Citrus fruit has been a long-standing staple to many shopping carts. And with its availability throughout the winter months, it’s no wonder things like oranges, grapefruits, tangelos and lemons are in high demand as the temperature drops.
Citrus fruit has generally been used as a cure for the common cold, but does that really work? Research has shown that although citrus fruits cannot cure or prevent the common cold, they can help lessen the severity and length of symptoms. Even if that is not enough to encourage you to add some extra citrus to your cart, citrus fruits are a good source of many vitamins and minerals that host an array of health benefits.
Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant that prevents damage to your cells from “free radicals,” which can lead to cancer, heart disease and premature aging. This powerhouse vitamin protects your body’s collagen – which is responsible for everything from your bones to your skin. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, which can help prevent and treat nutritional anemia.
Potassium is an electrolyte that that allows your brain to send nerve impulses to your muscles. Your heart is among these muscles. Potassium is very well controlled by your body in order to regulate your heart beat and blood pressure.
Folate is especially important for women of child bearing age. Folate helps prevent neural tube defects in newborns, such as spina bifida.
Still not sold on citrus? Fresh citrus fruits also contain zero grams of fat, sodium or cholesterol, making them a smart choice in many diets. Although fresh fruits are often highest in vitamins, minerals and fiber, eating canned fruits is still a great way to increase your citrus intake.