What Makes Citrus So Healthy? Hint: It’s More than Just Vitamin C!Published Date:
While those of us living in North America associate citrus with California or Florida, these fruits are actually native to tropical regions in Southeast Asia and Australia.
Ancient people enjoyed citrus fruits for food, medicine, and even used them as status symbols. As citrus cultivation gradually spread to the Mediterranean and Europe, royal families and other elites often cultivated groves of oranges or other fruits for decor.
From their sweet, pulpy fruit to their crisp, tart juice, we think citrus fruits are very a-peeling! Read on to discover what makes citrus so healthy and why we love using lemons, limes, and oranges in Little West cold pressed juice.
What are the Main Health Benefits of Citrus?
There are over 100 different varieties of citrus fruit. But all citrus varieties have something in common -- they’re loaded with health benefits.
As most people know, citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C. Studies show that vitamin C may help strengthen your immune system, shortening the length and severity of cold and flu symptoms.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are molecules that help fight “free radicals,” which are compounds that build up in the body due to environmental pollutants, chemicals in processed foods, excess drinking, smoking, or other substances.
When someone has too many free radicals in their system, it causes oxidative stress and may lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or other chronic conditions. Antioxidants like vitamin C reduce these free radicals. In other words, a diet with lots of vitamin C from citrus fruits or other natural sources may help reduce your risk of serious illnesses.
Additionally, citrus fruits are healthy because they contain bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids have been found to improve blood flow, which can ease swelling and reduce inflammation. Bioflavonoids may also lower blood pressure, give you glowing skin and nails, and even reduce signs of aging.
Health Benefits of Lemons
When life gives you lemons, celebrate their health benefits! Lemons are one of our favorite citrus fruits at Little West. We use cold pressed lemon juice as a key ingredient in Gingersnap, Go Big, Detox Greens, Celery, Gold’n Greens, and our sickness-busting wellness shot Fireball.
Along with vitamin C, lemons contain citric acid to help prevent kidney stones. Lemons are also a natural source of two plant compounds called hesperidin and diosmin which have been found to lower bad cholesterol.
One of the best health benefits of lemon juice is its ability to help the body absorb more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in different foods. In other words, adding a squeeze of fresh lemon to your salad means you’ll get more nutritional bang for your buck! Lemon helps with iron absorption in particular, which helps prevent or reduce anemia.
Health Benefits of Limes
Get “in lime” for health! Like lemons and other citrus fruits, limes provide vitamin C and bioflavonoids. They may also help treat sickle cell anemia, chronic fatigue, and heart disease. One study indicated that consuming lime peel and lime juice may slow the rate of plaque buildup on artery walls.
Limes also have potent, natural bacteria-fighting abilities. Lime juice has a very high acidity level, which can neutralize or kill certain strains of harmful bacteria. It may reduce bloating and aid digestion, too.
Health Benefits of Oranges
Orange you glad we saved the health benefits of oranges for last? Depending on the variety, oranges can be sweet, sour, or anywhere in between. But every orange has 100% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. Oranges also contain vitamin A, calcium, and potassium.
If you’re pregnant, oranges also provide a natural healthy dose of folate. Folate is a B vitamin used to make red and white blood cells, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA.
We use oranges in our Orange juice (obviously) as well as our popular Sunrise flavor. Unlike orange juice from big brands, we only use oranges from local farms. Every orange that makes its way into Little West is selected by hand, then cold pressed and bottled within 48 hours of harvest. Little West orange juice is never frozen, powdered, or mixed from concentrate.
Sit Down and Savor Some Citrus
Whether you’re trying to reduce inflammation, boost your immune system naturally, or improve your digestion, citrus fruits are a great addition to any diet. Enjoy lemons, limes, and oranges in a variety of recipes or savor these sweet-and-sour citruses in a Little West juice!