August 27, 2021 3 min read
When you think summer eating, chances are that citrus fruits are some of the first things that come to mind. This family of fruits, which includes oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes, are bright, juicy, tangy, delicious, and are perfect for snacking and refreshing, especially on a hot summer’s day.
If you’re looking to meal prep in the Los Angeles area, you know that citrus fruits are readily available. In fact, we have a whole county named after oranges! So it only makes sense to start adding these fruits into your meal prep plan to maximize on both flavor and healthiness.
Now that the weather is getting nicer and fruit season is in full swing, let’s take a look at all the benefits of these zesty fruits – and all the reasons why you should be including more citrus into your meal prep plan.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies or colds, you know how important Vitamin C is, but you don’t have to get it from a powdered supplement. In fact, it’s usually better to get your nutrients from whole foods, which is why citrus fruits are perfect for your summer snacking.
Citrus fruits like oranges are probably best-known for their rich source of immune-boosting Vitamin C. This essential nutrient, which is also known as ascorbic acid, gives your immune system a boost to help fight off damaging bacteria and viruses and to keep you healthy from various sicknesses.
Vitamin C is also great for skin care! And the best part is that you can get all the Vitamin C you need per day from just one orange, so make sure to include one with your breakfast or snack daily.
Like many other fruits and plant-based foods, citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit also have a ton of dietary fiber. Fiber is a compound that your body doesn’t digest on its own – instead, it gets broken down by the bacteria in your gut, which can help boost your immune system.
It can also protect you from a variety of different health conditions like heart disease, since it can bind to cholesterol and prevent buildups in your arteries that block your blood flow. In addition, fiber is also more filling than a lot of other nutrients, which means getting more fiber is helpful for appetite control if weight loss is one of your meal prep goals.
To get the most fiber out of each serving, make sure to eat the fruits with pulp and all, rather than only using the juice itself.
Finally, citrus fruits are excellent sources of antioxidants, which are crucial nutrients that can help protect your body from damage, aging, and long-term disease.
Our bodies take on a ton of damage throughout our lives via a process called “oxidative stress.” Aging, poor-quality diets, pollution, and other lifestyle factors means that our cells become damaged, which makes it harder to prevent diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Luckily, we also have antioxidants, which are compounds that help to bring some balance and prevent oxidative stress from affecting our bodies in the long run. Antioxidants are found in a ton of foods including citrus. Citrus fruits in particular have polyphenols, which are plant-based compounds that can fight off oxidation and prevent inflammation.
So citrus fruits are a powerful tool to keep in your meal prep arsenal for keeping your immune system healthy and fighting off long-term, chronic illnesses. And the best part about them: not only are they nutritious, but they’re also incredibly tasty, so they’re perfect for adding some fun and flavor to even the healthiest prepped meals.
Good ideas for adding more citrus into your meal prep plan include:
No matter how you choose to eat healthy this summer, make sure to take full advantage of your locally-grown citrus fruits!
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