Citrus Fruits to Boost Immune System and Fight Infections

Oranges from Citrus fruits to boost immune system

Why We Need to Boost Immune System?

The Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) is spreading worldwide nowadays. People pay considerable attention to boost their immunity to fight infections. Therefore, people spend a lot of money on food supplements, pharmaceutical drugs and exotic super foods. Amid rise of COVID-19, the people are curious about immune boosting foods which can protect against flu and infections. In addition, our eating choices and thinking patterns directly influence immunity. Hence, keeping in view all the concern about infections and spread of COVID-19, people need to focus on optimizing their immune systems and key elements in this regard include rest, nutrition and stress in our lives. Furthermore, citrus fruits also have role to boost immune system.

Weakening of Immune System

According to nutrient expert, Dr. Bradley Dyer, nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables boost and modulate immune system. However, fast foods and high-sugar intake negatively impact our immune system. Moreover, sugar sweetened foodstuffs, such as Soda, carbonated drinks weaken immune system. In addition, consumption of lots of pasta and white bread increases blood serum sugar levels in certain populations and lowers immunity of people. hence, at least even 1 teaspoon of sugar consumption may cause immunity reduction for six hours as reported by Nicola Dehlinger-The Durango Herald. Therefore, it is best to avoid refined sugar consumption to fight or prevent infections. Citrus fruits have various advantages to boost immune system and to fight cancer.

Similarly like sugar consumption, dairy foods are also mucous forming even for those who possess less sensitivity to dairy products. In order to combat immune system weakening , citrus fruits are beneficial to boost immune system as rich sources of vitamin C, zinc and flavonoids [1,2].

Citrus fruit juices are widely used in various forms to boost immunity
Citrus fruits are commonly used in form of juices, squashes and relishes
Source: Pixabay (Pixabay License: Free for commercial use, No attribution required)

We are What We Eat!

After all, whatever we put in bodies is reflected in our health status; however, stress may also play pivotal role in increasing susceptibility to illnesses. Moreover, according to mind sciences literature, human brain exhibits likeness toward negativity. This liking of mind can cause people to get involved in series of negative thinking patterns during their day-to-day routines. Amid the fears and outbreak of COVID-19, Jameshia Sykes, a licensed counselor with The Laya Center, has said that key to get free from fears, anxiety and worried of Corona virus pandemic is to focus only about which is our under control, such as personal hygiene and maintenance of social distance. Moreover, intake of veggies and citrus fruits provide vital dense nutrients to boost immune system by [3].

Citrus Fruits to Boost Immune System

On the other hand, it turns out that real super foods are within reach of masses with adequate affordability. Phytonutrients like antioxidants, polyphenols and minerals etc. in citrus fruits and veggies have immunity boosting properties to fight viral infections. Their long-terms usage not only prevents cognitive decline but, help to strengthen our immunity as well overall well-being.

Moreover, citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C which play vital role in prevention of infection by enhancing antibodies formation as immunity booster. The pertinent sources of vitamin C include various citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, grapefruit, Clementine, Desert lime, Greek citron and Kinnow [4].

Citrus fruit to boost immunity
Eat well for strong immunity: Foods rich in flavonoids have significant impact our health Source: Pixabay (Pixabay License: Free for commercial use, No attribution required)

Vitamin C Role to Boost Immune System

Healthline blog- a provider of health information – also included Citrus fruits among super foods for boosting immunity. Majority of people consume citrus fruits after falling a prey to cold or influenza. Vitamin C in citrus fruits helps to strengthen our immune system. The production of white blood cells increases by intake of vitamin C and plays pivotal role in fighting infections. The vitamin C is water-soluble vitamin hence our bodies consistently need replenishing for health maintenance. Almost, all citrus fruits are dense sources of vitamin C. hence, we can choose from oranges, lime, clementine or lemons to supplement our diets with vitamin C. Proper nutrition can be ensured by using variety of foods and hence, all citrus fruits can be consumed on regular basis based on guidelines of recommended dietary allowances. Some popular varieties of citrus fruits are given below for information [5].

Types of Citrus Fruits

  1. Lemons: Meyer & Eureka
  2. Sweet oranges: Blood orange, Valencia, navel, Heirloom navel, cara cara
  3. Grapefruit: Lavender Gem, Duncan, Marsh Seedless, Oro Blanco, Melogold, Pomelos, Star Ruby Grapefruit.
  4. Limes: Tahiti, Kaffir, Bearss (Persian), Omani Dried Limes, key lime (Mary Ellen sweet lime, Thornless Mexican lime, Castello lime), Calamansi Limes (Philippine Limes), Finger, Blood, and Rangpur limes.
  5. Mandarins: Satsuma, tangelo, tangor, clementine,
  6. Miscellaneous types: Citron, Sudachi, Yuzu, Pomelos
Citrus fruits to boost immune system
Citrus fruits for boosting immune system as rich sources of vitamin C & zinc Source:
Source: Pixabay (Pixabay License: Free for commercial use, No attribution required)

Citrus Fruits for Immune Boosting

Pink grapefruit

Vitamin C is one of key elements in supporting our immune systems and Pink grape fruit is rich source of this power antioxidantLycopene present in its skin gives it a deep hue color. Lycopene is also one of the potent antioxidant compounds which reduces cellular damage and lowers cancer risk. Pink grapefruit is rich in fiber and water contents which also helps to keep our bodies hydrated and fed off weight gain and dry skin. It can be used in making smoothies, juices, salads and may be served over greens following vinaigrette dressing.

Grapefruit is one of citrus fruits which improves immunity
Pink grapefruit is an excellent source to add in diet for immune boosting effects Source: Source; Pixabay (Pixabay License: Free for commercial use, No attribution required)

Oranges

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) per day, and a medium-sized orange provides about 116 % of required daily intake of vitamin C. The fruit is also rich source of flavonoids which play their role in modulating immune response by induction of T-cells (natural killer cells of immune system) according to recent study published in Frontier in Immunology [6]. Oranges can be consumed in form of Marmalades, chutneys, and relishes (like cranberry-orange relish).

Orange from Citrus fruits to boost immune system
Orange is bight colored fruit with great visual appeal and immune boosting properties Source: Pixabay (Pixabay License: Free for commercial use, No attribution required)

Lemons

Vitamin C in lemons

Seasonal changes cause fluctuations in temperatures which creates ideal environmental conditions for bacterial and viral growth. Increased incidence of viruses may lead to illnesses during seasonal changes. Therefore, we can boost our immunity by consuming Luke warm water with added lemons and honey. Vitamin C boosts function of lymphocytes in our bodies. A study published in Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism endorsed the synergistic role of vitamin C and zinc for boosting immunity [7].

Synergistic effect of vitamin C and zinc

Moreover, Limoneira Citrus (a California-based agribusiness company) also reported on immune-boosting effects of vitamin C from lemons in combination with Zinc. During infection, our body’s reservoir of vitamin C starts depleting. Same happens when body is subjected to physical and mental stress. Vitamin C increases amount of natural killer cells in blood serum which helps to prevent infections including flu and respiratory tract infections. Lemons consists of 60 micro-grams of zinc and rich amounts of vitamin C and hence is powerful immunity booster to fight viral infections. So, squeeze fresh lemon into Luke warm water and drink.

Lemons have  vitamin C and zinc to boost immune system
Lemons- Source of vitamin C and Zinc to fight common colds and viral infections Source: Source: Pixabay (Pixabay License: Free for commercial use, No attribution required)

Benefits of lemon

Lemons are also dense sources of vitamin C and flavonoids which have antimicrobial properties. In addition to boosting immune systems, lemons provide benefits of relieving nausea, prevention of bacterial and viral infections, improving digestive health as digestive aid (Limonene which is very beneficial to relive stomachache or heartburn), lowering chest congestion and urinary tract infections because of its diuretic characteristics, provides anti-inflammatory effects because of powerful antioxidant compounds like vitamin C, flavonoids and Limonene [8].

Further details can be found on other famous resources like blogs have also published on striking health benefits of lemons which can be found regarding immune boosting effects of lemons on Geneva Business NewsLimoneira CitrusPeople.comMindbodygreen and Healthline.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Decrease the refined sugar intake and carbonated drinks. Complete the 7-8 sleeping hours on regular basis. Exercise regularly and fight the viral infections by boosting immune system by improving lifestyle and diet. Increase the intake citrus fruits like Lemons, Sweet oranges, Blood orange, Grapefruit, Limes and Mandarins which are good for our immune health and may improve lower our chances to get sick.

Disclaimer

This website provides information about natural foods and their potential health benefits to improve overall human wellness. Therefore, content provided in this platform or linked to this blog could not be considered as an alternative to advice of professional medical practitioners. You should consult your health care provider in case of disease incidences and severe emergencies.

References

[1] Bioflavonoid. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/bioflavonoid
[2] FAO, Nutritional and health benefits of citrus fruits. C. Economos, & W.D. Clay. http://www.fao.org/3/x2650t/x2650t03.htm
[3] Protecting yourself from coronavirus: Tips to boost your immune system. https://www.kshb.com/news/coronavirus/protecting-yourself-from-coronavirus-tips-to-boost-your-immune-system.
[4] Zou, Z., Xi, W., Hu, Y., Nie, C., & Zhou, Z. (2016). Antioxidant activity of Citrus fruits. Food chemistry, 196, 885-896.
[5] 7 Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits – Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/citrus-fruit-benefits.
[6] Hosseinzade, A., Sadeghi, O., Biregani, A. N., Soukhtehzari, S., Brandt, G. S., & Esmaillzadeh, A. (2019). Immunomodulatory effects of flavonoids: possible induction of T CD4+ regulatory cells through suppression of mTOR pathway signaling activity. In Nutrition and Immunity (pp. 437-452). Springer, Cham.
[7] Wintergerst, E. S., Maggini, S., & Hornig, D. H. (2006). Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 50(2), 85-94.
[8] Lemongrass to Improve Digestive Health. (2019). https://thefoodfor.com/lemongrass-to-improve-digestive-health/

About the Author: The Food For

My name is Dr. Kashif Ameer. As admin of The Food For Blog, I love to write on the health benefits of natural foods. I completed my doctoral program in Food Science and Biotechnology back in 2018. My research work involved in developing innovative and functional foods, food safety, food processing, nutritional improvement of food products, extraction of phytochemicals from plants matrices and detection of irradiated foods. I have rich experience in scholarly publishing and serving as an associate editor for the Journal of Ginseng Research.
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