What to Know before Eating Citrus Fruits

We’re approaching prime citrus harvest season, a time that spans from November through March. Citrus fruits, characterized by segmented flesh packed with juicy vesicles and a leathery rind studded with oil glands, include fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits. 

They’re the perfect way to enjoy a burst of summer flavor in the middle of winter. Before you start chowing down on various citrusy delights, there are a few things you should know.

Health Benefits

Citrus fruits are well known for their vitamin C content. Vitamin C is essential for the body’s healing process and the formation of cartilage, blood vessels, muscles, and the collagen found in bones. That’s not all they do though. 

Consuming citrus fruits may reduce your risk of kidney stones, cancer, and inflammation. They’re also one of the foods that are high in antioxidants, which reduce the risk of cell damage due to free radicals in the body.

The Downsides

While there is plenty of good that comes from eating citrus fruits, there are also a few downsides. These fruits are highly acidic. The acids in oranges and other citrus fruits can exacerbate canker sores in your mouth. 

They can also weaken the enamel of your teeth over time. Protect your teeth by drinking plenty of water after you eat citrus fruits to remove some of the acid. Brushing your teeth after each meal helps protect your teeth as well.

Storage and Consumption

If you plan to eat your citrus fruits within a week of purchasing them, they’ll store just fine left on the counter. Their thick skin protects them from bugs. You’ll get more juice out of them that way too. If you’ll take more time to eat them, citrus fruits are best stored in the refrigerator. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. Just keep them away from onions and broccoli. These vegetables will make your citrus fruits go bad more quickly.

There are multiple ways you can consume your citrus fruits. You can peel (or cut) them and eat them alone or include them in salads or other dishes. Juice them for a homemade tasty drink or as a way to flavor other dishes. Speaking of flavoring other dishes, you can always zest your citrus fruits and use the zest to add a delightful flavor to all sorts of foods. Just make sure you only get the skin and not the white pith underneath–it’s bitter. You can even candy your citrus fruit peels for a tasty treat after a meal.

It’s always good to learn more about what you eat. Being informed about your food gives you the knowledge you need to make wise choices that help you eat a nutritious, balanced diet. That, in turn, is one of the best ways to stave off lifestyle-related chronic diseases and illnesses that plague far too many people. Remember, a healthy life starts with a nutritious diet!

Did you enjoy reading this article? Here’s more to read. What You Need to Do to Prevent Serious Disease

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