Many people love citrus, especially here in Southern California where the fruit is plentiful. You might even swear by your vitamin C for preventing colds and the flu. Fruits and veggies, in general, make up part of a balanced medical weight loss plan, but there are actually several other very important reasons to include citrus fruits in your diet, such as…
Citrus combats anemia. The vitamin C in citrus fruits helps you to better absorb iron from your diet. Pair citrus fruits with high-iron foods like meat, beans, seafood, and spinach, and you can combat anemia (low blood iron).
Citrus offers a healthy dose of potassium. Potassium is important for numerous reasons, including stroke prevention and reducing your risk of heart disease. Each serving of citrus fruit contains around 240 milligrams of potassium, so eat up!
Citrus adds fiber to your diet. The membranes in citrus fruits contain dietary fiber, which is so important to healthy digestion and helping you to feel full between meals. But there’s just one caveat: You need to actually eat the fruit in order to reap the full amount of fiber it offers. So no, a glass of orange juice isn’t the same.
Citrus can help to lower cholesterol. Some research indicates vitamin C might be helpful in lowering blood cholesterol. However, grapefruit does contain a compound that interferes with statins (medications used to control cholesterol), so keep that in mind when choosing your fruit.
Citrus is lower on the glycemic index than some other fruits and veggies. Choosing foods that are lower on the glycemic index means that they’re released more slowly into your bloodstream, helping you to avoid quick blood sugar spikes and crashes. If you’re concerned with that, citrus fruits score about a 45 on the glycemic index, as opposed to watermelon which scores 75 and potatoes which score over 100.
Citrus fruits can be part of a medical weight loss plan, or just used to fight age-related diseases. Schedule an appointment with us if you need to discuss your eating plan in more detail, and we can help you develop a more healthy and balanced diet.