Citrus Fruits… Bursting with Healthy Goodness

January 13th, 2012

Did you know that during the cold winter months navel oranges, grapefruit, cara caras, tangerines and other citrus fruits are in season and at their peak flavor? Purchasing produce that is in season will make your wallet and taste buds thank you! Not only do citrus fruits taste wonderful, they have many health benefits including:

Heart Health: Potassium found in citrus fruits helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Folate may help keep homocysteine levels low, which lowers heart attack risk. The soluble fiber in citrus can help lower cholesterol.

Diabetes: Soluble fiber helps with blood sugar control and is important for the management of diabetes.

Healthy Weight: The water and fiber in citrus helps increase the feeling of fullness, thus helping to control your appetite. Since citrus has a low    glycemic load, blood sugars are more steady and appetite is better controlled.

Immune System: Citrus is an excellent source of vitamin C, especially important this time of year to maintain a healthy immune system.

Cancer: Beneficial antioxidants found in citrus fruits are thought to protect against certain types of cancers.

Citrus fruits are picked ripe and ready-to-eat.  Choose firm fruit that are heavy for their size, as heavier fruit will have more juice.  Oranges can be stored on the counter for 10 days to two weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Enjoy a twist on Waldorf salad using citrus:

Citrus Waldorf Salad

Serves 6

All you need:

1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

1 apple, cored and cut into bite-size chunks

1 stalk celery, sliced

3 oranges, peeled and segments cut into bite-size chunks

1 (6 oz) container Chobani Blood Orange Greek Yogurt

1 tbsp honey

¼ cup walnut pieces, toasted

All you do:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, apple, celery and oranges.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together yogurt and honey.
  3. Pour yogurt over fruit mixture; stir gently to coat.  Top with walnuts.
  4. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 119 calories, 3 g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 18 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein

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