiber in citrus can also help with weight loss. Cantaloupes, kiwis, bell peppers, and broccoli are other foods with high vitamin C and fiber.  

Cell Damage and Kidney Stones

One of the neatest aspects of citrus fruits is the flavonoids. They are nutrients that give plants certain qualities like color and aroma, in this case, grapefruits’ famous red and pink colors.

Studies show that these nutrients also repair the damage done to cells in the body. That is essential in fighting certain diseases like cancer, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes. 

Flavonoids also target free radicals in the body, reducing inflammation, improving blood pressure, and increasing glucose tolerance.

A high-citrus diet may reduce the risk of kidney stones. Studies show that some kidney stones are caused by low levels of citrate. Eating citrus like grapefruits or drinking their juices is an easy way to combat the deficiency. They provide a natural alternative to potassium citrate pill supplements.

Photo Courtesy Victoria Nazaruk

Tasty Dishes and Drinks

If you don’t want to drink juice or eat the fruits on their own, there are a few recipes with citrus as a key ingredient. The Mayo Clinic outlines an avocado salad with lemon dressing as a tasty dish. Another is a broiled grapefruit covered in brown sugar, perfect for dessert. The juice is also great for refreshing beverages. You can mix it with some seltzer water and vodka or make something fancy like the Sea Breeze

It should be noted that grapefruit can interfere with several prescription medications, so if you take any, you should consult your doctor before indulging in the fruit. 

As 2023 is still in its infancy, you have time to add a new resolution to your agenda, like getting more vitamin C in your diet. Whether you drink the juice or eat them raw, National Grapefruit Month is a perfect time to boost your physical wellness. 

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