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Health Benefits of Citrus are More Sweet than Sour

Karen Alexander, Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

April 1, 2020

When we think about the health benefits of citrus, many of us already know that oranges are packed with vitamin C. Did you know that citrus is great for treating more than just the common cold? Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes and grapefruit are sources of antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and can even be added to your beauty regimen!

Citrus contain:
• carbohydrates
• fiber
• vitamin C
• potassium
• folate
• calcium
• vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6
• minerals: phosphorus, magnesium, copper
• flavonoids

Citrus is heart healthy – Antioxidant-rich fruits like grapefruits, lemons, limes and oranges have been shown to decrease inflammation, improve blood flow, and reduce blood pressure.

Citrus works for weight loss – Grapefruit has been heralded for its weight loss properties in addition to being a sweet and healthy treat! It is low in calories but high in nutrients and fiber. Half a grapefruit before a meal is an easy way fill up on vitamins and minerals and reduce calorie intake.

Citrus for beauty – Vitamin C is renowned in the beauty world for its skin brightening agents. Citric acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that gives many skin toners their astringent properties. Citrus juice is also used on the scalp as an effective remedy for dandruff or itchy scalp.

Citrus for wellbeing – Just smelling the scent of citrus for 10 minutes has shown to lower stress levels for up to 30 minutes according to a Japanese study. The study showed a decreased in levels of the type of stress we feel before taking a test or public speaking. The bright happy scent can help fight fatigue and depression. If you’re trying to focus on a task or creative project, try smelling a lemon while you work. The scent of a lemon can increase your heart rate and improve mental sharpness and productivity.

Our wellness recipe comes from The Comfort of Cooking

Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 whole lemons, one juiced and one sliced
  • 2 whole oranges, one juiced and one sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10-12 pieces (about 4 1/2 lbs.) bone-in chicken parts (thighs and legs are best), pat dry
  • 1 medium onion (any kind), thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or fresh chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, or fresh chopped
  • Chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley), for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic, sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, Italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
  3. Place chicken in a rimmed 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Place parts skin side up and spread them out evenly in the pan. Pour olive oil mixture all over chicken, turning pieces to coat all sides. (If you marinated the chicken in this mixture, still add it all in). Arrange slices of lemon, orange and onion around and under the chicken. Sprinkle all over generously with thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until chicken is cooked and juices run clear. Remove parts to a serving platter and garnish with additional chopped fresh herbs, if desired.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes from the author:

Just 30-40 minutes is all that’s needed to bake this recipe with chicken breasts in place of chicken parts.
For best results, chicken can be marinated in a plastic container or bag for several hours or overnight in the olive oil mixture.
This is great served with a big salad, and/or lemon orzo/potatoes, or garlic bread!
You can also switch up the seasonings to a spicy mix and toss in lemons and limes instead of oranges. Swap cilantro for the rosemary and thyme.

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