Winter is here again. Paper white landscapes drown the city under a coat of snow. But when the bitter frost gets to your nose, it can get a little runny. Fortunately, you can count on the multiple health benefits of citrus fruits.
Originally from Southeast Asia, citrus fruits are true sun concentrates. With their juicy flesh, oranges, lemons and grapefruits bring a tangy sweetness to our plates. Loaded with essential oils, the thick bark of citrus perfumes the air with its scent. Their zests are often used as raw material in perfumery for fresh and tonic fragrances. Citrus fruits are the most widely grown fruits on the planet. And for good reason ! Their virtues, advocated by traditional Chinese medicine, are essential in winter.
Here are 7 health benefits of citrus to adopt without delay and add a little sun to your diet.
1. A zest of anti-inflammatory properties
Citrus fruits have a slight anti-inflammatory effect. They contain bioflavonoids, which are very effective chemicals to fight inflammation at the cellular level. They prevent the release of chemicals associated with inflammation, stabilize cell membranes and reduce smooth muscle contraction. With these anti-inflammatory properties, the citrus fruits erase the strokes of fatigue and help to better resist the microbial aggressions.
2. Fight cancer
Citrus fruits have a real anticancer activity. They contain polyphenols, which is the element that can fight cancer. Polyphenols prevent the proliferation of tumors especially in the esophagus, stomach and colon.
3. A cocktail of antioxidants
Citrus fruits contain a significant amount of flavonoids, antioxidants that act in synergy with vitamin C. These inseparable and complementary micronutrients have anti-ageing properties and act on blood pressure. Indeed, researchers at NIAR (National Institute for Agronomic Research) have shown that flavonoids, which are considerably present in citrus fruits, reduce hypertension and optimize the resistance and dilatation capacity of blood vessels.
4. Stronger bones
Citrus fruits also have another common benefit: their important source of minerals. Indeed, oranges, lemons, bananas, mandarins, clementines, and grapefruits all are full of potassium and calcium. These minerals reduce water retention and strengthen the bones.
5. A good mood on our plates
Citrus fruits are known for their high intake of vitamin C, which has benefits to your mood. However, contrary to popular belief, they are far from the richest; Kiwi, blackcurrant and goji berries actually contain more Vitamin C. But orange is still an excellent fruit for the winter, and covers the recommended daily intake. In the winter season, its remarkable source of vitamin C (53 mg/100 g) is ideal for fighting against fatigue and cold. This vitamin has many benefits and acts especially against stress. It is involved in the formation of adrenal hormones, including cortisol, and helps to considerably reduce depression and anxiety. Eat oranges in winter to help you smile again and escape the infamous seasonal depression.
6. A stronger immune system
Thanks to their high vitamin C content, citrus fruits help boost immune defenses. Indeed, vitamin C can increase the production of white blood cells, cells involved in the defense of the body. An action that boosts the immune system considerably.
7. Get a makeover!
As for their antioxidant properties, the beneficial effects of citrus fruits on the health and beauty of the skin stem from the natural synergistic action of vitamin C and flavonoids. Consuming citrus fruits makes it possible to synthesize collagen, a fibrous protein that constitutes the connective tissue, which is abundant in the dermis and the vascular walls. Cutaneous blood capillaries are protected, which promotes healing of wounds. By intervening in collagen production and cell renewal, citrus fruits also act in the firmness of the skin. So these juicy fruits can even give you firm and beautiful skin! A real fountain of youth, easily accessible, it would be a shame to deprive yourself.