Citrus Fruits: Vitamin C and a Whole Lot More!

Photo Credit: USDA PD
When you think citrus fruits, you probably think orange juice and vitamin C. Citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C, but they also provide a number of other beneficial nutrients. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit, are rich in minerals, carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Citrus fruits also help to reduce your risk of disease.
Citrus fruits contain simple carbohydrates in the form of natural sugars. Fructose, glucose and sucrose found in citrus fruits provides your body with energy. They are also a good source of natural dietary fiber that stimulates digestion. One medium orange contains about 3 grams of fiber.
Folate is a vitamin that is essential for cell health and growth. It also helps protect red blood cells and prevent anemia. It is critical that pregnant women get sufficient amounts of folates (folic acid) in their diet to prevent birth defects, such as neural tube defects. A glass of orange juice provides your body with about 75 mg of folic acid.
Potassium is another essential mineral. It is an important electrolyte that helps to maintain the fluid and acid balance in your body. You need potassium every day for healthy nerve impulse transmission and normal muscle contraction. An orange provides 235 mg of potassium. One glass of orange juice provides 500 mg of potassium. Phytochemicals found in citrus fruits can help to protect you from disease, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Enjoy a glass of orange juice or a fresh grapefruit and help keep your body healthy, too.

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