Citrus Fruits You Should Be Eating More

hg12_taste-grapefruit-trioPeople of all ages love Florida oranges because they are the sweetest and better tasting. But the usual oranges like Navels, Valencias and Temples, are not the only citrus varieties offering wonderful health benefits. Explore other varieties from the citrus family tree, sensations of health that are richly luscious and loaded with Vitamin C:

  1. Clementine – A relative of the tangerine, this small, sweet, and usually seedless variety of mandarin is best whole or in salads. They are available November through January.
  2. Tangelo – The most popular Florida tangelo variety available is the Minneola Tangelo, often called the Honeybell Tangelo. Known by its distinctive bell shape, the result of a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit for a remarkably sweet and juicy fruit. Honeybells are in season from January through February.
  3. Tangerines – Tangerines are small, dark orange fruits with a smooth, easy-to-peel skin and a deep orange color. They have a richly sweet flavor and are easy to pull-apart due to their naturally formed segments. Tangerines are ideal for desserts or as a sweet nibble and are readily available November through April. 
  4. Ortaniques – The Ortanique is a cross between a sweet Valencia Orange and a Tangerine. Ortaniques are bright orange color with a rich sweet flavor, and are easy to peel and section. This wonderful hybrid blend received its truly unique name from OR-orange, TAN-gerine, un-IQUE. Like other premium citrus, they’re simply not available in supermarkets, but are found online directly from Florida growers and are available March thru Mid-April.

Grapefruit

Grapefruits are known for their tangy sweet taste. Interior fruit colors range from bright pink, deep red to white. Perfect for peeling, cutting, sectioning and juicing, the grapefruit can be eaten as a refreshing snack, in salads and recipes or just drink their wholesome juice. The Florida grapefruit varieties available nationwide are:

  1. Dark Red Grapefruit – Also known as Flame, Ray or Star. The fruit is known for its exceptionally intense dark red, seedless interior and sweet flavor with hardly any bitterness. The rind is smooth and yellow with blush pigmentation.  This grapefruit variety is in season from October through June. 
  2. Red Grapefruit – Often called the Ruby Red Grapefruit, this type of grapefruit is known for its lighter red interior color and also for being seedless. The rind is smooth and yellow with a red blush. Ruby Red’s sweet flavor and seedless characteristics make it perfect for sectioning. They are in season from October through April.
  3. White grapefruit – Sweet White Grapefruit are a welcome guest at any connoisseur’s table. Known for their thin smooth skin and big roll-up-your-sleeves flavor, filled with an abundance of sweet invigorating juice, they are perfect for fresh eating, salads and refreshing juice. They are in season from November through April.

Benefits of Eating Grapefruit In The Morning

hg12_taste-grapefruit-trioA serving of fresh grapefruit for breakfast is an excellent way to begin the day. According to ESHA Research, half a serving has 100mg of vitamin C. As a matter of fact, it’s vitamin packed. So skip the “One a Day,” and buy grapefruit instead. This delicious citrus is economical and comes in varieties like Florida Ruby Red, Pink, Thompson and Duncan, as well as white. Many specialty types are found online in fruit baskets.

The deep red and pink colors indicate that the fruit is high in lycopene, which is a carotenoid and phytonutrient. Studies have shown that lycopene is a cancer fighter that can inhibit tumor growth. The fresh fruit is nutrient rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals, which can damage the body’s cells. Men who eat lycopene-rich fruits can greatly reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer.

Grapefruit has a powerful reputation among weight-loss aficionados and for good reason. It curbs hunger, hydrates, contains high amounts of enzymes, and it’s low in sodium, all of which, are metabolism boosting. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, participants in a study who ate fresh grapefruit before meals experienced profound weight-loss results.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your cholesterol in check, you’ll be glad to know that both white and red-fleshed varieties can reduce “bad cholesterol” levels. Grapefruit nourishes the blood with protective enzymes and necessary dietary fibers like pectin, which can also lower triglyceride levels.

Adding grapefruit to your diet detoxifies and cleanses the system of the harmful chemicals we’re exposed to every day. It tones the colon and the digestive tract, and it’s a good source of limonoids, which aid the liver in getting rid of the “bad stuff.”  If you haven’t had yours today, it’s time to get started.