Sweet, brightly colored citrus fruits move a detonate of fever into winter days. But citrus fruits are not usually dainty and flattering — they’re also good for you.

This category of fruits includes lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, as good as many some-more accumulation and varieties.

They have a garland of health benefits, from boosting shield to fighting cancer.

Read on to find out 7 reasons to eat citrus fruits.

Citrus Fruit in a Bowl

What Are Citrus Fruits?

Citrus fruits grow on flowering trees and shrubs. They are characterized by a rugged peel and white heart that encases luscious segments.

They’re local to Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia and presumably Southeast Asia (1).

Nowadays, they are cultivated in pleasant and subtropical climates all over a world. Major prolongation hubs embody Spain, Brazil, China, a US, Mexico and India (1).

Interestingly, scarcely a third of all citrus fruits are used to make extract (1).

You can find all kinds of citrus fruits year round. The rise mellow for oranges and grapefruits in a Northern Hemisphere is between mid-December and April.

Here are some renouned varieties of citrus fruits:

  • Sweet oranges: Valencia, navel, blood orange, cara cara
  • Mandarins: Satsuma, clementine, tangor, tangelo
  • Limes: Persian, pivotal lime, kaffir
  • Grapefruit: White, crimson red, oroblanco
  • Lemons: Eureka, Meyer
  • Other kinds: Citron, sudachi, yuzu, pomelos

Read on for 7 reasons to supplement these fruits to your diet.

1. They’re Rich in Vitamins and Plant Compounds

Cut Oranges

Citrus fruits are an glorious source of vitamin C, a healthful that strengthens a defence complement and keeps your skin well-spoken and effervescent (2, 3, 4, 5).

In fact, usually one middle orange has all a vitamin C we need in a day (6).

Citrus fruits also have good amounts of other vitamins and minerals that your physique needs to duty properly, including B vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and copper (7).

Additionally, they are abounding in plant compounds that have several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

These compounds embody over 60 varieties of flavonoids, carotenoids and essential oils, and they are obliged for many of citrus fruit’s health advantages (7, 8).

Summary: Citrus fruits are really nutritious, charity a horde of vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that assistance keep we healthy.

2. They’re a Good Source of Fiber

Citrus fruits are a good source of fiber. Just one crater of orange segments contains 4 grams of fiber (6).

To put that in perspective, it’s endorsed that we devour 14 grams of fiber for each 1,000 calories we eat. It’s estimated that usually 4% of group and 13% of women in a US get that volume (9).

Fiber has several health benefits, including improving digestive health and helping weight loss.

Oranges are utterly high in soluble fiber, a kind of fiber that helps reduce cholesterol levels (10).

Compared to other fruits and vegetables, citrus fruits are singular in that they have a aloft ratio of soluble to insoluble fiber (11).

Summary: Citrus fruits are good sources of soluble fiber, that helps reduce cholesterol and aids digestion.

3. Citrus Fruits Are Low in Calories

Slices of Citrus Fruits

If you’re examination your calorie intake, citrus fruits are a good choice.

They’re low in calories, nonetheless their H2O and fiber essence assistance fill we up.

Here’s how many calories a categorical kinds of citrus fruits enclose (6, 12, 13, 14, 15):

  • 1 tiny clementine: 35
  • 1 middle orange: 62
  • 1/2 pinkish grapefruit: 52
  • 1/2 white grapefruit: 39
  • Juice from 1 lemon: 12

What’s more, a 2015 investigate that looked during people’s eating habits and weight over 24 years found that eating citrus fruits was related to weight detriment (16).

Summary: Citrus fruits are low in calories, creation them a intelligent choice for people seeking to remove or say their weight.

4. They May Reduce Your Risk of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are unpleasant vegetable crystals.

They can form when your urine is really clever or when we have higher-than-normal amounts of stone-forming minerals in your urine.

One form of kidney mill is caused by low levels of citrate in urine.

Many fruits and vegetables, generally citrus fruits, can lift a levels of citrate in your urine, obscure a risk of kidney stones (17).

Drinking citrus juices and eating these fruits can offer a healthy choice to potassium citrate supplements.

According to information on American eating habits over a final 40 years, kidney stones are some-more common in people who eat fewer citrus fruits (18).

Summary: Eating citrus fruits might assistance reduce a risk of kidney stones in some people by lifting citrate levels in urine.

5. They May Help Fight or Protect Against Cancer

Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit and Mandarins

Many studies have related citrus fruits to a reduced risk of certain cancers (1).

In one study, people who ate one grapefruit or drank one portion of grapefruit extract daily had a reduce risk of lung cancer (19).

Other studies have suggested that citrus fruits might also strengthen opposite esophageal, stomach, breast and pancreatic cancers (20, 21, 22, 23).

These fruits enclose a horde of plant compounds, including flavonoids, that might assistance strengthen opposite cancer (8).

Some of these flavonoids act as antioxidants and might retard a countenance of certain genes that are obliged for some degenerative diseases, including cancer (8).

Citrus fruits might also assistance quarrel cancer by suppressing cancers, restraint a arrangement of new cancers and creation carcinogens dead (8).

Summary: Citrus fruits have been widely complicated for their protecting effects on a accumulation of cancer types.

6. They Contain Nutrients That Boost Heart Health


Eating citrus fruits could be good for your heart.

In fact, a Japanese investigate found that people who ate aloft amounts of these fruits had reduce rates of heart illness and cadence (24).

Furthermore, a 2017 examination suggests that grapefruits are related to a diminution in systolic blood vigour (25).

Several compounds in citrus fruits can urge markers of heart health.

For example, their soluble fiber and flavonoids might urge cholesterol levels by lifting “good” HDL cholesterol and obscure “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (7).

And many of a flavonoids in citrus fruits, including one called naringin, are clever antioxidants that advantage a heart in several ways (26).

Summary: Many compounds in citrus fruits can advantage heart health by improving cholesterol levels and obscure blood pressure.

7. They May Protect Your Brain

The flavonoids in citrus fruits might assistance sentinel off neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, that outcome from a relapse of cells in a shaken system.

In part, these diseases are caused by inflammation.

Flavonoids found in citrus fruits have anti-inflammatory capabilities that are suspicion to assistance strengthen opposite a sequence of events that causes a shaken complement to mellow (27, 28).

Specific forms of flavonoids, including hesperidin and apigenin, have been shown to strengthen mind cells and urge mind duty in mice and test-tube studies (27).

Several studies in comparison adults have also shown that citrus juices might boost mind duty (29, 30, 31).

Summary: Citrus fruits and juices might assistance boost mind duty and strengthen a mind from neurodegenerative disorders.

The Downside of Citrus Fruits

While a altogether design of citrus is flattering rosy, there are a few intensity downsides.

High Amounts Could Cause Cavities

Eating lots of citrus fruits or juices could boost a risk of cavities. That’s since a poison in citrus fruits erodes tooth finish (32, 33).

This is a sold risk if we sip on lemon H2O all day long, showering your teeth in acid.

Interestingly, certain compounds in citrus peels might fight a germ that means dental cavities, nonetheless some-more investigate is indispensable to see how that information could be used (34).

Fruit Juice Isn’t as Healthy as Whole Fruit

Small Glass of Orange Juice

While orange and grapefruit juices enclose lots of vitamin C and other nutrients mostly found in whole citrus fruits, they’re not utterly as healthy.

That’s since a portion of extract delivers most some-more sugarine and approach reduction fiber than a portion of whole fruit (6, 35).

There are a integrate reasons because that’s a problem.

First, some-more sugarine per portion translates to some-more calories. Drinking fruit extract and other high-calorie beverages can means we to advantage weight (36).

Second, when your physique takes in vast amounts of fructose (the form of sugarine in fruit juice), it is fast engrossed into your bloodstream and delivered to your liver (37).

If your liver gets some-more fructose than it can handle, it turns some of a additional fructose into fat. Over time, those fat deposits can means greasy liver illness (38).

Getting fructose from whole fruit is not a problem, given that you’re removing a smaller volume during a time. Plus, a fiber found in fruit buffers a fructose, causing it to be engrossed some-more solemnly into your bloodstream.

Grapefruit Can Interact With Certain Medications

Eating grapefruit or celebration grapefruit extract can be a problem if we take certain medications.

Furanocoumarin, a chemical in grapefruit, binds to an enzyme in your tummy that reduces a fullness of certain medications. The outcome is that your physique afterwards absorbs some-more remedy than it’s ostensible to (39).

Furanocoumarin is also found in tangelos and Seville oranges (the kind used for marmalade).

There are several medication and over-the-counter drugs that are influenced by grapefruit, including (40):

  • Some statins, for high cholesterol, including Lipitor and Zocor
  • Some calcium channel blockers, for high blood pressure, including Plendil and Procardia
  • Cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant drug
  • Some Benzodiazepines, including Valium, Halcion and Versed
  • Other medications, including Allegra, Zoloft and Buspar

Summary: While citrus fruits are generally healthy, they can have some drawbacks. Their poison can erode tooth finish and grapefruit can correlate with some medications.

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons to eat citrus fruits.

They’re healthful and enclose plant compounds that can strengthen opposite a accumulation of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, mind dysfunction and kidney stones.

But aim to devour whole fruits, rather than a lot of fruit juice, as the high sugarine calm can lead to problems.

Overall, citrus fruits are healthy, low in calories and available to eat. Most people could advantage from adding some-more citrus to their diet.