Tag Archives: Citrus Fruits

The Best Time of the Day To Enjoy Citrus Fruit

woman with citrus fruits Let’s face it, grapefruit has never  really gotten a fair shake.   People have long associated grapefruit with breakfast, health, and dieting, all good things, mind you, but not the most likely to cause jaw-dropping reactions.  It never really had the sex appeal of the banana or the quiet dignity of the apple.  Whatever new diet came out, all of them seemed to recommend a half grapefruit in the morning, and, if the diet was more lenient, it might include a piece of dry toast.  It began to seem like a grapefruit was the destiny of the dieter, and eating it every morning symbolized some kind of unusual, almost sacrificial stoicism; much like Sylvester Stallone fearlessly downing a raw egg in Rocky. The truth is, there is a reason that grapefruit has outlasted so many other dieting fads.  Because it works!  In fact, not only is grapefruit a great weight loss aid because of its ability to burn fat and charge metabolism, it is also great for your liver, kidneys and for cancer prevention. It’s high time to sing the praises of the grapefruit,

So, why just for breakfast?  Grapefruit and all citrus fruit are great for you all the time. In fact, it is recommended that you eat oranges 2-4 times a day for reducing cholesterol and preventing kidney stones and colon cancer, and most of us only eat benefit from them in the morning glass of OJ.  Why limit yourself?

The Best Time to Eat Citrus

On An Empty Stomach

The breakfast idea is not without validity.  The best time to eat citrus is  indeed between meals and on an empty stomach.  This is the time when digestion occurs most quickly, which allows the body time to break down  and fully absorb the simple sugars in the fruit.  This also gives the body optimal time to process the nutrients.

Before or After a Workout

Sugars in fruits are a great source of energy for this about to work out , as well as for those whose energy levels have just been depleted.

Worst Time to Eat Citrus

Before Bed

Any fruit  before bedtime causes blood sugar levels to jump and makes it difficult to fall asleep.  Try to eat them at least 3 hours prior.

Incorporating More Citrus Into Your Diet

Always keep oranges handy.  Keep some in a fruit bowl to satisfy a craving.  If you have kids around, tangerines and clementines (cuties) are a great idea because they are sweet and peel easily.

For an exotic treat, top grapefruit slices with brown sugar and put them in the oven to broil.

Add some sliced oranges to a salad for some extra color and taste.

Squeeze lemon and lime into water.

Throw some orange slices in a baggy or Tupperware container and bring it to lunch for a midday refresher.

Make orange juice popsicles or cups by freezing them in molds for a treat on hot days.

Citrus Fruits: not just for breakfast anymore!  Plus, most citrus fruits are available summer and winter and are one of the most inexpensive fruits in the produce department.  So, now that you’re in the know, go out and citrus up!

Four Ways To Citrus Up Your Diet

Woman  holding a slice of orange

Move over seaweed!  There is a new sheriff in town. Yes, for all of you searching your local health food store for the latest superfood; search no more.  While you were out hunting down the latest brand of maca powder and hemp seeds, the hero of all food was sitting in your own backyard.  Ladies and gentlemen, presenting: the citrus fruit.  The citrus fruit, you say?  Well, that’s been around for years. So, it has, but with all the new products out there, maybe it is not getting the attention it deserves.  So let’s take a moment to sing the praises of the citrus.

Most of us most commonly associate citrus fruits with their high concentration of Vitamin C.  In fact, one medium orange contains 100% the recommended amount of vitamin C in the daily diet.  You may know “C” as a powerful antioxidant, but that is just the beginning of the list of  benefits this tangy wonder can  provide! Citrus fruit ensures that the nerve cells in your  eyes function properly, preventing macular degeneration, linalools,(funny word, huh?) found in lemons ,can reduce stress, satsuma mandarins inhibit tumor growth, flavonoids (found in all citrus fruits)  have been proven to lower the chance of stroke by 19%,  boost good cholesterol, and lower the risk of obesity and diabetes.  In fact, (get this!) 70,000 women were divided into two groups and monitored over twelve years.  One group was given apple juice, the other citrus. Guess who lost more weight.  The citrus ladies lost an average of 3 1/2 lbs. per week, while the apple gals lost only1/2!  That’s because citrus burns fat, and contains enzymes that promote digestion and boost metabolism.  How’s that for pretty great?  Here are some ways you can up the citrus content in your diet.

Squeeze Some Lemon in Your Water
This will help eliminate toxins in your body.  Or squeeze them over salad to add flavor instead of salt.

Vine-Vera-Four-Ways-To-Citrus-Up-Your-Diet-Salad

Put Some Citrus in Your Fruit (or Any) Salad
Toss in some mandarins or tangerines for an Asian tang on Chinese Chicken salad , or just throw in some grapefruit with your berries and apples.  Oh, and a squeeze of lemon on top will also preserve the fruit! It will look so pretty you’ll definitely have to post a picture on Facebook.

Add Some Orange to Your Smoothie!
Citrus fruit juice has the advantage over other fruit by blending well with both red and green smoothies. (It is decidedly neutral!)  Go ahead, cut up a whole orange and blend it right in there for fiber and Vitamin C.

Add Some Lemon or Lime to Your Green Tea
This is a great combo.  Already a powerful antioxidant, green tea with citrus  will actually increase the health benefits by 13X!

Need more reasons to eat citrus? They’re dependable! In season all year around, citrus is great news for people who want to shorten the duration of that nasty winter cold. Also,  they’re one of the most affordable fruit per pound! So let the trendy foods and fads  come and go, experiment or don’t, but remember, when you’re sick and broke, and maybe a few pounds overweight, citrus will always be there for you.

Key Summer Smoothie Ingredients

Woman making a smoothie

Oh the smoothie!  How we love them in the summer.  So packed with health that you can practically feel the energy returning to your body as you pour it down your throat after an intense workout.!  And, they actually taste and look good too.  In fact, smoothies may have become the new fashion accessory.  People actually look healthier and more hip just holding them in their hands!

Somewhere between a milkshake and a juice cocktail, smoothies got their name from an adolescent named Steven Kuhau,  Steven had grown tired of seeing all his friends drink the wonderful concoction called the milkshake,  You see, Steven was lactose intolerant and he was unable to drink milk products like all the other boys and girls; so he decided to create his own version made with fresh fruit, ice and juice and he called it a smoothie.  Steven found out that not only was his smoothie delicious, but it also helped control his allergies and blood sugar levels.  Steven opened a health food store called, “Smoothie King” and now he is super rich!

Smoothies have come a really long way from the “Smoothie King”  days.  Nowadays we incorporate everything from veggies to nuts into our smoothies as we become more aware of how important it is to get adequate amounts of vitamins each day.  Here are some more out of the box ingredients that you may want to try in your next recipe.

Spinach smoothie

Spinach
We have all seen the cartoon Popeye and have observed the sailor’s muscles bulge as the spinach travels through his body.  Well, this image may be closer to reality than you think!  Spinach contains iron and zinc and has a real impact on athletic performance.  It helps to ease muscle fatigue and contains folate which produces new RNA and DNA cells.  Especially good for the pregnant ladies!

Tart Cherry Juice
Did you know that in a test, athletes who drank 12 oz. of tart cherry juice two times a day actually reported lesser aches and pains than those who were given a placebo?  Sold me!  It also prevents cancer and oxidative damage and serves as an anti-inflammatory.

Greek Yogurt
Is there anything that doesn’t mix with Greek Yogurt?  This is the thicker version of it’s not so Greek cousin has 3X the amount of calcium and 2X as much protein and is also great for GI and immune health.

Citrus smoothie

Citrus Fruits
We have been putting them in smoothies ever since Orange Julius, but there is a reason for that.  Filled with Vitamin C, citrus fruits are some of our bodies best friends.  They contain folate which produces body cells, are rich in fiber and great got our GI system and muscles repair.  Lemons, grapefruit, and orange are all stellar examples.

Tea
Tea, especially the green kind, is full of antioxidant and flavonoids to fight oxidative damage. Also reduces the risk of heart disease.

Some other things you may want to think about: Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, protein powder and kale, blueberries and apricots. Oh, and experts say only mix green veggies with green and yellow fruits and veggies and red veggies with red and yellow fruits and veggies unless you don’t mind your smoothies brown.

Foods That Protect Your Skin From the Sun

We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat” and here’s another reason to believe that’s true. Did you know that by eating certain plant compounds, you could gain some of the same sun protection for your skin that plants themselves use? Of course, that’s not a license to go lay out in midday sun all summer without protection, but the following foods may increase your skin’s ability to ward off damage from the sun.

Berries in a basket

Berries
It’s not hard to find a reason to eat berries, but add them to the list of foods that can protect your skin from the sun. These fruits are full of vitamin C, a well-known antioxidant, which boosts collagen production in the skin.

Citrus
One medium orange not only contains about 75 percent of the RDI of vitamin C, but it also contains the skin-protecting pigment beta-carotene, which a study published by Molecular Biotechnology showed decreased skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.

Carrot juice and carrots

Carrots
The same pigment that gives the carrot its protection from the sun may also keep your skin from getting blistered. Besides being rich in beta-carotene, carrots also taste delicious dipped in hummus or mixed into homemade coleslaw.

Leafy Greens
Rich in both Vitamin C and carotenoids, leafy greens, such as leaf lettuce and spinach, protect your skin with an antioxidant double whammy! P.S. The darker the greens, the better!

Almonds

Almonds
Not only does the vitamin E in almonds help prevent and reduce the severity of sunburn, but combined with vitamin C-rich foods, the protection offered from both foods is maximized. Try tossing some almonds and strawberries into a salad for a delicious and skin-loving combo.

Cantaloupe
A summer staple, cantaloupe protects your skin by helping you stay hydrated and giving you a dose of lycopene, another naturally occurring plant pigment. Research done by the Journal of British Dermatology shows lycopene may decrease skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Bonus: you guessed it; cantaloupe is a vitamin C powerhouse!

Bell peppers

Bell Peppers
Rich in both vitamin C and carotenoids, bell peppers are an easy-to-use food in your healthy skin diet.

Tomato Paste
Tomatoes are another lycopene-rich food but according to a 2011 study from the British Journal of Dermatology, the bioavailability of the carotenoid may be greater in processed tomato products. Try using tomato paste as a base for soups or in a sauce.

green tea

Green Tea
A 2010 review in the Archives of Dermatology suggests that a diet rich in polyphenols can defend skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. One to two cups a day of this light-tasting tea can help you take advantage of its skin-protecting

Flaxseed
Like almonds, flaxseed is full of vitamin E. Take advantage of the C & E combo by mixing some ground flaxseed into a smoothie with some kale and blueberries.

It’s important to remember that while adding these foods to your diet may prevent burns or lessen the intensity of damage done by the sun, you should always take proper caution when being outdoors for an extended period of time. Along with eating these foods, you can avoid the sun altogether during peak hours (from around 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), wear protective clothing when you will be in direct sunlight, and wear sunscreen daily.

Vitamin C Rich Foods – Vine Vera Reviews

Now that you know how important vitamin C is to both your body’s internal processes and your complexion, you might be wondering how best to receive it. We mentioned in our last post that you can definitely apply vitamin C topically in order to help fade sun damage and reduce irritation and inflammation of the skin. However, you can also head to your kitchen when you want to reap the benefits of vitamin C.

Closeup of strawberries and sliced pineapples.

Fruits
Possibly the most famous fruit for vitamin C is the orange. You know that oranges are high in vitamin C, providing collagen boosting benefits and a healthy immune system. But if you don’t feel like scarfing down oranges all of the time, there are plenty of other fruits that are vitamin C rich.

Tropical fruit lovers will be pleased to know that pineapple is a fruit with a high vitamin C concentration. Papaya is also a fruit that contains tons of vitamin C. A one cup serving of papaya contains 88.3mg of vitamin C while a serving of pineapple contains 78.9mg. Mangoes are another tropical fruit that contains vitamin C and beats out oranges, pineapples and papayas in the level of vitamin C it contains. A serving of mangoes contains 122.3mg of vitamin C and is also a great source of vitamin A (which works well in conjunction with vitamin C). Slicing up a kiwi and eating it will result in you getting about 70mg of vitamin C.

Strawberries are also an awesome source of vitamin C with a one cup serving containing almost 85mg of vitamin C. For a super dose of vitamin C, slice up your favorite fruits from this brief list and make a delicious, and nutritious, tropical fruit salad.

Salad with bell peppers and olive oil

Vegetables
Most people associate oranges, and other citrus fruits, with vitamin C, but there are tons of vegetables that can add a great amount of vitamin C to your diet. Red and green bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C:  a cup of chopped red pepper contains three times the amount of vitamin C than an orange does with 190mg of vitamin C being in one cup of chopped red bell peppers. Green bell peppers are also a great source of vitamin C as they contain about 120mg in a one cup serving.

One of the most buzzed about vegetables recently is kale and with good reason. A one cup serving of kale provides twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and seven times the amount of vitamin K. When it comes to vitamin C, a one cup serving of kale provides you with 80mg, roughly the recommended daily amount for adult males and females. Your mother probably told you to eat your broccoli as a child, and you should definitely heed her advice. A one cup serving of broccoli is just 30 calories and contains over 130mg of vitamin C in addition to being rich in fiber.

When it comes to getting the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, you can easily accomplish your goal through your diet. A fresh fruit salad for breakfast and a snack of broccoli in the afternoon will easily have you getting the amount of vitamin C that you need for beautiful skin and a healthy body.

Summer Snacks for Great Skin – Vine Vera Reviews

We’ve said it before; when it comes to skin care, what you put into your body is just as important as what you put on to your skin. You take great care selecting skin care products and cosmetics that contain the best ingredients for your skin type, so why not take the same care with the food that you eat? Not only will your skin benefit from a nutritious, healthy diet, but you might find that you are able to lose a few pounds or tone up a bit more easily as well. Summer is full of activities and with your busy work-life and packed social calendar, it is tempting to grab foods that you can snack on easily and on-the-go. This summer, resolve to snack on foods that will do more than satisfy your hunger, pick summer snacks that help you achieve great skin.

Citrus fruits in a basket.

Citrus Fruits
You already know that refined sugars are not only bad for your weight and overall health, but did you know that they wreak absolute havoc on your skin as well? When it comes to summer snacking, there are all kinds of fresh fruits that are in season and that are a quick, convenient snack. While you do have to spend a bit of time prepping fruits like kiwi, papaya and mango, but the benefits are well worth it. These fruits are high in vitamin C which helps your skin retain its elasticity and firmness. Additionally, these fruits contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives you radiant, glowing skin.

Avocados on a wooden board.

Avocados
Another fruit (yes, it has a seed so it is technically a fruit) that is in season in the warm months of summer is avocado. This rich, creamy treat can be used in a variety of ways as a summer snack. Slice some on top of your salad or prepare a delicious breakfast of whole wheat toast, mashed avocado and tomato slices. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that help fight wrinkles. Tomatoes, which could also be added to a fresh, homemade guacamole, contain lycopene which is thought to help prevent damage from the sun.

Berries overflowing from a basket.

Berries
Sticking with sweets that are not refined sugars, berries are another great tasting and convenient summer snack. Additionally, these summer snacks are packed with antioxidants that help your skin fight free radicals and the early signs of aging. Grab a handful or fresh blueberries to top your yogurt in the morning, or freshly slice some strawberries for an after-dinner snack that tastes delicious while being healthy for body and skin.

Dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate
So, dark chocolate is available year-round, but it makes a great summer snack when you really crave something indulgent. Dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) contains flavanols, which are powerful antioxidants that can benefit your skin.

Just because a summer snack is great for your skin (and body), it does not have to be bland or boring. The above foods are all super tasty ways to snack during the summer while improving your skin as well. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, particularly when you are outside in the heat, to maintain your beautiful, plump, glowing skin.