Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Delicious sources of vitamin C

Winter is high season for coughs and colds. Oranges, grapefruit and lemon juice will all help to strengthen your immune defences and ward off infections. Especially in winter, citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C which helps to protect you against the effects of the cold, wet weather. Just one grapefruit or two oranges a day cover the recommended daily intake of vitamin C (100 milligrams).


Vitamin-rich fruit from the south

Normally we’d recommend local fruit, because of short transport routes for a better carbon balance, but in winter it pays to buy citrus fruits from hotter countries, like clementines and oranges. Both these fruits are grown around the Mediterranean and ripen in winter. For clementines, the main season is from November to February. At this time of year, you’ll find them on sale everywhere and it’s when they taste best too. Oranges ripen slightly later – from December until around April. Lemons, limes and grapefruit generally come from further afield and they’re ripening somewhere in the world through most of the year.

A cornucopia of looks and flavours

Glance around the supermarket shelves and you’ll notice that citrus fruits reach us in a huge variety of sizes and colours – from small greenish limes to orange-pink grapefruit. And the taste also varies widely. The acid taste of lemon juice is generally only added to foods and beverages. When you’re shopping, bear in mind that small, heavy fruits are juicier than large, lightweight fruits. Limes are milder than lemons with their own special aroma.


Oranges and mandarines top the popularity polls

Oranges are very popular simply for eating or for adding to fruit salads. The first oranges came from China, but they are now grown in many hot countries. There are different sorts with different characteristics, some are better for eating and some for juicing. Navel oranges are especially firm, juicy and sweet. If you’re planning to make orange juice, choose smaller, stronger-tasting sorts like Salustiana or Moro.

Mandarines are smaller than oranges and have ‘loose’ skins that are easier to peel. Actually, when we talk about mandarines, we are actually applying the name to a cross between the original mandarines – which had far too many pips for comfortable eating – and other citrus fruit. Clementines that have almost no seeds are understandably popular.


New on the scene: pomelos and sweeties

Pomelos are a relatively new arrival on the supermarket shelves. They’re large, with a diameter between 15 and 25 centimetres and they have very thick skins. The state of the skin will tell you what the fruit is likely to taste like: if it’s slightly wrinkled, the fruit flesh will taste very sweet, if it’s still firm and smooth, it will taste refreshingly sour.

The sweetie is another cross between pomelo and a white grapefruit. Sweeties are usually smaller and flatter than a grapefruit and their skin is often green, or sometimes yellow. The green colour doesn’t mean the fruit is unripe; green fruit taste aromatic and sweet and, like oranges and grapefruit, they can be eaten raw. Yellow fruit is produced by low night temperatures just before the fruit are harvested.

Source: Zu gut für die Tonne!

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