Citrus and Nuts as Superfoods

Superfoods have become a generic term for fad items, in some cases, that change weekly or monthly, or per magazine issue or talk show banter. A ‘superfood’ technically is just a food with lots of nutrients that are beneficial for health and overall well-being. There is confusion surrounding changing fads and misinformation based on Hollywood and commercials and online promotions of what you need to be eating as your very own ‘superfood’. Typically a flavor of the week, so to speak.

Macadamia Nuts

There are some foods that can be coined as superfoods every day of the week. They happen to be Arizona Orange Co. specialties! Dates, nuts, oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are unwavering superfoods that can’t be argued – even after the tabloids are done raving about them! Still not convinced? Read on to be amazed at the power of these awesome foods and just some of their benefits to the body.

Dates

Dates are surprisingly versatile and can be used as a substitute for sugars and butters in many recipes! Pies, cookies, brownies, pancakes, birthday cakes – you name it!

Dates are full of fiber, which helps so many important functions in your body! Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and also makes for great heart health. They contain potassium, selenium, copper and magnesium. Talk about the ultimate workout supplement! For muscle cramps and to lower blood pressure, these are just a few benefits of stocking up on dates as every-day snacks!

Lemons

Lemons are serious superfoods! Some people think of lemons as a sour fruit that is best squeezed in some water or on fish and done away with. Well, lemon is in fact a mighty fruit that is chock full of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and so much more.

Lemon helps the body produce collagen, a tightening agent in your skin. These fruits keep blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bones strong, and tight – think natural Botox! Antioxidants – specifically flavonoids – found in lemons helps reduce a risk of cancer, heart disease and even inflammation. Sucking on a lemon – no matter how you incorporate it into your diet – even helps one absorb iron properly. This is especially important for women, but beneficial for men and children alike!

TIP: Wondering how to incorporate lemon into your diet? Great question! Not the best fruit to peel and eat – let’s be honest. Some creative ways to get lemon in your body are:

  • Put lemon rind and juice in your morning or after-workout smoothie!
  • Top your veggies with lemon juice to not only keep raw ones from becoming limp or brown, but also for a great added flavor!
  • Soup it up! Throw some lemon juice and rind into your soup or salad and realize the health benefits AND the better flavors brought out by the lemony zest!

Nuts

Nuts are almost getting a bad rap anymore… The whole ‘good fats’ description that has a stigma over nuts and their health benefits isn’t really interpreted correctly. Nuts are good for your heart, fat content, and blood pressure- specifically because of the unsaturated fats they contain. Don’t eat a bag of any type of nuts!!! You want to keep a low-calorie diet and be active and eat just a few nuts as snacks VS. a whole bag to reap the best benefits of these delicious treats.

Protein-packed items for people body building or trying to grow muscle are pretty boring after time passes – ooh chicken – again… Well look no further than nuts for protein-packed goodness! Put them in your protein shake, sprinkle on chicken during baking for a crunch (DELICIOUS!), or eat raw for a great source of protein.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is the most common superfood used in nothing less than weight loss!

FACT: Eating one-half of one grapefruit before each meal every day will give you a weight loss of ONE POUND PER WEEK!

Grapefruit lowers insulin – which is where your body loves to store fat – and that’s why it helps with weight loss. Grapefruit is filling, natural, 90% water (!) and therefore makes you eat less!

The coolest thing about grapefruits, arguably, is their high ORAC value. Okay, sounds weird, but let’s go through it: ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. This is a fancy acronym for a grapefruits ability to grab free radicals and molecules that cause various diseases and then detoxify them (remove them) from your body. Even if you don’t get it, just eat them – they are powerful fruits! No fat and few calories make grapefruit even more ideal!

Oranges

Oranges are long known in America as one of the first ‘health foods’ – when Americans started thinking about becoming fit and eating high-vitamin foods oranges were the bees knees. Oranges are classically known to be tasty and full of Vitamin C – keeping immune systems strong and keeping the doctor away! And this is all true, however oranges are such more of a superfood than we ever might have imagined.

Oranges are so delicious and sweet – navel oranges are some of the sweetest! These sweet, juicy citrus fruits are so powerful you would never know by the taste – oranges aid in heart health and the prevention of certain cancers, diabetes, and chronic ailments.

FACT: Oranges trace back to Asia thousands and thousands of years ago. No other than Christopher Columbus brought over orange seeds to the Caribbean Islands and introduced them to the area in the 15th century. Spanish explorers brought oranges to Florida in the 1500’s, and a cool 200 years later Spanish missionaries brought oranges to California! The Spanish can be thanked for 2 of the world’s largest US orange producers!

Grab some dates, nuts and citrus fast to start filling up, and curing what ails ya!

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