Orange you going to eat your daily dose of citrus fruit? You’ll definitely want to after discovering that these juicy balls of sweet ‘n sour goodness can provide you with far more life-saving nutrients than just a shot of vitamin C.
Citrus fruits contain high levels of phytonutrients, which are plant-based nutrients with some powerful properties. One type of phytonutrient found in citrus, called limonoids, are responsible for the sour kick you get when you bite into a piece of citrus fruit — recent researchers discovered that limonoids are also responsible for a whole lot of sweet health benefits as well.
Free radicals are the by-products of your body’s energy metabolism process; they bang around your body causing damage to cells, tissues, and organs, contributing to early signs of aging as well as illness and disease.
But, while we can’t avoid the production of free radicals in our bodies, we can neutralize their damaging effects by eating a diet rich in antioxidant nutrients. Recently, researchers took note of two antioxidant nutrients from the citrus family: limonin and limonin glucoside. They found that the antioxidant properties of these two limonoid nutrients can reduce the risk of stroke, lower high blood pressure, and reduce inflammation.
Eating limonoid-rich healthy foods can help your body fight off cancer in three ways: they help to prevent cancer from developing; they slow the growth of existing cancer; and they kill existing cancer cells. Several studies have also shown that limonoids can help improve and prevent a wide variety of cancer types, such as pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and breast cancers .
The influence limonoids exert on breast cancer is particularly impressive, as they have been found to impede the growth of cancerous cells in both estrogen-positive and estrogen-negative cancers. Most treatments are only able to tackle one specific breast cancer type. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that not only were higher doses of limonoids safe and cancer fighting, but they also remained in the blood for a significant period of time, able to exert longer-lasting health-protecting effects.
Studies have shown that certain aspects of limonoids have powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial effects as well. In a study published in 2010, researchers found that limonoids inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli), commonly found on certain foods and known to cause diarrhea, seizure, stroke, kidney damage or even death. Researchers are hopeful that this promising limonoid research could lead to a brand new therapy to combat strains of E.coli infections.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, have all been found to be rich in powerful limonoid nutrients. Limonoids are found in the white material that surrounds the fruit and the peel, so be sure not to leave this precious stuff behind when enjoying a fresh, whole orange, or even when using the rinds.