See the big guy in the back? That’s Sumo. A Sumo Citrus that is. Again I am led by research into finding out just how lucky I am. It’s a rare fruit that is a California citrus making it out in the world. The weird foods always do that! I thought that maybe in the citrus department, the sumo wouldn’t be the only other “weird food” in my fridge. I wondered if many people associate the waning of winter with the abundance of citrus? It’s my favorite time of year don’t you know!
Left to Right:
- Cara Cara navel orange: a fantastic beauty with dark pink juice and pulp. It’s an amazing combination of sweet and tart with few seeds.
- Meyer lemon: Originally Chinese, this thin-skinned non-acidic sweet lemon is amazing.
- Sumo Citrus: fabulous easy to peel, sweet and seedless orange with a funky exterior.
- Kumquat: A fun little guy who’s no stranger to the weird food category. A tart citrus you eat skin on – it has some seeds but it’s worth it!
- Minneola Tangelo: My sturdy favorite due to its more predictable availability, it’s a hybrid grapefruit tangerine that’s sweet-tart, easy to peel with minimal seeds.
I feel like this line-up is my Spring collection! But I love citrus and the crazy benefits that I get from eating something I love (and puts the sweet tooth down for a nap).
Citrus is famous for its Vitamin C properties. Let’s break it down shall we?
- One medium orange has nearly 3.5 g of fiber, versus the 0 g in Dole chilled orange juice with pulp
- One medium orange has 18 g carbs, versus 27 g in Dole
- One medium orange has 70 calories, versus 120 in Dole
- One medium orange has 12 g of sugar, versus 23 g in Dole
- To further blow your mind, a child’s Sprite at McDonald’s has 110 calories with 28 g carbs and 28 g sugar
That should settle the “but fruit has more sugar” mumbo jumbo right? Whole foods like a whole orange have fiber – that sugar is naturally fortified with fiber to coordinate with the sugar; and fiber keeps you full (& happy).
And the deal with Vitamin C is that it’s an important antioxidant nutrient that enhances the absorption of iron. Immune support? Heck yes! I rarely get sick! It’s works to prevent damage from harmful free radicals (aging and cancer) in the fluid inside and outside the cells of the body. In areas of the body where cell turnover is particularly rapid, like the digestive system, vitamin C helps prevent damaging changes (mutations) in the DNA – which can lead to the abnormal cellular growth (cancer). Lemon peel in black tea in particular has been shown to reduce skin cancer risk by 30% according to a University of Arizona study. Lemons and oranges also have a phytochemical limonene, which have been shown to prevent cancer. It’s also an antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antineoplastic and antimalarial agent. Did I also mention that 1/2 cup of lemon juice a day raises citrate levels which help fight kidney stones? I use a whole lemon in my smoothie every day. It masks the veggies so I can cram as much spinach as possible in there.