You must have heard the western proverb of “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” In fact, oranges also have similar disease-preventing effects. Citrus fruits (including lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges and kumquats) are good sources of antioxidants, vitamins and dietary fiber. Eating citrus fruits has the following ten health benefits.
Improve brain health
The flavonoids rich in citrus fruits can improve brain health and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
An epidemiologist from the School of Public Health of Tohoku University in Japan conducted a long-term follow-up survey on the eating habits of more than 13,000 Japanese elderly people and found that the elderly who eat 1 serving of citrus fruit a day are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than every week. Those of the same age who eat 2 servings or less are 23% lower. This disease usually occurs due to the rupture of cells, and flavonoids help reduce this rupture.
Reduce the risk of kidney stones
Excessive mineral concentrations in the urine can lead to the formation of kidney stones (painful mineral crystals). A special type of kidney stones is caused by low levels of citrate in the urine. Urologists at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States found that kidney stones are more common in people who eat less citrus fruits. Eating citrus fruits can increase the level of citrate in the urine, thereby reducing the risk of kidney stones.
Each orange contains 4 grams of dietary fiber. This nutrient helps stabilize blood sugar and prolong the feeling of fullness, especially when paired with foods rich in protein and healthy fats (such as plain yogurt or spread eggs) When consumed, it helps to reduce weight.
Protect the heart
Researchers at the Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel found that people who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery ate a grapefruit a day. One month later, their blood levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol decreased. This is because several compounds found in citrus fruits can improve heart health. They include soluble dietary fiber and flavonoids.
In addition, more than 100 phytochemicals in citrus fruits can reduce inflammation that damages the heart. Citrus fruits are also a good source of folic acid. Folic acid can lower the level of homocysteine, an increase in the level of this amino acid will increase the risk of heart disease.
Prevent digestive system cancer
Research results from the University of Messina in Italy show that compared with other fruits, citrus fruits have a stronger protective effect on gastrointestinal cancers (including oral cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer and colon cancer). This is because vitamin C, carotenoids and flavonoids have a synergistic effect in preventing cancer.
Promote the absorption of iron
Vitamin C can help the body better absorb iron. Citrus fruits are generally higher in vitamin C: an orange contains 68 mg of vitamin C, a grapefruit contains 77 mg, a lemon contains 18 mg, and a lime contains 13 mg.
This is very important for vegetarians because their bodies cannot effectively absorb the non-heme iron in plants. If you take iron mainly from plants, combining it with vitamin C can increase the body’s absorption of iron by 5-6 times.
People’s instinct when they are thirsty is to pick up a glass of water to drink. In fact, nearly 1/4 of their water intake comes from food. Drinking water is not the only way to replenish water. The water content of oranges is about 90%.
Support immune system function
Vitamin C, an antioxidant, can scavenge free radicals that damage DNA. Although taking vitamin C cannot prevent colds, it can shorten the duration of the common cold and reduce its severity.
Fight against wrinkles
Applying serum vitamin C is the secret for beauticians to help clients fight the signs of skin aging. Facts have proved that taking vitamin C can improve skin tone. Nutritional epidemiologists at the University of South Florida found that women who took more vitamin C were less prone to wrinkles. This is because vitamin C supports the body’s production of collagen, a protein that keeps the skin smooth and supple.
Babies have a lot of collagen, which is why their skin is soft and smooth. With age, the production of collagen decreases. Vitamin C can prevent the loss of collagen and help reduce wrinkles.
If you feel puffy, you might as well eat more citrus fruits, which are rich in potassium. Sodium can increase water retention, but potassium can balance water, thereby reducing edema.