Citrus fruits occupy an important place among the natural remedies recommended during the winter season. Their bright summer colours enliven the dark days of winter. Their sharp flavour adds zest to cooking. And most importantly, they provide us with vitamins that benefit our health and well-being. These fruits go a long way to meeting our needs for vitamin C, an essential nutrient known for its immune-stimulant effect. A particular characteristic of these types of fruit is that they also contain vitamin A precursors such as beta-cryptoxanthin. Present in satsumas and other citrus fruits, beta-cryptoxanthin is converted in the body into vitamin A, a nutrient necessary for healthy vision and immune defences.
As well as being vitamin-rich, citrus fruits also contain powerful protective agents called antioxidants. These natural substances defend the body by quenching excess free radicals, highly reactive elements that cause considerable damage at a cellular level. This protective action helps prevent the development of certain diseases and also combats the ageing process. However, antioxidants are often concentrated in parts of the citrus fruit that are seldom eaten. Such is the case with naringin, significant levels of which are found in grapefruit peel. The good news is that in order to make naringin’s benefits available, it is extracted for use in nutritional supplements, such as in the product Grapefruit Extract.
‘Lose weight with lemons’, ‘Lemon diet for rapid weight loss’, ‘Slim down with grapefruit’ … the slimming properties of citrus fruits regularly grab the headlines in magazines devoted to natural health and well-being. There are several reasons why citrus fruits are so popular with slimmers. Firstly, they contain natural fibre which supports intestinal transit, facilitates the elimination of fat and promotes a feeling of satiety. Secondly, certain polyphenols found in citrus fruits have a fat-burning action which can help speed up weight loss. Thirdly, citrus fruits are low in calories which makes them an attractive choice for those wishing to lose weight naturally. As a result of their many benefits for weight loss, citrus fruits are used in the development of slimming supplements such as the product Metadrine™.
Lemons are the detox stars of the citrus fruit family; indeed lemon water is often hailed as a miracle cure for ‘the day after’. Excess food and drink place the body under considerable strain and lemon juice helps drain the gallbladder, stimulate bile production and cleanse the liver. The detoxifying effect of this fruit helps eliminate toxins which have accumulated in the body and restore digestive health. However, the acidity of the fruit means that excessive consumption may produce unwelcome effects in some people, which is why other detox solutions are often used.
Citrus fruits have also attracted scientific interest for their heart-protective properties which several studies have shown help prevent cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and hypertension. Researchers believe this cardio-protective effect may be related to a cholesterol-lowering action. In other words, certain of the active principles in citrus fruits may help reduce levels of total cholesterol. This major discovery has resulted in the development of cardio-protective supplements such as Sytrinol™, a natural alternative for treating hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol).
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