When it’s cold outside, our immune systems need an even greater boost by two things specifically: Vitamin C and sunshine. I can’t control the sunshine (however, I do have great recommendations for Vitamin D supplements), but I can help with hooking you up with Vitamin C and the best immune boosting foods available in the grocery store. You may even want to make my Immune Boosting Citrus Salad with Honey Dressing!
I can’t wait to share the wide variety of citrus fruits that help:
- Prevent cancer
- Prevent kidney stones
- Improve heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease
- Improve skin beauty
As with all God-given foods (foods He’s called good for us to eat), citrus fruits are packed with loads of nutrition.
God gave us a variety of foods that can be found in all shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and flavors. He created food so that we could not only sustain our lives with it, but also thrive and enjoy the eating of it.
Everything we need for healthy, vibrant, abundant living has been given to us, often in the form of food.
Today, it’s all about citrus. Even among a single fruit, we find God’s creativity in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. (Think about all the types of oranges or plums or grapes.)
Let’s talk about which of these fruits are the healthiest and why we need these in our diet every single day.
Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits
You’ve heard it said an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an orange - and all the citrus fruits - do the same.
Maybe you know fruit, even citrus fruits, are good for you, but perhaps not exactly why. What makes these fruits so special?
Let’s look at them individually to find out.
Oranges are high in fiber, which you know is #1 on my list of important nutrients. They also have a little bit of protein and potassium, which has been proven to prevent strokes by 49%.
For those who suffer with kidney stones, oranges are the perfect addition to your diet, as they help prevent them.
Remember we talked about variety within species of food? With oranges, you’ll find that some are more red than others. Don’t shy away from them. Color in fruits and vegetables are often due to the nutrients within.
The redder oranges (and often other foods) are higher in carotenoids.
What are carotenoids? They’re phytonutrients that give red, orange, and yellow fruits their vibrant colors and provide us with antioxidants - those great things that help us fight cancer, boost our immune system, and have anti-inflammatory properties.
They also help protect our eyes and vision.
The more carotenoids, the better. Bring on the blood oranges!
And don’t leave the orange section without grabbing some mandarins. These little oranges help lower insulin and include plenty of carotenoids.
In one study, people suffering from Hepatitis C were served manderin juice. The results showed the juice helped prevent liver cancer.
Mandarins are also powerful weapons against breast cancer.
Then there’s Vitamin C. Do you know all Vitamin C does for your body? It:
- Prevents high blood pressure
- Protects the heart
- Reduces inflammation
- Fights bacterial infections
- Protects against viral infection
- Aids absorption of iron
- And so much more!
Vitamin C - An Essential Nutrient Found in Abundance in Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C is essential. Years ago, doctors noticed problems with people on ships and with little access to a variety of foods. What they discovered was a host of health problems caused by lack of proper nutrients.
While they didn’t know the details, they found that adding citrus fruits to people’s diets brought back their health. The proof (or cure) wasn’t in the pudding, but in the oranges.
Scurvy, a disease causing the variety of problems doctors observed, is caused by lack of Vitamin C. We rarely see this today, but it’s a good reminder that Vitamin C is essential.
But more than just getting enough not to have negative health consequences, - in addition to preventing scurvy, research has also shown a link with reduction of experiencing the common cold - we want to experience benefits from the great positive health results of getting plenty of Vitamin C.
Lemons and Limes
Lemons and limes also have a host of vitamins and minerals, including those mentioned above. However, in addition, they have an antioxidant called limonene, which reduces cancer risk.
For women going through breast cancer treatment, it’s been shown that lemons and limes help improve the efficiency of chemo.
If you have to go through it, make it work and work well.
Limes also have pectin, a soluble fiber that helps protect your colon.
It also helps stabilize blood sugar.
I get this question all the time: are the foods I recommend OK for a pre-diabetic?
This is exactly what you need to eat. God’s foods are wonderful gifts and He’s balanced them with all the right nutrients to help our bodies utilize them well.
That’s why fruits don’t just have sugar, but are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and even sometimes some protein.
Balanced glucose is prevention for everyone - even diabetes.
Did you know grapefruits have 193% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C. That’s a rich fruit! (Remember all those amazing benefits of Vitamin C listed above?)
But don’t think that’s too much!
God included all the other nutrients - such as bioflavonoids - which help your body metabolize the Vitamin C.
Also, it’s very difficult to get too much Vitamin C. Since it’s a water-soluble vitamin, your body will flush out what it doesn’t need or can’t use (often taking harmful bacteria with it).
There have been examples of people taking tens of thousands of milligrams of Vitamin C a day. I don’t recommend that, but share it as evidence that Vitamin C is good for the body, often in higher doses than the recommended daily allowance.
An excess of Vitamin C can cause some stomach discomfort, including diarrhea, but I’ll share what a friend told me her physician assistant father advised her: Take as much as you can without negative bowel affect. Your body will tell you when you’ve exceeded its capacity.
In addition to a basketful of Vitamin C, grapefruit also has lots of B vitamins and magnesium - two other important and essential nutrients for healthy, vibrant living.
Watch this video where I talk more about these immune boosting foods you should eat today.
Additional Benefits of Citrus Fruits - Immune Boosting Foods
Have I given you enough reasons to stock up on citrus fruits? I hope so. But just in case, let me add one more.
If we all ate the recommended 2-3 servings of fruit a day, we’d be adding high-value foods to our bodies which are loaded with nutrients, not the least of which is fiber.
Fiber is the key to balancing the body’s reaction to the natural sugars in fruit, weight loss, and overall health.
Eating a sliced orange or spooning out the sections of grapefruit are great ways to enjoy these fruits. Squeezing a lemon or lime over some baked fish or into our water are also excellent options.
Here I share how to make your own flavorful infused waters using these citrus fruits plus other fruits and vegetables.
Boost Your Immune System Today & Everyday
When you add these citrus fruits to your daily diet, you’re adding Vitamin C and a host of other nutrients.
Especially in the winter, you’re helping boost the immune system and keep it strong for whatever comes along.
Instead of hiding from germs, which actually dampens our immune system, we should work diligently at boosting it with citrus fruits and other God-given foods that lead to abundant living.
Make citrus fruits a part of your every day and experience their wonderful flavors and benefits.
But most of all, remember God’s recipe for excellent health starts with the #1 ingredient: God’s love for you.
He loves you with an everlasting, steadfast, perfect love.
That is also the perfect ingredient to ingest every day!