Pucker Up, it's all about Citrus!

Citrus fruits are well known for their antioxidants and vitamin C. They are relatively low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, and flavonoids. Citrus fruit are a vital part of a healthy diet.

Although citrus fruits are acidic, they actually promote alkalinity in the body. When a food is eaten, it is processed by the body and eventually breaks down into an ash. The ash created by fruits and vegetables is an alkaline ash and promotes a healthy alkaline state of the body.

Citrus fruits may be eaten whole or used in many other ways. Using the juice of a lemon or lime helps keep other fruit like avocados or apples from turning brown. Slicing any citrus and putting it in water for drinking adds antioxidants and other healthy compounds to your body quickly and easily, as well as add flavor to the water. Grating the rind creating a zest is perfect for many recipes adding flavor and health. When using the rind to zest it is best to make sure you are using organic oranges and wash them thoroughly.

Citrus fruits are popular choices for juicing. I recommend the whole fruit over just the juice. When the fruit is juiced the healthy pulp and fiber is lost, thus concentrating it down to a large amount of sugar and very calorie dense. And so much of the nutrient power is in the fiber, or the white stuff around the fruit that is often discarded even when eaten.

Oranges are one of the most popular forms of citrus and come in many varieties, all of which contain a healthy dose of vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium, B vitamins, carotenes, pectin, and other flavonoids. They are good for the immune system, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant. Oranges have been associated with protecting against cancer and to help fight viral infections. They have also been shown to lower blood pressure and promote heart health.

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