These immune-boosting citrus fruits can help you beat the winter blues

May 11, 2020
Citrus fruits are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will help you boost your immune system this flu season. Source: Getty.

With winter fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to add some colourful citrus fruits, like oranges, mandarins and grapefruits, to your diet. Citrus fruits are not only great for garnishing a beautiful cake or salad, but they’re also full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will help to boost your immune system this flu season. While you can find all kinds of citrus fruits year-round, the peak season for citrus fruits in Australia is during the cooler months — so get them while you can!

The health benefits of citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are a must-have in your diet if you want to avoid getting sick this winter as they’re an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient often touted as a natural cold remedy. Previous studies have also found that vitamin C can reduce the duration of colds.

But there’s more to citrus fruits than just fighting colds. Citrus fruits boast a bunch of other health benefits, from boosting your brain health to reducing your heart disease and cancer risk. One study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found those who ate citrus fruits every day were 23 per cent less likely to develop dementia than those who ate the tangy fruits twice a week or less.

They’re also made up of other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to work properly, including B vitamins, potassium and magnesium. Further, citrus fruits are a good source of fibre, which not only keeps you regular, but can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and decrease your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Fibre is also very filling, which means that it can keep you going between meals, ultimately reducing and limiting the number of snacks you consume during the day.

How to get more citrus in your diet

Eating an orange or mandarin might seem simple, but there are different ways you can pair citrus fruits with other types of food to make it more interesting. One of the easiest ways to add citrus fruits to your diet is at breakfast time. Why not top your cereal or yogurt with some mandarin or orange slices? Other ways include adding them to a fresh garden salad or a delicious roast — orange and rosemary pork roast is a winner! Another great way to use citrus fruits is for seasoning — lemon and lime juice works great on just about anything. While slices of grapefruit or orange are the perfect tart or loaf topping.

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