There's more to citrus than just Vitamin C. We don't hear as much about the other health benefits and reasons to celebrate citrus, so, today, I'm going to do my best to redefine everything you thought you knew about citrus, and hopefully increase your appetite for more.
Rich in fiber, folate, calcium, thiamin, niacin, B6, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and potassium, these nutritional compounds found in citrus can reduce the risk for many chronic diseases. In general, a piece of citrus the size of a baseball is equivalent to one serving of fruit, ranging from 60 - 80 kcal unless its lemon juice. One tablespoon of juice is equivalent to 4 kcal.
These calories come mostly from simple carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, sucrose, and even citric acid to a smaller extent). However, the fiber content, which is complex carbohydrate, is largely from pectin. This is especially important, as fiber allows for increased satiety and delay of gastric emptying (both are good!). Ultimately, promoting a heart healthy diet that keeps you fuller for longer.
The vitamin breakdown
Water-soluble, with an important role in the formation of collagen throughout the body, iron absorption, and antioxidant functions. Contrary to what many believe, vitamin C does not prevent colds; it reduces the length and severity of the symptoms.
Water-soluble that is essential for cell production and growth, specifically in the production of DNA and RNA.
Mineral that works to maintain body's water and acid balance. It is also an electrolyte with a key role in muscle contraction and maintenance of blood pressure.
Monoterpenes, limoniods (triterpenes), flavanoids, carotenoids, and hydroxycinnamic acid are some of more commonly studied phytochemicals. What most of these do for our bodies is still being explored as we continue to perform research. However, we do know these naturally occurring compounds have anticarcinogenic mechanisms, and antioxidant capabilities.
MORE in the work, under review for possible positive influence of citrus:
Examples of citrus
Now that we know it's good for us, what are examples of citrus...other than our trusted orange
How to add citrus to your diet
Citrus provides an amazing burst of flavor and color to break through these gray winter days. Now that you have the knowledge and ideas to get you started, get out there and get cooking!
If you're looking for help to achieve your food and nutrition goals, please reach out to me for a free 15-minute consultation. We can discuss how I can help you with goals, meal planning, and more.
Explore my page to learn more.
Still hungry? Check out my recipes page to get inspired, or to try something new. One of my favorites this time of year is the Brazilian fish stew.