nutritional benefits of citrus fruits

The general nutritional benefits of citrus fruits in our today health system can not be overemphasized, Citrus fruits like grapefruits, limes, lemons, and oranges, in addition to pomelos and tangerines all possess top nutritional benefits which are good for our general health.

The citrus fruits in its diverse group are not only refreshing and tasty but also loaded with minerals and vitamins which our body need to function optimally.

Diverse Groups Of Citrus Fruits:

Mandarin…
Citron…
Pomelo…
Orange…
Tangerine…
Lemon…
Kaffir Lime…
Key Lime…
Kumquat…
Clementine…
Blood Orange…
Grapefruit…
Meyer Lemon…
Tangelo…
Persian Lime…
Sweet Lime
Yuzu…
Ugli Fruit…

Citrus Fruits Benefits Overview:

Citrus fruits are considered a precious resource of soluble and insoluble fibre with numerous benefits such as removing the toxic effects in the body.Fibre improves the gastric absorption in the small intestine, decrease the energy absorption process, and maintain the performance of the bile duct and liver. Citrus fruit contained a higher level of flavonoids, terpenes, phytonutrients, and range of phenolic compounds, vitamins C and carotenoids.

There are various active compounds extracted from citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruits, sweet oranges, used in treatments of hypertension, and other citrus species considered a source of potential antioxidant against heart diseases, anticancer, inflammation, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal activity.

Each part of citrus fruit contains active ingredients, it is present in fruit flush, juice, even peel and seed depend upon varieties and maturity stage.

Other Nutritional Benefits Of Citrus Fruits:

Anti-carcinogenic properties: Citrus flavonoids possess anticarcinogenic and anti-tumour activities.Cardiovascular properties: Citrus flavonoids show an anti-adhesive and anti-aggregation action against red cell clumping.

Hyperglycaemia: Citrus flavonoids play important roles in preventing the progression of hyperglycaemia, partly through binding with starch, increasing hepatic glycolysis and the glycogen concentration, and lowering hepatic gluconeogenesis.

Anti-inflammatory, Anti-allergic and Analgesic activity: Citrus flavonoids like hesperidin, diosmin, quercetin, and other flavonoids have shown dose-dependent anti-inflammatory activity by influencing the metabolism of arachidonic acid and histamine release.

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Anti-microbial activity: One of the properties of flavonoids with their physiological action in the plants are their antifungal and antiviral activity.

Anti-anxiety, antidepressant, and anti-allergic activity: Apigenin shows antidepressant activity, some flavonoids show antiallergic.

Citrus and lipids control: Many clinical studies reported that the citrus juice is helpful for control higher cholesterol and major lipid problem of the human body, due to the higher content of soluble and insoluble fibre in citrus juice.

Nutritional Benefits Of Citrus Fruits:

Nutritional benefits of citrus fruits

Carbohydrate:

The main energy-yielding nutrient in citrus is a carbohydrate; citrus contains the simple carbohydrates (sugars) fructose, glucose and sucrose, as well as citric acid which can also provide a small amount of energy. Citrus fruits also contain non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), commonly known as dietary fibre, which is a complex carbohydrate with important health benefits.

The predominant type of fibre in citrus is pectin, making up 65 to 70 per cent of the total fibre. The remaining fibre is in the form of cellulose, hemicellulose and trace amounts of gums.

Citrus also contains lignin, a fibre-like component. In the body, NSP holds water-soluble nutrients in a gel matrix which delays gastric emptying and slows digestion and absorption. This tends to promote satiety and may reduce the rate of glucose uptake following consumption of glycaemic (available) carbohydrate, thus helping to prevent a surge in blood glucose levels.

Improper regulation of blood glucose results in either hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose) or hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose). NSP can also interfere with the reabsorption of bile acids which may help in lowering plasma cholesterol levels.

A reasonable goal for dietary NSP/fibre intake is 25 to 30 g/day, but in many developed countries, the actual average intake is closer to 15 g. With one medium orange containing approximately 3.0 g of NSP, citrus fruit can make a valuable contribution to meeting the daily fibre goal.

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Vitamin C:

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), an essential water-soluble vitamin, plays a key role in the formation of collagen, a primary component of much of the connective tissue in the body. Adequate collagen synthesis is essential for strong ligaments, tendons, dentin, skin, blood vessels and bones, and for wound healing and tissue repair.

The weakening of these tissues is a symptom of vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is an important aid in the absorption of inorganic iron; it has also been shown to aid in the treatment of anaemia and stress.

Contrary to popular belief, vitamin C does not seem to prevent the onset of the common cold, but in some studies, it has been reported to reduce the length and severity of the symptoms.

Contemporary interest in vitamin C centres on its ability to perform antioxidant functions. As an antioxidant, it can help prevent the cell damage done by “free radical” molecules as they oxidize protein, fatty acids and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the body.

Free radical damage has been implicated in the progression of several diverse and important disease states including cancer, cardiovascular disease and cataract formation.

Being a good source of antioxidants, if regularly consumed, citrus fruits can be an important part of a diet aimed at reducing the risk of such chronic disease.

Only 10 mg of vitamin C per day are required to prevent vitamin C deficiency and the devastating disease scurvy. However, for good health and sufficient body storage of vitamin C, 30 to 100 mg/day is generally recommended, although some recent studies have provided evidence that more than 200 mg/day may be optimal for the prevention of chronic disease.

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Too much vitamin C (above 500 mg), generally seen with very high levels of supplementation, may be dangerous, especially for those at risk of iron overload. Consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables each day can result in an intake of about 200 mg of vitamin C.

Citrus fruits are a particularly good source of vitamin C, with one medium orange or grapefruit providing approximately 70 mg and 56 mg, respectively. A 225 ml glass of orange juice contains approximately 125 mg of vitamin C.

Folate:

Folate is a water-soluble vitamin essential for new cell production and growth. It helps in the production of DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA) and mature red blood cells, which ultimately prevent anaemia.

Over the past decade, however, it has become clear that higher levels of folic, 400 mcg, are associated with the prevention of neural tube defects, a severe birth defect. A 225 ml glass of orange juice provides 75 mcg of folic acid.

Potassium:

Potassium is an essential mineral that works to maintain the body’s water and acid balance. As an important electrolyte, it plays a role in transmitting nerve impulses to muscles, in muscle contraction and in the maintenance of normal blood pressure.

The daily requirement of potassium is approximately 2 000 mg and, while frank deficiency of potassium is rare, there is some concern that a high sodium-to-potassium intake ratio may be a risk factor for chronic disease.

Increased consumption of citrus fruits and juices is a good means of increasing potassium intake. One medium orange and one 225 ml glass of orange juice provide approximately 235 mg and 500 mg of potassium, respectively

Sources:

https://thewholeu.uw.edu/2020/08/31/citrus/

https://biomedgrid.com

 

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