Fruits are an important part of plant-based food and diet plans because they are rich sources of nutrients and dietary fiber. One of the most nutritious groups of fruits is citrus fruits as they are natural sources of vitamin C, fiber, and flavonoids that give vascular protection, improves gastrointestinal function, reduces inflammation, and improves overall health. The citrus fruit Shikuwasa consumed by people in Japan is found to be one of the major reasons for their prolonged life. Read on to know more about the health benefits of consuming citrus fruits as part of your plant-based diet.
An Introduction To Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits originated in Southeast Asia and their health benefits have been celebrated since ancient times. They have important roles in religious festivals and ceremonies like the Jewish feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). Oranges, lemons, limes, mandarins, pomelos, and other varieties of hybrid citrus fruits originated from citron. Also, keep in mind, it was the Spaniards who introduced the sweet oranges in the Americas during their voyages to the new world. Moreover, these fruits are known for their medicinal properties and have been used to combat health issues like skin conditions, intestinal ailments, scurvy caused due to vitamin C deficiency, etc.
Listed below are the health benefits of two important nutrients in citrus fruits.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, and citrus fruits are a rich source of it. It is required for maintaining healthy skin, connective tissues, bones, and blood vessels. Moreover, it plays an important role in ensuring the better function of the immune system. Also, keep in mind, that vitamin C is a good antioxidant, and consuming citrus fruits as part of the plant-based diet helps to protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. This makes it useful for preventing the development of cardiovascular diseases, the onset of cancer, arthritis, and reduce systemic inflammation.
Flavonoids are phytonutrients that give fruits and vegetables their flavor, aroma, and color. Apart from this, they have therapeutic and health benefits when ingested orally. Citrus fruits are a dietary source for flavonoids like tangeretin, hesperetin, naringenin, hesperidin, naringin, rutin, diosmin, quercetin, and nobiletin. It has been found from studies that these flavonoids protect the cells of our body from free radical damages and support anti-inflammatory pathways reducing inflammation. Besides, consuming citrusy plant-based food helps with reducing oxidative stress, reduces the levels of bad cholesterol, improves endothelial function of arterial walls, and thereby ensures better cardiovascular function. Above all, they can help to maintain good gut biome.
These are the major benefits of including citrus fruits as part of your plant-based diet, and we hope that the details shared above will be useful for you.