Many look to the New Year as a fresh start and a way to kick off the year in the healthiest way possible. While many will swear off numerous foods in hopes of being “healthier”, why not consider adding something back into your diet instead? This winter, give citrus fruits a try.
Oranges, grapefruits*, lemons, and limes are all great sources of vitamin C and fiber. The high vitamin C level in citrus fruits also increase iron absorption, helping to prevent anemia. Additionally, these fruits have calcium, potassium, folate and vitamin A. Citrus fruits also contain flavonoids that can reduce the risks of certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease.
Below are 17 ways that you can incorporate citrus in your diet this winter:
- Zest it on baked fish– Before putting your fish in the oven, zest a lemon over it for added flavor.
- Flavored water- Slice up some orange, lemon, grapefruit, or lime slices into your water bottle and you’ve got healthy flavored water for the day!
- Infused olive oil– Peel a lemon and combine with a cup of olive oil in a saucepan on a very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely before transferring to a glass bottle. Keep this in a dark place to allow flavor to develop and prevent free radicals from developing.
- Add it to your salad- Throw some orange or grapefruit chunks in your salad.
- Make a vinaigrette dressing- Combine citrus juice with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and honey for a quick and easy dressing.
- Add it to pasta- Squeeze lemon juice on top of your pasta.
- Stir-fry with a twist- Combine the juice and zest of an orange with garlic, ginger, and low-sodium soy sauce for a homemade sauce.
- Blend it in your green smoothies– Need a change to your green drinks? Add an orange or half of a grapefruit to your green smoothies for the perfect cold fighting drink!
- Lighten up your marinade- Though grilling season is still a couple months away, add citrus juice to your marinade with the spices of your choice, cayenne pepper and thyme are my favorite!
- Infused honey- Add a tablespoon of lemon zest and the juice from 1/3 of a lemon to a cup of honey and heat together for 10 minutes on a low temperature. Let sit for 2 hours and place in a glass jar.
- Citrus salsa- Use oranges and/or grapefruit in place of tomatoes in your next homemade salsa for a refreshing pico de gallo!
- Fruity ice cubes– Thinly slice lemon and/or lime and place into an ice cube tray with water. These are perfect for a little extra flavor in your drinks.
- Zest it onto your roasted vegetables- Before putting your vegetables in the oven, zest a lemon over them.
- Make tacos- For the next taco Tuesday, squeeze a lime over your tacos or make cilantro-lime rice.
- Parfait all day- Cut orange and/or grapefruit chunks for your next Greek Yogurt parfait. Toss with granola or a nut blend.
- Flavor your tea- Next time you make tea, squeeze a lemon wedge in your mug.
- Eat it raw– One of the best ways to enjoy fruit, is to just eat it!
- This winter, stick to in-season citrus fruits, rich in vitamin C, fiber, and flavonoids.
- There are many ways to add citrus fruits to your diet; put them in your drink, breakfast, salads, or use them as a flavoring agent.
*Grapefruit interacts with many different medications including cholesterol lowering medications called statins. Speak with your primary care provider or your pharmacist if you are not sure if grapefruit can be incorporated into your diet.