Protecting your immune system during the winter months is super important. These six citrus fruits are sure to have you feeling your best throughout the winter months!
Virus Fighter: Blood Orange
Blood oranges’ healing plant compound, hesperidin, binds to viruses (including the one that causes covid-19), blocking their growth as effectively as anti-viral drugs do, Italian scientists report. Plus, the vitamin C boosts the production of germ-fighting antibodies by as much as 35 percent. Snack on two of these fruits daily, and you’ll recover three days faster from any viral infection.
GI Soother: Lemon
If holiday treats or a heavy meal cause tummy turmoil, sipping a cup of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice will nix bloat, abdominal pain and other symptoms in as little as 60 seconds. That’s the word from Stanford University scientists, who say lemons’ natural fruit acids spur the release of digestive enzymes, plus stimulate intestinal muscle contractions.
Stress Buster: Cara Cara Orange
Having a not-so-zen day? Savoring a Cara Cara orange (a sweet mix of orange, tangerine and berry) calms your nerves in 2 minutes, UCLA scientists say. Cara Caras are loaded with beta- carotene, a pigment that calms overworked adrenals and reduces your risk of chronic tension by 50 percent if you eat one of these gems daily.
Fat Blaster: Grapefruit
Resolved to lose weight? Australian scientists say savoring half a grapefruit before meals triples weight loss, helping you drop up to 20 pounds in 13 weeks. Credit grapefruit’s bioflavonoids, which dampen appetite and speed fat burn. For a citrus twist, toss salads with diced grapefruit. For dessert, top halved grapefruit with brown sugar and broil for 3-4 minutes.
Heart Hero: Kumquat
Kumquats are tart, sweet and tiny — about the size of large cherries — and eating five of them daily cuts the risk of heart disease by 25 percent, Canadian researchers say. Turns out kumquat’s edible skins brim with antioxidants that relax arteries and curb the liver’s cholesterol production by 16 percent, trimming up to 6 points off your blood pressure.
Mood Booster: Lime
Adding just one small lime to your daily diet could boost your happiness by as much as 40 percent in two days, say researchers at Connecticut’s University of Bridgeport. Thanks goes to lime compounds (limonoids) that enhance the ability of brain cells to soak up blood glucose and use it to produce the mood-steadying hormone serotonin.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.