For many years now, humans have known that citrus fruits like oranges have immune boosting qualities. Oranges are renown for their high vitamin C content (though other foods like tomatoes and kiwi actually have higher vitamin C contents than oranges!) and people will often eat an orange when they feel like they are getting sick or run down to try and boost their immune system.
It has now been found in a recent study by the CSIRO, that consuming citrus fruits can also reduce the risk of cancers in the mouth, larynx and stomach by 50%. Eating an extra citrus fruit a day can also reduce the risk of stroke by 19%. The CSIRO study has also found that by eating an orange on top of the recommended 5 daily servings of fruit and veg could reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes. These are pretty amazing statistics.
What scientists now know is that citrus fruits protect the body through their antioxidant properties and by strengthening the immune system, inhibiting tumour growth and normalising tumour cells. Citrus fruits are among the fruits with the highest level of antioxidants. They also have the famous vitamin C, as well as dietary fibre, beta carotene and folic acid. As well as having these powerful nutrients, citrus are a healthy food because they are low in sodium and fat and have a low glycemic index. I think you would agree that these facts make adding citrus to your diet pretty convincing. While oranges are the most well known citrus fruit, these amazing health benefits can also be found in other citrus fruits such as grapefruits, limes, lemons, mandarins, and tangerines.
Including more citrus into your diet is also really easy to do. Oranges and mandarins can be eaten as a healthy snack, just on their own. If you eat oranges this way, be sure to also eat the pithy part, which is the white layer between the skin and pulp, as this is where a lot of the fibre and antioxidant chemicals are found. You can also add sections of orange to a regular salad to make a summery, zesty change that boosts the health value. Put some grapefruit into a regular fruit salad, or juice it and add some chia seeds for a refreshing pick me up drink. A delicious vinaigrette can be made by blending a lemon with some olive oil and fresh herbs such as rosemary. Add this to a salad for a healthy and tasty dressing.
As always, I encourage you to get creative in the kitchen, never be afraid to experiment. Having citrus in your dishes is definitely an ingredient to consider using for the many healthful benefits they provide.