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Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits

By Paul Rothbart

Citrus fruits are among the most popular. Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and many others comprise this delicious and acidic group. They are useful in cooking both sweet and savory foods, great in beverages, and just eaten on their own. Citrus fruits are native to the South Pacific, but are now cultivated in many tropical and subtropical climates. Citrus can be either sweet or tart. They are also among the healthiest of fruits. Here are some health benefits of citrus fruits.

They Contain Vitamins and Plant Compounds

Citrus fruits are well known for their high Vitamin C content. The fact is, one medium-sized orange contains the entire recommended daily allowance of this nutrient. Vitamin C boosts the immune system and helps keep the skin smooth and elastic. Citrus fruits also contain significant amounts of B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper, all essential to good health. The plant compounds in citrus fruits include antioxidants, which act as anti-inflammatories. These compounds also include flavonoids and carotenoids that help fight free radicals which can damage cells, leading to cancer.

They Contain Fiber

Citrus fruits are an excellent source of fiber. Just a single cup of orange segments contains 4 grams. It is recommended that you get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed. Health experts estimate that only 4 percent of men and 13 percent of women get that much fiber daily. Citrus fruits are a great way to boost those fiber levels to the recommended amounts. Fiber is beneficial to digestive health and weight loss. Oranges are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.

They Are Low in Calories

For people who are counting calories, citrus fruits are a great choice. They are low in calories but fill you up. One medium orange contains just 62 calories. Another option is the sweet, delicious clementine, which contains a mere 35 calories. Half a white grapefruit, a popular breakfast food, contains only 39 calories, while the pink variant has 52. A 2015 study of people's eating habits linked eating citrus fruits with weight loss. Citrus should be on every dieter's menu.

They May Protect the Brain

The flavonoids in citrus fruit have anti-inflammatory capabilities. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are partly caused by inflammation in the brain. By reducing inflammation, flavonoids help to stop the chain of events that can lead to these brain diseases. Studies of older adults have shown that citrus juices can boost brain function.

Fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. Citrus are among the best you can eat. Regularly including them in your meals and snacks will provide a number of excellent health benefits. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Roswell, Ga.

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