The silver lining of winter’s gray, dreary days is that citrus season is in full swing. Ripe now in the northern hemisphere, citrus fruits offer more than just a sweet and tangy taste of sunshine – citrus is packed with health benefits. Take a look at my top three reasons to make this winter treasure a part of your diet:
You probably already know that citrus is high in Vitamin C – one small orange contains 53 mg of the recommended 75 mg US RDA. But did you know that Vitamin C helps produce collagen, which offers structure and elasticity to your skin? As an antioxidant, Vitamin C also helps destroy free radicals before they damage healthy cells.
These powerful antioxidants reduce inflammation in the skin and body and may even help prevent cancer. The theory is that flavonoids help the body eliminate carcinogens and destroy cancer cells. Because the membranes and pith of citrus fruit contain the bulk of flavonoids, eating the whole fruit can give you five times the flavonoids compared to a juice.
A small orange offers 2.4 grams of fiber – two-thirds of that is the soluble type that lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar, while the rest is insoluble for efficient removal of digestive waste.
The easiest way to enjoy citrus is freshly peeled and out of hand as a healthy snack, but citrus segments also complement a variety of savory dishes, from salad to fish and poultry. Add winter citrus to your everyday routine and your skin and body will thank you.