6 Healthy Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are good for your health.
Citrus fruits come in several varieties – and provide a wide array of nutritional benefits.
The family of citrus fruits includes clementines, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and pomelos. “Well-known for being an excellent source of vitamin C, these brightly flavored, colorful citrus fruits are abundant in other nutrients that may play a role in reducing the risk of many chronic conditions,” says Mira Ilic, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition.
The nutrients in these fruits can contribute to warding off conditions including heart disease, cancer and hypertension, she says.
Eating citrus fruits could help you shed pounds.
Among other things, citrus fruits are generally good for weight loss and management, says Jim Frith, a certified personal trainer and advanced sports nutritionist based in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
The vitamin C in citrus fruits helps the body metabolize fat in weight loss, he says.
All citrus fruits have a moderate glycemic index value, which means the carbohydrates in them raise blood sugar relatively slowly. This can aid in weight loss and be helpful in managing Type 2 diabetes. The glycemic index is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood sugar levels, according to the Glycemic Index Foundation.
Here are six healthy citrus fruits:
Clementines are part of the mandarin subgroup of oranges. This fruit, which is also known as a tangerine, is seedless and smaller than a typical orange.
“They’re super-sweet and delicious,” Frith says. A typical clementine only has 35 calories but provides plenty of nutrition.
Clementines are packed with vitamins A and C, fiber and flavonoids, compounds contained in some plants that provide health benefits. Flavonoids provide anti-inflammatory benefits. They’re also antioxidants – molecules that fight free radicals in your body that are linked to chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Lemons contain vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium and flavonoids. A typical lemon has 17 calories.
Research suggests lemon juice helps boost the bio-accessibility of carotenoids – that is, it may help your body absorb more nutrients from foods like broccoli and carrots. The study, published in 2018 in the International Journal of Nutrition and Food Engineering, found that incorporating olive oil and lemon juice into mashed carrots increased the bio-accessibility of the vegetable.