Posted by naturopath Katherine Maslen
With winter in full swing we’re seeing some great quality citrus around. I only eat citrus during winter when it is in season. Oranges and lemons can be stored for months before making it to the shelves, so if you’re eating outside of the season (typically April to October) there’s a good chance your fruit is quite old.
Most people think of citrus as a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C begins to decline in fruit and vegetables after it is picked which means that long stored oranges have quite low levels by the time you eat them. This is why there is very little to no vitamin C in long life juice – as it is pasteurized at high temperatures to preserve it – nullifying any possible benefit it had prior. The answer is to have your juice and fruit as fresh as possible.
There is nothing better in winter than a fresh juicy mandarin or orange. In the flesh you’ll find vitamin C along with vitamin A, potassium, B vitamins, folate and traces of iron and magnesium. The skin is also a powerful superfood – it’s where you’ll find high levels of bioflavonoids – compounds which are antiinflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant and immune boosting. As a herbalist I use a herbal extract called Chen Pi which is made from cirtus peel. Chen Pi is great for bloating, digestive toxicity and for clearing phlegm when you have a cold or flu.
I like to enjoy mandarins and oranges fresh every day. I use lemon and lime juice on my salads and veggies. Use a fine grater to grate the rind off an orange or lemon and use it in cooking and baking and even in salad dressings.
Here’s a yummy muffin recipe using orange juice an rind – try it our and let us know what you think!
How do you like to enjoy your citrus?