Citrus in a Vegan Diet
Many people are experimenting with – if not outright switching to – vegan or other plant-based diets nowadays. For many people, the assumption is that basing your diet on plants is healthier, but that’s a bit too simplistic. After all, potato chips and even sugar can be said to be vegan!
Whole foods vs processed
When it comes to eating healthier, the emphasis has to be not just on what you eat, but how you eat it. Processed plant-based foods are probably not very much healthier – if at all – than anything you might find in a fast food outlet.
• The evidence is in: research shows that eating a variety of whole and unprocessed foods is associated with a lower risk of many chronic diseases.
• When it comes to vitamin C and other antioxidants, there is no benefit demonstrated by taking supplements – but there is a host of benefits associated with eating citrus fruits, which are rich in antioxidants.
Citrus fruits in a healthy diet
Lemons, oranges, blood oranges, Cara Cara oranges, grapefruit – provide many health benefits, including nutrients that are crucial to human health.
Did you know that the human body can’t produce it’s own vitamin C? That’s why we need to eat it in our diet. Here are some other reasons to include a range of citrus fruits in your everyday diet.
• They represent a great source of fiber – one orange contains about 2.3 grams. Water soluble citrus fiber is also linked with maintaining low cholesterol levels, and regulating glucose in the body.
• Citrus flavonoids are compounds that may help to promote heart and circulatory health – the research is just beginning.
• They’re suitable for any type of diet, with a low glycemic score that won’t spike blood sugar levels.
• Some research suggests that a vitamin C-rich diet can help shorten the length and reduce the severity of colds.
• Citrus is also a good source of potassium, which is used by the body in many crucial functions. Optimal levels of potassium can greatly reduce your risk of stroke.
• The vitamin C in citrus fruits helps the body absorb other nutrients, such as the catechins in green tea, and iron, crucial to the production of red blood cells. Eat your citrus with iron-rich foods like dark green leafy veggies for best results.
A healthy variety of foods
The moral of the story is always to eat a good variety of foods, including plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits – like the citrus family.