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Citrus fruits bursting with healthy goodness

During the cold winter months, oranges and other citrus fruits are a favorite fresh fruit for many people. Oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruits are at their peak of flavor right now. There’s just something about fresh, juicy citrus that makes you feel energized.

Researchers around the world agree that citrus fruits are brimming with beneficial antioxidants and essential nutrients that help support good health.

Heart health: Potassium found in citrus fruits helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Folate may help keep homocysteine levels low, which lowers heart attack risk. The soluble fiber in citrus helps lower cholesterol. Flavonoids in fruits like grapefruit may protect the heart by reducing inflammation in the arteries.

Diabetes: The fiber in citrus, soluble fiber, helps with blood sugar control  important for management of diabetes. Oranges, lemons and grapefruit are listed as Nutrition Superstars in the Diabetes Food and Nutrition Bible by the American Diabetes Association.

Healthy weight: Citrus provides water and fiber, which help increase the feeling of fullness, thus helping to control appetite. And because citrus has a low glycemic load, blood sugars are more steady and appetite is better controlled.

Immune system: Citrus is an excellent source of vitamin C which helps support a healthy immune system during cold and flu season.

Cancer: According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, Americans can lower their cancer risk by eating just five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Beneficial antioxidants found in citrus fruits are thought to protect against certain types of cancers.

Citrus fruits are picked ripe and ready-to-eat. Choose firm fruit that are heavy for their size, as heavier fruit will have more juice.

Oranges can be stored on the counter for 10 days to two weeks, or in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Start fresh and start young. Getting started on the right foods while young can make a tremendous impact on eating habits throughout life, which is why it is so important to offer healthy foods from the very start.

Add a healthy boost to your day with these delicious tips:

•Add fresh lemon juice to tea to help increase the absorption of antioxidants.

•Peel and add oranges to water and allow to sit overnight for a delicious citrus-infused water.

•Mix things up by snacking on special citrus varieties like pummelos, mandarins and tangerines.

•Go to Sunkist.com for versatile recipe ideas from breakfast to dessert.



Orange waldorf salad

Serves 6

All you need

•1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

•1 apple, cored and cut into bite-size chunks

•1 stalk celery, sliced

•3 oranges, peeled and segments cut into bite-size chunks

•1 container (6 oz) fat-free orange yogurt

•1 tbsp honey

•1⁄2 cup walnut pieces

All you do

1. In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, apple, celery and oranges.

2. In a separate bowl, stir together yogurt and honey.

3. Pour yogurt over fruit mixture; stir gently to coat. Top with walnuts.

4. Serve immediately.