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Citrus Fruits

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DSC05995Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes have a number of nutritional properties that make them beneficial to health.

What are the health benefits of orange nutrition, lemon nutrition, and lime nutrition? First and foremost, these citrus fruits are an excellent dietary source of vitamin C, and they have been historically important in the prevention of a disease known as scurvy. As little as 10 milligrams of vitamin C per day is protective against scurvy. In addition, citrus fruits contain a compound known as citrate, which is helpful in the prevention of kidney stones. Lemons contain the highest levels of citrate of any of the citrus fruits, and should be considered a first line defense against the formation of kidney stones. In a news release from the University of California San Diego that detailed the work of Roger L.  Sur, MD in relation to kidney stones, it was noted that “[i]n a recent study conducted by Sur, lemonade therapy – drinking four ounces of reconstituted lemon juice in two liters of water per day – was shown to decrease the rate of stone formation from 1.00 to 0.13 stones per patient.”

While lemons contain the highest levels of citrate, citrate is found in all citrus fruits (as its name implies), and regular consumption of a variety of citrus fruits is an important preventative strategy against the formation of kidney stones. It is also important to note that the healthy constituents of citrus fruit are not limited to vitamin C and citrate; citrus fruits also contain folate, potassium, and a variety of flavonoids with powerful antioxidant properties. In addition to preventing scurvy and kidney stones, citrus fruits may be protective against heart disease, cancer, and a number of other ailments.

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