Missing some sunshine this winter? When it's gloomy, dark and cold, you can add some warmth to your diet by eating citrus fruits! They are now in season and therefore more affordable.
These colourful and fragrant fruits are not only delicious, sweet, juicy and refreshing but they are also packed with powerful health benefits.
Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, flavonoids, and fibre. They play an important role in preventing conditions like diabetes, cancer, and neurological disease. They will boost your immunity and keep you protected from some seasonal diseases. They may help you reduce inflammation, improve gastrointestinal function and overall health.
Where do citrus fruits come from?
Citrus fruits are thought to have originated from Southeast Asia. Known since ancient times as citron, a popular fruit among local groups who used them in different religious ceremonies and festivals. The name citrus comes from the Romans. Over the centuries, other hybrid citrus species have originated from the citron. Today we can enjoy different types of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, mandarins and others. The prefer warmer climates, so in Europe they grow mainly in Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal.
What is the citrus peel used for?
The rond of delicious fruits is rich in oils and very fragrant so they are as a flavour and fragrance to cakes, desserts, coffee and tea. The peel of citrus can be used for sweet and savoury dishes. The most popular are the orange peel and lemon peel.
Many of the citrus fruits can be eaten raw or juiced. The fleshy interior contains amazing nutrients and phytochemicals that give those fruits their medicinal qualities.
Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a vital role in supporting the immune system. This vitamin is necessary to maintain healthy skin, bones and blood vessels. It also acts as an antioxidant that might help protect your cells against free radicals and help you fight inflammation.