Eating foods grown locally is a great way to purchase affordable produce and ensure you are getting the most nutritionally dense items and although we think of abundance in summer or fall, in Houston Citrus and Greens are in full swing in the winter months. From Texas Ruby Red grapefruits and beyond, integrative dietitian and natural foods expert Ali Miller with Naturally Nourished is here to talk about how Citrus can boost immune function, aid in mineral absorption, and even fight against cancer!
Citrus is a rich source of bioflavanoids which can promote detoxification and fight against cancer. The nobiletin and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are compounds that have antiangiogenic properties virtually starving off the fuel source of tumors at the level of the vessel. Beyond cancer prevention, citrus has been shown to aid in tolerance of chemotherapy and radiation so it can be used to aid in cancer treatment and recovery.
The vitamin C plays a crucial role in our stress response as our adrenal glands are the most concentrated storage tissue for vitamin C and it can play a role in prevention of colds and flu!
Nobiletin a focused flavinoid in citrus is also being researched for its ability to prevent cancer spread or metastasis throughout the body. It is highest concentrated in tangerines and other heirloom varieties of oranges including satsumas. This compound is also anti-inflammatory working to cool and soothe the body from the inside out reducing joint pain and mechanisms of chronic illness.
There are so many options aim for variety for your best web of nutritional density!
Satsuma: rich in copper and vitamin A aiding with thyroid and bone health
Meyer Lemon: hybrid of mandarine orange and lemon, peel is edible which is rich in pectin and concentration of flavonoids in skin
Blood Orange: rich in anthocyanins similar to those found in blueberries due to its rich pigmentation rather than lycopene the typical antioxidant in citrus found in orange/pink flesh.
Kumquat: peel is edible which is rich in pectin and concentration of flavonoids in skin, limonene which aid in detoxification
Grapefruit: rich in lycopene and ranked in the top superfood juices based on concentration of polyphenols and antioxidants including vitamin C
Naturally Nourished Citrus Vinaigrette
This simple vinaigrette can be whisked or shaken in a ball jar. Combine all ingredients to taste and create a variety of flavors selecting one to two herbs and one to two kinds of citrus to make your unique dressing that allows your seasonal citrus to sing!
2 Tbsp juice from citrus of choice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil
1 Tbsp fresh herb chopped (Choose from tarragon, basil, rosemary)
1 tsp wild unfiltered honey
pinch of sea salt and pinch of white pepper to taste
Toss on greens and top with vegetables, a nut or seed of choice, and a clean protein.