Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines are some of my favorite fruits to use when adding citrus to your meals. Why should you do this? Well, it isn’t so bad to eat foods the everyday way, but you could be missing out on a wonderful and beneficial flavor to your meals you don’t even know: citrus! Check out the benefits of adding citrus to your meals and do it more often, anytime you can! There’s nothing wrong with having an orange alone, but it’s made for so much more, as you’ll see below.
If you have a dressing, salad, meat dish, oatmeal recipe, or even a smoothie recipe that is getting a little mundane try adding citrus to your meals to punch up the flavor. A squeeze of lemon or orange in a bowl of oatmeal is delicious! Or, lime juice over fish as a dinner dish is incredible compared to plain baked fish. Tangerines and grapefruit add a wonderful sweet zing with a tart punch to smoothies, or chopped in a salad, they’re also amazing. Use citrus to add a refreshing flavor, even if it’s just to water or tea.
2. Low in Sugar
Citrus fruits are lower in sugar than all other fruits. Most are also allowed on lower carb diets to help control insulin levels that lead to spikes in glucose. Citrus fruits actually lower your blood sugar and prevent insulin surges, which makes them great for diabetes.
3. High in Vitamin C
All citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C as well. Vitamin C is anti-aging, great for your immune system, and wonderful for your skin. It’s also important for boosting the mood, and can even help regulate your digestive system.
Citrus fruits are also incredible detoxifiers. They help rid the body of excess toxins and harmful forms of estrogen, such as oestrogens that are found in chemical cleaners or beauty products. Oestrogens interfere with hormones, and have been linked to everything from birth defects to reproductive disorders and even cancer. Citrus fruits help move lymph through the body, and help get these toxins out of your body. They aren’t a magic cure for an unhealthy lifestyle by any means, but they can boost an already healthy one incredibly well.
Aside from Vitamin C, all citrus fruits are rich in antioxidants that help keep your immune system healthy, help you age well, and protect the brain. Adding them is like ensuring yourself an extra nutritional assurance, all with just one or two servings a day.
6. Low Sodium
Like all fruits, citrus is low in sodium, but it makes for a great substitution for salty dressings or sauces. For example, instead of high sodium dressing or sauce on your cooked veggies or salad, use a squeeze of citrus. I like adding it to stir fry veggies instead of high sodium condiments. With a little Mrs. Dash, it’s incredible! Adding citrus is a great way to lower your blood pressure, which is actually spiked by excess sodium.
7. High Water
And of course, citrus fruits, like most fruits and vegetables, are incredibly high in water content. It’s easy to overeat if you’re actually just thirsty. Adding water-based fruits and vegetables like citrus fruits provides a wonderful benefit you can easily take advantage of with one or two meals a day.
8. High in Fiber
Citrus fruits are also high in fiber, in the form of pectin. Pectin is a form of soluble fiber, which makes it great for your cholesterol. Pectin and all forms of soluble fiber help soak up excess fats and bile in the liver, and evacuate them from the body. This lowers your cholesterol and improves your heart health.
9. Silences Your Sweet Tooth
Add a little lime juice, orange zest, or lemon juice to your next dish. I bet your sweet cravings will go down tremendously! I love adding lemon zest to oatmeal. The flavor is so satisfying, I don’t feel the need to add sugary ingredients at all. I also love using lemon juice and lime juice over a salad instead of sugary dressings or sauces. Try this on any dish to silence your sweet tooth. I didn’t say it would cure your chocolate craving, but it does help tame most of the sugar cravings you’ll likely have at your next meal. This is all due to the magical way citrus lowers your blood sugar. Try it and let me know what you think!
Adding citrus to your meals might be something you’ve never tried. I suggest trying it this week, and make citrus your go-to fruit in the supermarket. I bet it will be one of your new favorites! Do you use citrus on your foods? How?