Friday, December 17, 2010

Why Citrus?

Winters this year are colder than they have been for years in Delhi. To keep good health and avoid being sick here is a simple remedy: Go Citrus! The fruit market is selling bountiful of oranges and keenu, so make sure you take your dose of VitaminC

Citrus Fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C, or Ascorbic acid.  Vitamin C is a water solube vitamin.  It is vital for the production of collagen, a protein essential for healthy skin, bones , teeth and gums.  

Deficiency of Vitamin C leads to Scurvy which shows in form of swollen gums, bleeding, loss of  appetite, aching joints and fatigue.

Citrus fruits are good for  skin too Regular intake could help to nourish skin and delay aging of skin.



Lemon

The exact origin of lemons remains a mystery, though it is believed that lemons were first grown in India, China and Burma. In India  lemons are an integral part of the diet especially as an ingredient in salads, chaat , bhelpuri, pickle and the hugely popular nimboo pani especially in the peak of summers.

Lemons are an excellent source of Citric acid. They contain antioxidants and cancer preventing compounds. The high acid content helps to flush harmful bacteria out of the body. 

Drinking lemon juice in warm water in the morning is a ritual with many health conscious people practise. Drinking lemon juice in the morning hydrates the body and triggers the production of enzymes needed to digest breakfast. This is highly recommended by dietitians for weight loss too.

Lemon oil can be used to treat stress, infections, asthma, insomnia, skin and hair inflammation and stomach problems.

Oranges


Oranges are perhaps the most common and loved citrus fruits, forming an important part of breakfast,  the world over.  The fruit was first cultivated in the Middle East in the 9th century and introduced into Europe by the Moors, Portugese and Italians.

The vitamin C content found in oranges provides antioxidant protection against cancer causing free radicals and help to boost immune system.  Vitamin C can also reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions and help to combat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

Vitamin C can also reduce the risk of death, cancer and stroke. Oranges contain substances called limonoids which are proven to fight cancer of skin, mouth, lungs, breast, colon and stomach.

Grapefruit


Grapefruit is another fruit from the citrus family though not much popular in India. It was first available in 18th Century in Jamaica.  The United States became a major grapefruit cultivating nation and orchards can be found in California, Arizona, Florida and Texas.

Grapefruits contain lycopene that has anti tumor qualities.  Lycopene has highest capacity of any phytonutrients and can reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer in males.

The Pectin found in Grapefruits can reduce cholesterol levels in blood.

Sweet Lime

Sweet Lime is the most popular and easily available citrus fruit in the marke, all year round,  though it is mostly consumed  as its juice.  In every corner of every town or city one can find a juicewala  with his aluminium juicer as seen in the picture on the left.

Vitamin K found in limes is essential for healthy clotting of blood.  Vitamin K content in lime also reduces risk of age related osteoporosis, bone fracture and cardiovascular disease.

Juice sold by the juicewala is definitely better than the the packaged ones available in the market as the preservatives  added tend to some loss of vitamins.




Citrus fruits have also found their way into modern cosmetics as moisturizers, face washes , soaps and  even detergents for their special benefits.

So go ahead and buy your stock of Oranges and Keenu that have come in the market and pay regular visits to your neighborhood vendor selling fresh juice for you cant live a healthy life without your dose of vitamin C.