Juicing citrus = a glass of sunshine…

Clockwise: valencia orange, meyer lemon, lime, lemon & blood orange ©Susan Pittard

Juicing with citrus, especially with oranges is like drinking sunshine.  I found this to be an amazing way to start my mornings during the winter months of February and March.  It is heaven to get your vitamin C from freshly squeezed, oranges (preferably organic) first thing in the morning. (Be sure to drink your fresh oj first thing in the am so you can burn off  the calories from the natural sugars throughout the day.)

*One eight ounce glass of  freshly squeezed oj has 125 mg of vitamin C.  That’s enough for your daily dose!

Some facts to know about vitamin C:

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient that is vital to all creatures. Foods that are especially rich in vitamin C are parsley, broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens and brussels sprouts.

It plays an important part in collagen production. Vitamin C is useful in healing wounds of all types. From cuts and broken bones to burns and recovery from surgical wounds, vitamin C taken orally helps wounds to heal faster and better. Applied topically, vitamin C may protect the skin from free radical damage after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.

For cancer prevention, it’s antioxidant properties protect cells and their DNA from damage and mutation. It supports the body’s immune system, the first line of defense against cancer, and prevents certain cancer-causing compounds from forming in the body.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps to prevent cataracts — the clouding of the lens of the eye that can lead to blindness in older adults. The lens needs a lot of vitamin C to counteract all the free radicals that form as a result of sunlight on the eye. It’s possible that 1,000 mg per day of vitamin C might stop cataracts in their tracks and possibly improve vision.

Vitamin C helps to prevent heart disease by preventing free radicals from damaging artery walls, which could lead to plaque formation. This nutrient also keeps cholesterol in the bloodstream from oxidizing, another early step in the progression towards heart disease and stroke.  All these factors combined make vitamin C an inexpensive and easy way to lower one’s risk of heart disease and strokes.

Along with its immune functions that fight against bacteria, viruses, and infection, vitamin C also serves as an effective antihistamine that will lessen the unpleasant effects of the common cold, including inflammation, stuffy nose and aches.

valencia oranges, blood oranges, kumquats, lemons ©Susan Pittard

the aftermath of juicing with blood oranges-a beautiful mess... ©Susan Pittard

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