Do you need a source rich in vitamin C and fiber, but low in calories? Try one of the various types of citrus fruits available on the Romanian market. It provides you with the energy you need for daily activities, protects the heart and nervous system and offers many other benefits that are good to know.
Lemons, oranges, clementines, mandarins, mince, grapefruit – these are the fruits that start to appear on the shopping list with the cold season. They are aromatic, rich in juice, easy to consume both in the form of slices and as a juice or smoothie, or in various cakes or tarts. In addition to the pleasant taste, citrus fruits also offer you a variety of nutrients that your body needs. Find out in this article what you earn by regularly consuming this type of fruit.
What are citrus fruits?
Originating in Southeast Asia, Australia, New Caledonia and New Guinea and part of the Rutaceae family, citrus fruits are trees or shrubs with flowers whose fruits have in common thick bark and thin white skin that surrounds the juicy flesh inside. It grows best in the subtropical and tropical climates, the main sources of citrus that feed the international market being currently Spain, China, Brazil, India, Mexico, USA and Greece.
Although you can find them in stores throughout the year, their season is between November and March, when you will find them at a more affordable price and in the best shape, ripe and juicy.
The family of citrus fruits available on the Romanian market includes lemons, oranges, mandarins, clementines, grapefruit, lime, tangerines, mince, pomelo, yuzus, combavas, kumquats.
Important source of vitamin C.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid cannot be synthesized by the body, so it is essential to ensure a sufficient intake of food. It is an effective antioxidant, protecting the body against free radicals, stimulating the immune system and supporting the health of teeth and bones.
As a guide, it is considered that three medium-sized citrus fruits can provide you with the daily requirement of vitamin C. Oranges are the richest in this nutrient, with 50mg to 100g of fruit, lemons offer 30mg per 100g of fruit, grapefruit 34mg, and mandarins 30mg. Women need an intake of about 75mg of vitamin C per day, and men 90mg.
Vitamin C helps fix iron in the body, which is why an intake of vegetables and fruits rich in this nutrient is recommended in cases of anemia. It also maintains the elasticity of the skin, favoring the production of collagen. Ascorbic acid consumption is also indicated during periods of mental or physical overload and for improving memory.
Low calorie content
Because they are low-calorie fruits, but rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, citrus fruits are among the best foods if you want to lose extra pounds. Thus, 100g of orange kernel contains only 47 calories, 100g of grapefruit kernel means 42 calories, 100g of tangerines equals 53 calories, and 100g of lemon adds only 25 calories to your daily diet.
Prevent kidney stones
Studies show that frequent consumption of citrus reduces the risk of kidney stones. The reason is the rich content of potassium citrate, a substance currently used to treat hypocitruria, a factor that promotes the formation of kidney stones. Although all citrus fruits can help you prevent these kidney problems, research shows that the most effective are oranges, consumed as such or in the form of juice, obtained with the help of a citrus juicer ( here is a list of products, made by us ).
Rich in soluble fiber
Nutritionists recommend consuming 14g of fiber for every 1000 calories ingested, which means about 25g daily for women and 38 grams for men, the fibers directly contributing to maintaining efficient digestion and reducing body weight.
Insoluble fiber stimulates intestinal peristalsis – the contraction of smooth muscles in the intestines, which ensures the movement of waste to the evacuation – thus preventing constipation. The soluble ones turn into a gel during digestion, by dissolving in water from the intestines, helping to completely eliminate food. In addition, soluble fiber helps regulate blood sugar, keep blood sugar under control, and lower negative cholesterol. Among citrus fruits, oranges have the highest content of soluble fiber.
But it is good to know that the transformation of fruit into juice removes most of the fibers that are found mostly in the skins that form the slices, usually stopped in the juicer sieve.
It regulates appetite and appetite
Because their structure means a balanced content of carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and fiber, citrus fruits help regulate appetite, being very useful in weight loss. It provides the necessary nutrients for daily activity, without a high calorie intake, but ensuring an adequate level of energy, especially through folic acid.
Good for the nervous system
Consumption of citrus provides a significant intake of vitamin B2, which has the role of helping you sleep better and stimulate digestion. B1 supports the optimal functioning of the central and peripheral nervous system, being beneficial in relieving irritability, asthenia, depression, memory disorders and fatigue.
Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of red blood cells, being essential in reducing and preventing anemia, and B6 is involved in digestion and the process of protein use by the body, also reducing the extent of allergic reactions in the body.
Hesperidin is an antioxidant in the category of flavonoids found in citrus peel and skin that covers the core, with an important role in protecting blood vessels and preventing chronic conditions such as venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids and high blood pressure. It protects the heart and brain and also helps regulate cholesterol.
Arthritis, asthma, muscle tears – these are just some of the conditions in which citrus consumption can help you reduce inflammatory symptoms. The effect is due to the synergistic action of vitamins C and E present in the structure of these fruits. It is one of the reasons why eating lemons and oranges helps you even when you have a cold.