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Citrus – Health Benefits, Uses and Important Facts

Citrus – Health Benefits, Uses and Important Facts

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, and pomelos are all citrus fruits. The citrus fruits in this group are not only tasty and refreshing, but they also fit the definition of a "all-star food" because they are full of flavonoids, which help fight cancer. Flavonoids in citrus fruits have been shown to stop cancer cells from growing and stop tumours from spreading.



What is citrus?

Citrus is a group of flowering trees and bushes that belong to the Rutaceae family. Plants in the genus produce citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, pomelos, and limes, which are all important crops. Citrus plants are native to Australia, Melanesia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Since ancient times, people who lived in these areas have used and tamed different kinds of citrus. From there, the Austronesian expansion (around 3000–1500 BCE) brought it to Micronesia and Polynesia, and the incense trade route brought it to the Middle East and Mediterranean (around 1200 BCE), and then to Europe and the Americas.



The generic name comes from Latin, where it could have been used to describe either the plant we now call citron (C. medica) or a conifer tree (Thuja). It comes from the Greek word for cedar, which was o (kédros). This could be because citrus leaves and fruit are thought to smell similar to cedar. The Romance word agrumes is also used to talk about citrus fruits and plants as a whole (literally "sour fruits").



Where do citrus fruits come from?

All citrus fruits come from the Rutaceae family. This group of plants is also called the rue family. Most of the flowers in this group have a strong smell. Oranges, grapefruits, limes, and lemons are all in the genus Citrus. Since the beginning of time, people have been growing these fruits. They might have come from Australia, New Caledonia, or New Guinea, but some research shows that they might have come from Southeast Asia. Many of the species are hybrids, and some people think that even the species that breed true in the wild were once hybrids.



Health benefits of citrus fruits: 

Citrus flavonoids are rich in antioxidants that can stop free radicals from doing damage and may help prevent heart disease. Studies show that citrus flavonoids may improve the flow of blood through the coronary arteries, make it harder for the arteries to form blood clots, and stop the "bad" LDL cholesterol from oxidising, which is the first step in the formation of artery plaques.


Citrus fruits are also a good source of folate and potassium, and they have a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that keeps the body safe from free radicals, which can damage cells. It is also needed to make collagen, that also helps wounds heal and keeps blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone from breaking apart. Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte that is needed for nerves to work, the heart to beat, and some enzymes that help break down carbohydrates.



Top 5 citrus fruits in India:

1. Sweet lime

The Sweet Lime is thought to be one of the top 15 citrus fruits that can be found in India. In Indian citrus fruits, sweet lime is often called mosambi. Mosambi is known by its scientific name, Citrus limetta, and it grows in tropical and subtropical climates. Sweet lime has a sweet flavour. Also, compared to other citrus fruits, sweet lime doesn't have as much acid as other citrus fruits do.




2. Oranges

 Oranges are very good for your health because they are full of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fibre. China and Brazil are the two countries that make the most oranges. India is the world's third-largest producer.


Oranges thrive in tropical and subtropical areas, and they can be bought all over the world. In fact, an orange is a cross among a mandarin and a pomelo. Oranges are larger than tangerines. India has many different kinds of oranges that range in price and taste.


3. Tangerine

Tangerine is thought to be one of the best citrus fruits that can be found in India. One of the best things about tangerines is that they are far sweeter than other citrus fruits. Tangerines are used in desserts, salads, drinks, as well as some kinds of seafood.


4. Clementine

In India, you can find clementines on many different kinds of citrus trees. It is a cross between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange and is one of the best citrus fruits you can get in India. So, it has less acid, and its taste is often mistaken for that of a mandarin orange. Citrus clementina is the scientific name for this fruit, which looks a lot like a tangerine.


5. lemon

India makes the most lemons, and most of them are grown in Assam. Lemon is one of the best citrus fruits used to make pickles and give dishes a tangy flavour.


A lot of salads and desserts use lemon zest. Lemons have a lot of citric acid and taste sour in their own way. Lemon is called Citrus Limon by scientists.


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