Friday, January 6, 2012

Get Your Vitamin C-itrus

I usually advocate eating a local diet, but it's difficult to do so now - if you are in the north.  However, there are some really fine fruit choices from the south at this time of year.  Citrus is absolutely delicious right now and we could all benefit from a fruit more travelled.

Grapefruit:  If you want to lose weight, there is something in grapefruit that helps you do so.  Turns out that silly grapefruit diet had some merit.  A few studies are finding that consuming grapefruit causes changes with insulin and this helps with weight loss.  Grapefruit also helps with cancer prevention.  Red grapefruit helps with lowering triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol.  There's vitamin A in those red and pink varieties as well.  A hefty dose of vitamin C and potassium is in all grapefruit and several other minerals as well.

Lemons and Limes: As in all citrus - we've got lots of vitamin C in the lemon and lime.  Another property in this fruit - one different from the grapefruit - is a cancer preventer.  Let yourself have a bit of the peel for an extra dose of cancer-prevention.  Grate some of that peel into a hot cup of tea.  Great taste and benefits!  If you juice, use the whole lemon!

Oranges:  Orange juice has been a breakfast staple for many families.  The problem with OJ for breakfast is that it is often sweetened with sugars and corn syrup.  You're better off with unsweetened or just eating the whole fruit.  Peeling and eating an orange can be a sensual and mindful experience, allowing one to take time and enjoy the feel, the smell and the taste of this healthy fruit.  An orange has a big dose of vitamin C, but it's really much more impressive in the phyto-chemical and flavonoid department - great cancer fighters.  Again, let the peel of the orange get involved- add some to drinks and juices.  There are also heart benefits with this fruit - lowering LDL and increasing HDL, protecting the heart, and fighting inflammation.  There's calcium in oranges - not added, actually in the fruit itself - who knew!

Vitamin C is a great supplement to the immune system and it is always good to give your immune system a boost at this time of year.  Getting all the other benefits of each of these delicious fruits makes taking the time to peel or juice well worth it!

There are others as far as citrus fruits go, but the above are the all-stars.  Tangerines and some of their relatives are delicious at this time of year.  Have one of these fruits daily while they are so plentiful and yummy!

What citrus will you add to your day?

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