What are citrus fruit?
Citrus fruits are the most important fruit tree crop in the world and are grown in more than 140 countries. Citrus fruit grow on flowering trees and shrubs with evergreen leaves. The fruit of any citrus tree is actually a kind of modified berry with a tough, leathery rind, known as a hesperidium. The juices of citrus fruits are high in citric acid, which gives them their distinctive sharp and tangy flavour.
Unlike many other fruits, citrus are ‘non-climacteric’ fruits. This means that they cannot be ripened after picking. Citrus fruits have to be fully ripened on the tree before harvest. Citrus fruit that is grown in countries without a cool winter will stay green on the outside, as the fruit needs cold to turn yellow or orange. Fruit that is ripe inside but green on the outside can be picked and ‘degreened’ later in a cool place.
What are the nutritional values of citrus?
Citrus fruits have low caloric values and a low glycemic index. They contain no fat or sodium, and no cholesterol. They are particularly good sources of vitamin C, but also contain an impressive list of other essential nutrients that are essential for normal growth and development and for overall nutritional well-being. These include dietary fibre, B vitamins, vitamin A, potassium, folate, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper.
What are the health benefits of citrus?
Citrus fruits have many nutritional and health benefits and can actually help prevent and cure some diseases.
- Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, and reduces the signs of ageing.
- The high levels of vitamin C in citrus may also help to shorten colds and even to prevent cancer.
- Citrus fruits are rich in potassium, which helps flush salt out of your system and may reduce the risk of stroke.
- Citrus fruits are high in fibre, which can help to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels.
- High fibre foods like citrus also keep you feeling full for longer, making them quite handy for weight loss.
- Citrus fruits have a low glycaemic index (low GI), so they offer a steady source of energy and won’t spike your blood sugar.
- Citrus fruits are water-rich, so help you stay hydrated
- Citrus scents are relaxing and refreshing.