Eat more citrus this winter
While citrus is most known for its cold-fighting vitamin C, it has a multitude of other health benefits. Try these citrus recipes and keep healthy this winter.
Have you ever wondered why an apple turns brown after you cut it in half? But cut any citrus fruit in half and it remains virtually unchanged. The difference is the high level of ascorbic acid and other antioxidants in the citrus; they protect it from oxidation—like natural rustproofing.
In the same way, eating more citrus fruits can protect your body and keep it healthy, especially in winter.
While citrus is most commonly known as a source of cold-fighting vitamin C, most citrus fruits also contain a generous amount of vitamins and minerals that are essential for normal growth, development, and overall nutritional well-being. They include potassium, folate, calcium, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and a variety of phytochemicals.
In addition, citrus contains no fat or sodium, and no cholesterol. The average caloric value of fresh citrus is also low. A medium orange contains only 60 to 80 kcal; a grapefruit, 90 kcal; and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, only 4 kcal.
Citrus also contains other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds (phytochemicals) that can help to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Most citrus fruits contain more than 170 of these good-for-you plant chemicals to help achieve optimal immune and general health, aiding in prevention of osteoporosis, kidney stones, mental function, asthma, and more.
Organic is best
Few Canadians eat citrus fruits daily, though. Even among Canadians who know citrus is good for them, consumption is often very low. Perhaps perception of high cost or high exposure to pesticides used in growing the fruits affects our food choices. Citrus fruits grown organically are excellent choices, even though those grown conventionally show pesticide exposure in a mid-range count compared to a lot of other produce.
However, the most direct influencing factors are always availability, taste, and price. Yet in other nations where income levels are low, people consume more fresh citrus than in Canada.
Over the past few decades, the shift in consumer preferences toward healthier, more convenient products has contributed to a growth in demand for citrus.
At the store
In the kitchen
Canadians don’t consume enough citrus. So, in order to increase citrus in your diet, here is an entire citrus menu. Each course—from soup to dessert—is made with citrus fruit. Salut! To your health!