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Citrus Fruits & Vitamin C

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Citrus Fruits & Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an incredibly important micronutrient that has been known to lower the risk of certain types of cancer, protect cells from free radicals, boost the immune system, build collagen (an important structural protein throughout the body), and aids in regeneration of vitamin e supplies in the body. Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges are packed with phytonutrients (powerful plant-based antioxidants – keeping your immune system running at top efficiency), and contain a variety of additional nutritional benefits.

Whether you’re kickboxing in the gym or just out for a run, studies have shown that a diet rich in citrus could help improve cardiovascular health. Citrus fruits like grapefruit are not only dense and low calorie, but they also contain fiber-which may explain why those who eat them tend to lose weight, a study published in PLOS Medicine shows.

Let’s break down the nutritional benefits of five of the most popular citrus fruits, and how to store and enjoy them.

Oranges contain over an entire day’s worth of Vitamin C, and are a great source of folate and soluble fiber and have been known to help lower cholesterol levels. Not only are oranges rich in antioxidants, but they also include beta carotene and flavonoids.
Macronutrients for an orange: 62 calories | 15g Carbs | 3g Fiber | 12g Sugar

 

Lemons on the other hand contain limonoids, which are compounds that may lower “bad” cholesterol levels. Lemons provide 40% of the daily vitamin C need, and are known to improve the absorption of iron.
Macronutrients for a lemon: 17 calories | 5g Carbs | 2g Fiber | 2g Sugar

 

Limes, although typically smaller than an orange or a lemon, can pack quite the punch! Limes are rich in antioxidants that are known to reduce the risk of cancer, & are high in citric acid, which can help prevent kidney stones. Limes contain 22% of daily vitamin C needs. 

Macronutrients for a lime: 20 calories | 7g Carbs | 2g Fiber | 1g Sugar

 

Grapefruit is not only delicious, but did you know that grapefruit can also help lower “bad” cholesterol levels? Grapefruits are rich in vitamins A & C, and have a high water content-which aids in weight loss. 
Macronutrients for ½ grapefruit: 41 Calories | 10g Carbs | 1g Fiber | 9g Sugar 

 

Mandarin Oranges are high in Vitamin C, contain B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Mandarin oranges also contain copper, which aids in the absorption of iron. 

Macronutrients for a medium mandarin orange: 47 Calories | 12g Carbs | 2g Fiber | 9g Sugar

 

How to Store, Select, and Prep Citrus Fruits:

When selecting your citrus fruits, look for fruits that are firm to the touch, free of soft spots and signs of decay, and feel heavy for their size. This is a sign that they are juicy on the inside!

Citrus fruits are known to stay fresh for up to three weeks in the refrigerator, or up to seven days at room temperature.

Lemons: Store inside a plastic bag inside of your refrigerator crisper drawer

Mandarin Oranges, Oranges, Grapefruit & Limes: Store uncovered in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

 

Citrus Juices: Squeeze your citrus fruits and store their juices in the refrigerator in a sealed container,  or freeze in ice cube trays.

 

Citrus Peels: If you wish to grate the peels of your citrus fruits, taste test before using as the peels can change flavor quickly. Store in an airtight container in your freezer for up to 2-3 weeks.

 

How To Use Citrus Fruits:
You can utilize citrus fruits by chopping and mixing into sparkling or filtered water for a hint of flavor, blend into smoothies for a kick, or grate the peel for a flavor burst. Citrus fruits are also paired well with salads and other fruits, veggies and fish. You can also chop and mix into a fresh salsa, jam, jelly, or marmalade, blend into a sorbet, or mix into marinades, vinaigrettes or glazes.

 

Fun Facts About Citrus:
Oranges are technically a type of berry as they are found growing on the subtropical evergreen tree.

Citrus leaves that have been fossilized suggest that oranges have existed for at least 7 million years.

A single grapefruit tree can produce more than 1,500 pounds of fruit!


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