Sweet, brightly colored citrus fruits bring a burst of sunshine into winter days. But citrus fruits are not only flavorful and pretty — they’re also good for you. This class of fruits includes lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, as well as many more hybrids and varieties. They have a bunch of health benefits, from boosting immunity to fighting cancer. Read on to find out 7 reasons to eat citrus fruits.
What Are Citrus Fruits?
Citrus fruits grow on flowering trees and shrubs. They are characterized by a leathery rind and white pith that encases juicy segments. They’re native to Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia and possibly Southeast Asia.
Nowadays, they are cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates all over the world. Major production hubs include Spain, Brazil, China, the US, Mexico and India. Interestingly, nearly a third of all citrus fruits are used to make juice. You can find all kinds of citrus fruits year round. The peak season for oranges and grapefruits in the Northern Hemisphere is between mid-December and April.
Here are some popular varieties of citrus fruits:
- Sweet oranges: Valencia, navel, blood orange, cara cara
- Mandarins: Satsuma, clementine, tangor, tangelo
- Limes: Persian, key lime, kaffir
- Grapefruit: White, ruby red, oroblanco
- Lemons: Eureka, Meyer
- Other kinds: Citron, sudachi, yuzu, pomelos
Read on for 7 reasons to add these fruits to your diet.