Immunity Boosters Know Your Food

Citrus Fruits – The immune-boosting freshness

Introduction

One of the favourite fruit juices in our country might just be “Ganga-Jamuna.” This tangy sweet and utterly delicious drink is a blend of orange and mosambi. Popular not just for its taste, but because these two citrus fruits are packed with the goodness of health.    

Acidic, juicy, yet sweet, a platter of citrus fruits is more than yummy; it is nutritious. Yes, these delicious brightly coloured fruits are full of vitamin C. This simply means that the platter of awesome goodness is good for health, prevents cases of flu and colds by boosting immunity.  

Lemons, limes, oranges, mosambis, grapefruits, mandarins, tangerines, and for the high-end kumquats, clementine, satsuma mandarin, tangelos and many more fall into the citrus fruit category. 

These versatile rock star of the food world blend well in a savoury dish as well in a sweet dish, baked or otherwise. Add orange peel to your cake and make the dish wow.   

Very often these fruits are placed in the centre of the breakfast table or squeezed into a juice glass with or without pulp. Just a squirt of lemon juice in your dish will improve its flavour, giving an otherwise boring dish a nice zest. Enjoy grapefruit; it is a healthier option when you are trying to lose weight.  

Setting them apart

 

 

Citrus fruits are well-accepted and loved for their pleasing flavour, aroma and nutrient content.  

They are also known to improve complexion, what with the beauty world full of tips which talk about orange peel? 

The juice of an orange peel is known to exfoliate the skin due to its high content of citric acidGrind the orange peel, you can use it as a scrub which will make your skin glowIts anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties are excellent to treat acne. Use the powder of the peel and see the difference.  

The peel of an orange has a high content of vitamin C and is good for the hair too as it gives them a shine and a bounce. 

Its high vitamin C content makes lemon juice good for lightening freckles, acne, age spots, and fine lines. However, its acidic content makes it a no-no for dry skin.  

Cultivation and Harvesting

A major portion of the production of the citrus fruits is orange. This is followed by the mandarin fruit. They have a poor shelf-life leading to high post-harvest losses. But they add to the countries exchequer and therefore grown.  

They are the leading horticulture crops and are grown the world over. In the last 30 years, the per capita consumption of citrus fruits has been increasing steadily. Brazil is known to be leading the world in growing citrus fruits. Other major hubs are India, Spain, and Australia. 

Citrus plants grow in a variety of soils from sandy loam, alluvial soils, clay loam, deep clay loam or acidic soils. Orchards of citrus fruits blossom in light soils which has good drainage. However, sandy or alkaline soils are not for citrus fruits. 

The best climate for citrus trees are tropical and sub-tropical and the best season for planting is mid-Feb to end March and then September. They need to be protected from winds.  

Citrus fruits are harvested only when they have ripened and never before. However, after harvesting citrus fruits rot easily. 

Citrus trees take approximately more than three years to mature once planted.  

Sowing and irrigation

Citrus fruits are generally raised on appropriate rootstock by different budding scions. 

Citrus fruits need drip irrigation as it ensures uniform soil moisture and excellent aeration. The nutrients and water go directly to the roots of the crops.  

Generally, in heavy soils irrigation should get over in 2 to 4 days and in soils that are sandy or light, irrigation should be done every day. Citrus fruits which are not soiled can be stored for many weeks in cool climes.  

Medicinal Value

Citrus fruits have plenty of antioxidants. Besides vitamin C, they also contain the B vitamins thiamin, niacin and B6. They keep powering on our immune system and keep our skin looking healthy and smooth. Their low glycemic index means you will feel energetic for longer and won’t get a sugar-high.  

They also contain minerals like potassium that regulate the salt in your diet. So here is a good reason to load on citrus fruits to flush out the extra sodium. This will help you decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease.  

They have a lot of fibre which helps in weight loss, good digestion, and lowers cholesterol levels. Citrus fruits protect against various cancers like stomach, lung, oesophagal, pancreatic and breast cancers. 

Citrus fruits up your citrate level and prevent kidney stones from forming. Kidney stones form when the citrate levels in your urine drop.  

Flavanone-rich orange juice is known to have a positive effect on our cognitive function and seems to protect our brain from neurodegenerative diseases. 

Nutritive content: 100gm full-size orange

Calories: 46 

Water: 90% 

Carbs: 12Grams 

Protein: 0.8 grams 

Sugar: 10.4 grams 

Fiber: 3.4 grams 

Source: Healthline.com 

Trivia

Orange peel can prevent allergies. 

Cure your hangover by drinking orange peel tea. 

Bad Breath? Orange peels are known to combat cavities and keep breath fresh. 

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