Archive for the ‘Health Benefits of Citrus’ Category

5 Reasons to Put Down the Gatorade and Pick Up the OJ Post-Workout

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Orange Juice as a recovery drink

Orange Gatorade (8oz) vs. Orange Juice (8oz)

 

Orange Gatorade (8oz)

Uncle Matt’s Orange Juice (8oz)

CALORIES

50

110

TOTAL FAT

O

O

SODIUM

110 MG

0

POTASSIUM

33 MG

450 MG

TOTAL CARBS

14 G

26 G

SUGARS

14 G

22 G

PROTEIN

0 G

2 G

Move over, Gatorade! Uncle Matt’s Organic 100% orange juice is a serious contender for THE best post-workout recovery drink. With more potassium, beneficial B vitamins, vitamin C, and naturally-occurring fruit sugar per 8 ounce serving, Uncle Matt’s Organic 100% not-from-concentrate orange juice is a great stand-alone recovery drink after a hard workout or the perfect smoothie-base for a natural sports drink with a protein advantage.

Here’s the play by play broken down that shows how Uncle Matt’s is the clear winner:

1. MORE POTASSIUM PER SERVING

Uncle Matt’s OJ has almost 14x more potassium than orange flavored Gatorade per 8-ounce serving. Why’s that important? Potassium is an electrolyte that helps lower pH levels in your body along with the amount of water you store. High body temps, sweating and dehydration during exercise deplete potassium and can lead to cramps. So replenishing your potassium stores post-workout is super-important; both to restore the electrolytes your body needs to perform and prevent cramping.

Winner: Uncle Matt’s

2. BENEFICIAL B VITAMINS

Without adequate amounts of B vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, and B6, you can’t properly convert carbohydrates, fat and protein into energy. B vitamins act as metabolic enzyme assistants, initiating certain steps in the metabolic process. In other words, they help your body regain energy after exercising. Dietitian Ellen Coleman recommends B vitamins in liquid form post-workout to quickly increase their absorption. So when it comes to B Vitamins RDA? Uncle Matt’s 10%, Gatorade 0%.

Winner: Uncle Matt’s

3. CORTISOL-LOWERING VITAMIN C  Studies show that taking vitamin C pre- or post-workout can minimize the catabolic stress response and speed recovery. Also, vitamin C can help lower cortisol after the workout, offsetting its detrimental effects. Eight ounces of Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice provides 80% of the vitamin C you need to recover for the day. Gatorade? Zero.

Winner: Uncle Matt’s

 4. THE NATURAL SUGAR ADVANTAGE

 What a lot of people don’t realize is that Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice contains NO ADDED SUGAR. What it does have is the naturally-occurring sugar found in the whole oranges that are fresh-squeezed at the juicing plant to make our 100% not-from-concentrate juice. What’s more, studies confirm that the sugar found in 100% fruit juices is absorbed into the bloodstream relatively slowly, creating only a moderate rise in insulin levels. This is good news because consuming sugar after a workout is vital for restocking muscle-glycogen stores. In fact, in the hour immediately after a workout, almost none of the sugar you eat turns into fat. That’s right! This is where insulin (did you mean to say sugar???) doesn’t deserve the bad rap it gets. Since it’s anabolic, insulin from natural fruit sugar quickly diverts nutrients into your muscles, stopping muscle breakdown while speeding repair. In other words, a short insulin spike right after a workout is what you want.

Winner: Uncle Matt’s

 5. SMOOTHIE SYNERGY

It’s true: taken after a workout, sugar combined with protein expedites recovery while helping you build muscle. Remember that sugar boosts insulin levels, which are typically low after a workout. So when you get those muscle-building amino acids from protein, sugar is actually being used to transport those amino acids, efficiently fueling your muscles when they need it most. It’s a one-two punch you can’t beat and so easy to make by adding a scoop of your favorite protein to our 100% organic orange juice. ­­­­ Gatorade in a smoothie? Um… not the same.

Winner: Uncle Matt’s

 

 

Got a gut feeling that you should be taking probiotics? You’re right.

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

10 Reasons Why Probiotics Should Be in Your Diet

Probiotics. Gut bacteria. Gut flora. Microbiome. These are all buzz words circulating about in the media, in magazines and on social channels. But what do they all mean? Are probiotics good for you? If so, why?

If the thought of ingesting bacteria turns you off, you’re not alone. In a world of good bacteria and bad bacteria, probiotics are the good guys. The superheroes. The health ninjas. Probiotics are a live culture of beneficial bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms in the intestines.  They help out most in our digestive system and GI tract where large amounts are found in the intestine and colon. And while they are created naturally by our bodies, they can also be found in certain foods and supplements.  In fact, probiotics have a myriad of health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked.

That’s why Uncle Matt’s decided to add GanedenBC30®, a proven, patented probiotic of “good bacteria” strain, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086, into our Organic Orange Turmeric and Reduced-Calorie Organic Orange-Coconut juices.  We also included GanedenBC30 in our new Fruit Infused Probiotic Waters. Just one 8 oz. serving delivers a powerful probiotic punch of 1 billion CFUs (colony forming units). When consumed daily, our probiotics help  increase protein and amino acid absorption and support digestive and immune health that can become compromised by many factors including travel, poor diet and lack of sleep. These conditions can decrease the levels of good bacteria found in the gut –– where over 70% of your immune cells reside. What’s more, roughly 95% of your serotonin (the feel good or ‘happy’ hormone) is stored in your gut as well.

Besides supporting digestive health, probiotics are a powerhouse of other health benefits. Check out the top 10 reasons we think a probiotic prescription is a must for anyone:

#1 RENEW THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Healthy bacteria help increase the function and effectiveness of our immune system.  One study showed a 50% increase in immune function after two weeks of probiotic supplementation (British Journal of Nutrition).

#2   REDUCE CHOLESTEROL LEVELS

By as much as 33% when taken orally! (World Health Organization)

#3 REPLENISH A HEALTHY GUT

Beneficial bacteria reduce the growth of harmful bacteria. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel.  Probiotics help ensure this delicate balance is maintained.

#4 RESTORE DIGESTIVE HEALTH

Probiotics have been shown to help ease the symptoms of IBS, abdominal pain, cramps, bloating and more.

 #5 RECHARGE POSITIVE EMOTIONS

Two particular strains of probiotics –– lactobacillus helveticus and bifidobacterium –– improved “levels of psychological distress, including measures of depression, anger, anxiety, and problem-solving.” (British Journal of Nutrition, March 2011).

#6 RESIST INFECTION

Following 12 weeks of lactobacillus rhomnosus probiotic supplementation, a 34% reduction in upper respiratory infections was reported (British Journal of Nutrition)

#7 RESURFACE YOUR SKIN

Recent research confirms that gut health and skin health are closely related. An anti-inflammatory balance in the gut will help fight the severity of skin-related issues, like acne and rosacea.

#8 RETRACT ANTIBIOTIC-RELATED DIARRHEA

Can’t get around being on an antibiotic? At least now you can minimize its side effects as probiotics reduced antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 64%. (Cachrone Databases of Systematic Reviews, 2013).

#9 RECYCLE YOUR HORMONES

Beneficial flora metabolize and recycle hormones, including estrogen, thyroid hormones, and phytoestrogens from food sources, which can help offset symptoms of menopause, PMS and perimenopause.  In this way, they help maintain proper hormonal balance, and may protect bone and breast health as well (Source: womentowomen.com, Marcelle Pick, Ob/Gyn.)

 #10 REINFORCE/REALIGN VAGINAL BALANCE

Supplementing probiotics helps protect against a number of vaginal infections in females. Friendly bacteria (especially of the Lactobacillus genus) produce natural disinfectants that help maintain an optimal pH and a healthy balance of beneficial microorganisms in the vagina by excluding harmful bacteria and other pathogens. (lifeextension.com)

Organic Lemon Water with Peel… Your Morning Ritual’s New Best Friend

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

It’s amazing how one small, simple change to your morning routine can boost the way you feel throughout your day.  Even better, this change can quickly result In a noticeable, positive and long-term impact on your overall health when repeated daily.

What’s the simple step we’re talking about?  Drinking organic lemon water with added peel. It’s the ultimate early morning no-brainer. While lemons are known for their cleansing and detoxifying properties (not to mention the proverbial vitamin C dose), there’s so much more to lemon water. Here’s a closer behind-the-scenes look into why this citrus powerhouse combined with water and peel yields so many healthy rewards:

1)   Digestion-Aiding From encouraging the liver to produce bile for digestion to loosening ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract, lemon juice makes it easier for the digestive system to do its job. The chemical composition of lemons is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices. The digestive qualities of lemon juice are also known to relieve the symptoms of indigestion and all its accompanying unpleasantries.

2)   Detoxifying Lemon water in the morning helps flush those toxins out! Because lemons are a diuretic, unwanted toxins are released faster because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. This helps keep your urinary tract healthy! And don’t forget the citric acid in lemons, either. It helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.

3) Immunity-Boosting. We all know citrus is high in vitamin C and lemons are no exception. Vitamin C is great for fighting and reducing the longevity of colds, minimizing phlegm, and having anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Moreover, lemon peel is high in potassium, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure and stimulate brain functions.

4) Body-Alkalizing. We think of lemons as acidic, and they are. But did you know once they’re ingested, they’re one of the most alkalizing foods out there? Because lemons contain both citric and ascorbic acid, the weak acids are easily metabolized, allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood. In contrast, disease-conducive environments occur when pH levels in the body are acidic. Drinking lemon water regularly can help restore balance to the body’s pH.

5) Weight Loss-Promoting. Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. Combine that with the extremely low calorie count of lemon water and better digestion, and you’re heading in the right direction to shedding unwanted weight.

6) Bacteria-Fighting Experiments have found the juice of lemons destroys the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases. It can also kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne.

7) Cholesterol-Lowering. Compounds in citrus peels have the potential to lower cholesterol. A recent pilot study just showed that peel compounds called “polymethoxylated flavones” (PMFs), when combined with other citrus chemicals, significantly reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

8) Breath-Freshening. This goes hand-in-hand with bacteria-fighting. Besides fresher breath, lemons have been known to help prevent gingivitis by fighting the bacteria that causes it. Lemon water in the morning makes for cleaner mouth to start your day without hurting your tooth enamel!

9) Energizing According to The Reams Biological Ionization Theory, lemon is one of the few foods that carries a “negative” charge. Because of this, when it enters the digestive tract, it provides the body with more cell energy compared to most other foods. Also, the smell of lemon juice can brighten your mood and clear your mind.

10) Cancer-Fighting Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds including naturally-occurring limonene, an oil which slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals. Additionally, flavonol glycocides stop cell division in cancer cells.

Study shows grapefruits tackle diabetes as well as leading drug

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Scientists have found that the popular breakfast fruit works just as well as the common diabetes pill metformin in lowering harmful blood sugars.The breakthrough discovery could be a simple way to get Britain’s soaring diabetes and obesity crises under control.

US researchers have found that the so-called “grapefruit diet” which was popular in the Seventies and Eighties as the latest “Hollywood” diet secret followed by the likes of actress Brooke Shields may in fact have some scientific basis.

The team, from the University of California, Berkeley, gave one group of mice an antioxidant called naringin, a bioactive compound in grapefruit juice that has been identified as a key agent in weight loss.

They gave another group metformin, the most common glucose-lowering drug prescribed for patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The mice were fed a diet that was either 60 per cent fat or 10 per cent fat for 100 days, and their metabolic health was monitored throughout the study.

Researcher Professor Joseph Napoli said: “The grapefruit juice lowered blood glucose to the same degree as metformin.

“That means a natural fruit drink lowered glucose levels as effectively as a prescription drug.”

The group of high-fat-diet mice that received naringin had lower blood glucose levels than the control group, but there was no effect on weight, suggesting that some other ingredient in grapefruit juice is also beneficial.

The study did not find as big an impact on mice that ate a low-fat diet.

The researchers also randomly divided mice into six groups, including a control group that drank only water.

Those drinking grapefruit juice got a mixture diluted with water at different concentrations, and sweetened slightly with saccharin to counteract grapefruit’s bitterness.

The researchers also added glucose and artificial sweeteners to the control group’s water so that it would match the calorie and saccharin content of the grapefruit juice.

At the end of the study period, the mice that ate the high-fat diet and drank diluted grapefruit juice not only gained less weight than their control counterparts, they also had a 13 to 17 per cent decrease in blood glucose levels and a three-fold decrease in insulin levels, which reveals greater sensitivity to insulin.

In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes extra insulin to compensate for increased resistance to the hormone.Those that drank the grapefruit juice saw a two-fold decrease in insulin levels, but there was no significant change in weight or other metabolic factors.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, also found that mice fed a high-fat diet gained 18 per cent less weight when they drank clarified, no-pulp grapefruit juice compared with a control group of mice that drank water.

Juice-drinking mice also showed improved levels of glucose, insulin and a type of fat called triacylglycerol compared with their water-drinking counterparts.

Prof Napolli added: “We see all sorts of scams about nutrition. But these results, based on controlled experiments, warrant further study of the potential health-promoting properties of grapefruit juice.”

Previous research has hailed the benefits of grapefruit for beating diabetes.

One study by experts in Jerusalem and Boston found that naringenin helps the liver to burn fat instead of storing it after eating while increasing the production of insulin.

This mimics the process in long periods of fasting where fatty acids are broken down instead of carbohydrates.

Naringenin gives citrus fruits – in particular grapefruit – a bitter taste.

Source: Express

The many health benefits of orange juice

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Orange juice is the excellent source of vitamin C and fulfills the entire day requirement of vitamin C in just one serving. It is tasty and delicious with full of medicinal as well as health benefits. Orange juice is known for many minerals such as magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B6, beta carotene, calcium, folic acid, and having low fats and no cholesterol.

Folic acid in orange juice is highly beneficial for brain development and spinal cord. In a recent study, it has been found that orange juice is good for weight loss. Orange juice has other important health advantages like cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders. The juice boosts your immunity due to the presence of vitamin C. Orange juice has the highest nutrients value among all the citrus fruits.

What are some other health benefits of orange juice? Read on.

Prevents inflammation

The modern day faulty lifestyle along with paradox in dietary pattern leads to inflammatory reactions in the body, which causes lifestyle related disorders such as diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, asthma, depression, etc. Drinking of orange juice helps to minimize the impact of type II diabetes and atherosclerosis. The flavonoids like hesperidin, and naringenin are acting as anti-inflammatory products and good for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.

Helps keep your BP in check

Orange juice is good in the management and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Orange juice contain a plant pigment called ‘hesperidin’ that is beneficial for overall the smooth functioning of  blood vessels thereby helps in balancing of blood pressure and good for cardiovascular diseases.  Drinking of orange juice decreases bad cholesterol or low density lipoprotein in the body. Bad cholesterol accounted for cardiovascular problems. The adequate amount of magnesium is good in normalizing blood pressure.

Radiant, glowing skin

Drinking orange juice is said to bring a radiant glow to your skin and provide other skin benefits as well. Drinking OJ will help to hydrate skin and keep it firm. Using this juice as a topical treatment does wonders for the skin as well. It cleans out and tightens clogged pores and is believed to prevent wrinkles and fine lines. Orange juice is also a great natural remedy for treating sunburns.

Orange juice prevent birth defects

Birth defects like low birth weight and neural tube defects can be overcome by drinking orange. The pregnant mother is suggested to take half cup of orange juice daily to fulfill the deficiency of folate, which leads to many birth related problems.

Lowers risk of heart disease

An apple a day is said to keep the doctor away, but orange juice may be good at the job, too.

An antioxidant in orange juice called hesperidin improves blood vessel function and helps lower a person’s risk of heart disease, researchers report.

Hesperidin is a plant-based compound called a flavonoid. (Grapes, red wine, green and black teas, and chocolate also contain flavonoids.) A growing body of evidence suggests that flavonoids can improve the health of the delicate cells that line blood vessels. The way these cells work is referred to as “endothelial function.” Problems with these cells can lead to the development of clogged arteries, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

For the study, 24 healthy men at risk for cardiovascular disease each drank either 500 milliliters of orange juice each day, a “dummy” drink that contained the same calories as orange juice, or a dummy drink fortified with 292 milligrams of hesperidin. A 500 milliliter glass of orange juice naturally contains 292 milligrams of hesperidin. Over the course of the study, every man drank every beverage for one month straight.

The researchers found that when the men drank the daily orange juice or the hesperidin-fortified drink, they had better endothelial function and lower diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of a blood pressure reading) than when they drank the non-hesperidin beverage. In addition, gene expression profiles (as related to cardiovascular disease development) were improved.

Orange juice is a cancer fighter

In a recent scientific research, it has been found that orange juice contains a bio-chemical substance called ‘D-limonene’, which is effective in preventing of skin cancer, breast cancer, mouth cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. The adequate amount of vitamin C is also good in prevention of cancer.

Orange juice treats anemia

Orange juice is one of the best sources of vitamin C that helps in the absorption of iron into the blood stream. Anemia is a disease where there is a severe deficiency of iron. Regular intake of orange juice helps the patients in this regards.

Aids in strong teeth and bones

Calcium in oranges ensures strong teeth and bone. It is also supports to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. Calcium in oranges also assists for a healthy muscle function. Carotenoids in oranges act as powerful antioxidants against harmful radicals that can damage cells. A daily glass of orange juice can help prevent the reappearance of kidney stones better than other citrus fruit juices such as lemonade.

7 Health Benefits of Drinking Organic Orange Juice

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

You grew up drinking orange juice every morning at breakfast, but did you ever ask why? What’s so special about orange juice that makes it a staple around the world?

There are so many health benefits to drinking organic orange juice that no one could possibly name all of them. With high concentrations of vitamin C and other nutrients that are not only healthful but necessary, the orange is a super-fruit that most of us take for granted. Even if you aren’t a fan of peeling and eating sticky, juicy oranges, you can still get many of the same benefits out of a glass for breakfast each morning. If you need an extra push to start putting a jug of orange juice in your cart as you pass by the organic section on your next grocery run, check out these seven reasons to not let another day go by without adding orange juice to your diet.

1. Healing Phytonutrients: Oranges have particularly high levels of certain phytonutrients that are thought to be helpful for reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure and balancing cholesterol! Adding a glass of organic orange juice per day to your diet can provide enough of these phytonutrients to contribute to an improvement in your overall health.

2. Daily Value of Vitamin C: We all know that we can’t function well without at least some vitamin C in our diets. It does everything from promoting strong and healthy bones and clear skin to strengthening your immune system to fight off infections and viruses. You could always take a supplement, but why do that when a delicious glass of organic orange juice provides more nutrients than vitamin C supplements with added health benefits?

3. Consuming Citrus Lowers Risk of Certain Diseases: Oranges contain many of the elements that are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiac arrhythmias, and some studies have even shown a slight reduction in the occurrence of many types of mouth, throat, esophageal, stomach and liver cancers in people who have a lot of citrus fruits in their diets.

4. Lower Cholesterol: Certain compounds in oranges are being studied as possible means to lower cholesterol. These compounds may interact in such a way with the body that they reduce its ability to produce LDL cholesterol. Lowered cholesterol then translates into a reduced risk for many types of health issues from heart disease to stroke.

5. Prevents Ulcers: Some studies have shown that people with a higher blood level of vitamin C are at less of a risk of developing peptic ulcers—a condition which can lead to stomach cancer. How do you get your vitamin C levels up? Orange juice, of course!

6. Prevents Kidney Stones: If you want to reduce your risk of developing calcium oxalate kidney stones, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that simply drinking a couple of glasses of orange juice or other citrus juice per day increases your citric acid excretion preventing kidney stones from forming.

7. Healthy Carbohydrates: For diabetics or those who are watching carb intake, you’ll be happy to know that you can still drink orange juice! Like any food, it’s important to be aware of how much you are drinking, but orange juice only has a glycemic index of 40. This means that, since it is under 55, you can drink orange juice in limited quantities to benefit from all of its nutrients—and great flavor—without having it spike your blood sugar or cause problems with weight gain.

Are you convinced? Whether you are simply looking for a healthy, nutritious alternative to a 500 calorie morning latte, or you are looking for natural ways to help reduce your risk of certain health problems, organic orange juice may be just what you need to add to your daily diet.

Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger with a passion for organic and natural foods. You can read all of her latest articles by following her on Google+ and Twitter.

10 good reasons to eat an orange a day

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Sweet and juicy to taste, orange is one of the most popular fruits in India as well as the world. Belonging to a group of citrus fruits called hesperedium, oranges have more health benefits than one. Here are the top 10 health benefits of the fruit.

1. Boosts your immunity

A single orange can meet more than 100% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. This vital nutrient helps improve your immunity, keeping you free from diseases and infections. Here are some more immunity boosting foods.

2. Good for your skin

As we grow older, our skin along with other body parts suffers from free radical damage. This process is similar to how metals rust after exposure to air.  Even though it is inevitable, oranges are packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C which slows down the process and makes you look younger than your age! Besides oranges, you can eat these fruits and vegetables for glowing skin!

3. Great for your eyes

Along with our skin, our eyes too suffers from damage as we grow older. Oranges are rich in nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium which are great for your eyes. So, if you want your vision to be just as good as it is now, eat an orange every day!

4. Prevents heart disease

One of the reasons why people get heart disease is because their arteries are blocked due to unhealthy lifestyles and consumption of junk food. Oranges have flavonoids like hesperidin which reduces cholesterol and prevents your arteries from getting blocked. This, in turn protects you from heart attack and various other cardiovascular diseases. Alternatively, you could try these 8 natural cholesterol busters.

5. Helps in brain development

Folate and folic acid present in oranges promote brain development and keep the vital organ in mint condition. In fact, these nutrients also make orange a healthy fruit for pregnant woman as it prevents the baby from having neurological disorders later.

6. Prevents cancer

Having cancer can be a tough and harrowing experience for both the patient and the caregiver. Research has shown that a compound called D – limonene present in oranges can prevent various types of cancer like lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer, etc. Additionally, the antioxidants and Vitamin C help promote the body’s immunity which helps in fighting cancer cells. Here are some food habits to keep cancer at bay.

7. Keeps you free from stomach ulcers

Oranges are a very good source of fiber which helps keep your stomach and intestines healthy. A diet rich in fiber will ensure that you are not affected with ailments like stomach ulcers and constipation.

8. Protects your vision

Oranges also contain very good levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

9. Great for diabetics

People who have diabetes are unable to absorb glucose since the beta-cells present in their pancreas either fail to produce insulin or the body’s cells are unable to respond to the insulin produced. Oranges are high in fibre and have a high glycaemic index which makes it a good food option for diabetics. Also worth mentioning is that good oranges have a sweet taste, and since diabetics aren’t allowed to eat sweets or other sugary foods, they can eat oranges to tingle their taste buds.

10. Prevents hair loss

Orange has high Vitamin C content which is required for producing collagen which, in turn, is responsible for keeping the tissues in your hair together. Nobody likes bald patches on their head, and eating oranges can ensure that you do not have to part with your lovely hair as you grow older.

Source: TheHealthSite.com

The Florida Department of Citrus responds to NPR story

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Note: We are posting this Florida Department of Citrus rebuttal on our blog because we feel it addresses some very important issues in the “fruit juice and health” debate.

We were happy to have our voice included in yesterday’s story on NPR that described how citrus growers are managing through citrus greening and other market trends in today’s challenging environment. However, it is disappointing that the report included misinformation from Dr. Barry Popkin, a professor at the University of North Carolina, about 100% juice and health. His statement that “every study that followed people for more than a day has shown an adverse effect on cardiovascular health from fruit juice…” is simply wrong.

In reality, a considerable body of clinical and observational scientific evidence exists that supports a beneficial role for 100 percent juice – particularly orange juice – on some health or nutritional indicators, including those related to cardiovascular disease.1-5 In addition, consumption of 100% orange juice has not been associated with detrimental effects on markers of glucose or insulin metabolism, including risk for metabolic syndrome, in clinical2,6 or observational4 studies, or a recent meta-analysis7. Further, with respect to 100% fruit juice intake and weight measures:

  • Clinical studies in adults report no adverse effects on body weight or body mass index (BMI) when 100% orange juice is included as part of the diet.1,2,8
  • A systematic review of the association between 100% fruit juice intake and weight in children and adolescents reported that after assessing 21 cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, more than two-thirds of the studies found no association between 100% juice intake and adiposity – even when juice was consumed in amounts exceeding current recommendations.9
  • Epidemiological studies report no association between 100% orange or citrus juice intake and body weight, BMI, or changes in BMI over time in children or adolescents.4,10,11
  • Epidemiological studies report that 100% orange juice or 100% fruit juice consumption by adults was associated with lower body weight or BMI, or lower risk for overweight/obesity compared to no consumption.3,12
  • A comprehensive analysis published in 2014 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Evidence Analysis Library concluded that the evidence does not support an association between 100% fruit juice intake and weight status or adiposity in children.13

The bottom line is that these and other supportive research clearly report nutritional and other benefits of 100 percent orange juice consumption.

References
1. Basile LG, et al. Proc Fla State Hort Soc.2010;123:228–233.
2. Morand C, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(1):73–80.
3. O’Neil CE, et al. Nutrition Journal. 2012;11:107 (12 December 2012).
4. O’Neil CE, et al. Nutrition Research. 2011;31(9):673–682.
5. Lui K, et al. PLoS One. 2013:8(4):e61420 (Epub ahead of print).
6. Simpson EJ, et al. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2012:71:E182 (abstract).
7. Wang B, et al. PLoS One. 2014;9(4):e95323.
8. Cesar TB, et al. Nutrition Research. 2010;30(10):689–694.
9. O’Neil C, et al. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2008;2(4): 315-354.
10. Forshee R et al. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2003;54(4):297-307.
11. Vanselow MS, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90(6):1489-1495.
12. Pereira MA et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010;29(6):625-629.
13. Evidence Analysis Library (EAL), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dietary and Metabolic Impact of Fruit Juice Consumption Evidence Analysis Project. Available at: www.andevidencelibrary.com. 2014.

 

Source: FDOC

The health benefits of citrus

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Loaded with vitamins and minerals.

The vitamin C in citrus fruits acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from free radical damage. Vitamin C also improves the absorption of non-heme iron (iron from plant foods like beans and nuts). Citrus fruits supply the B vitamin, folate, which plays a role in energy production, growth and development, and may help protect against heart disease. These fruits are also a source of potassium, which is important for muscle function, and fluid and electrolyte balance.

Unique phytonutrients.

Citrus flavanones have been linked to a reduced risk of stroke in women and a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. Liminoids in citrus fruits have been found to inhibit tumor growth. More research is needed to understand how these phytonutrients work to improve health and protect against disease. Many are found in the peel and inner white portions of the fruit, so eating whole fruits and using zest and peels as flavorings for cooking will help you get the most benefit.

Super easy snack.

There are few foods easier to grab on the go than a piece of citrus fruit. Oranges, mandarins, tangerines, and many cross-varieties are easy to pack, peel, and section for a snack. Peeling also slows you down and contributes to more mindful eating. Just remember that some citrus, such as grapefruit, can interact with prescription medications. Be sure to check with your doctor if you take medications, especially those to fight infections or treat high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, or heart conditions.

Multiple uses.

Not only is citrus delicious by itself, but the whole fruit can be used in many meals and snacks. Homemade juices are more refreshing with fresh oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and lime. Fruit sections can be blended into smoothies. Lean meats and roasted vegetables are delicious with a splash of fresh juice and citrus zest. Dry the peels of oranges, lemons, or tangerines and add it to loose leaf tea before steeping.

Long storage.

Unlike many fruits that spoil quickly, citrus fruits have a long storage life so you can stock up when they are on sale and enjoy them throughout the season. When refrigerated, oranges and mandarins stay fresh about two weeks, lemons keep for four weeks or more, and grapefruits and limes keep even longer, often five to six weeks.

 

Source: MyFoodDiary.org

A Day in the Life of an Organic Citrus Grower

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Groves, Growing, and What I Hope to Leave My Grandchildren

By Benny McLean

What’s it like to be an organic citrus grower? We sat down with Benny McLean, production manager at Uncle Matt’s Organic and Uncle Matt’s father, to find out. Benny has been a part of the citrus industry for almost 50 years, and has been an organic citrus grower for nearly a decade and a half.  Here’s what this farmer had to say about life in the groves…

photo credit: McLean Photography

A GROWER’S MORNING ROUTINE

I live in a citrus grove and I have grapefruit trees planted there. When I leave my house in the morning, I always drive through my favorite grapefruit grove.  I’ll look at the trees and ask myself questions like, “Do I have a good bloom?” “Do I have leaf drop?” “Do I see any bugs in there that could cause a problem?” It’s a daily habit for me, like getting up in the morning and eating breakfast. And the answers are out there: in the grove. All I have to do is ride the grove and the grove will tell me if there’s a problem. My dad used to say that the rising sun has the highest amount of beneficial rays for anything that grows in the soil, so if you’re going to find a problem, you’ll find it then.

FERTILIZING, FUNGUS, AND FLYERS

As an organic grower, I don’t use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers in our farm program, so observation becomes that much more important. For example, if a grove is in need of fertilizer, it will tell you by the color of the leaf.  I look for discoloration in the old flush [leaves] and discoloration in the new flush. When a tree is off-color, it might be because the trees are running low on potassium or nitrogen. Under that scenario, I’ll pull leaf samples to be analyzed and compare the lab results with what I observe. Weather patterns and leaf analysis will determine when to apply our organic fertilizer program.

In springtime, my day will also include assessing the fungus situation in the grove and its effect on the trees and fruit. At this time of year, we’re mainly concerned with Scab, Alternaria, and Melanose.  While harmless, these three conditions can prove unsightly and can knock our fruit out of grade at the packing house.  In order to boost revenue from a grove, you need a high pack-out per acre. If we find these conditions in our groves, we’ll apply organic fungicides, like beneficial bacteria, to help remedy the situation.

Pests don’t really become a problem for us until May or June.  We do have a little pest called a “rust mite.” It’s very small, but it will put a scar on the peel that will cause the graders down at the packing house to reject it. It has nothing to do with the flavor or nutritional quality of the fruit, but the rust mite scars the fruit’s appearance.

WEEDS GOING WILD

During the summer months, rain patterns in Florida really help things grow –– including weeds.  We get a lot of questions from other growers about how we control weeds since we don’t use synthetic herbicides. Honestly, we don’t obsess over weeds.  Granted, we don’t want them growing too close to the irrigation microjet emitters, so in all our groves, we’ll use weed-eaters and in-and-out mowers for weed control, as well as good, old-fashioned hand labor.  Growing up, harvesting labor crews would have come in with hoes, and saws, and clippers and they’d cut the vines and hoe up the bad weeds and all of that. They’d work through the hot, Florida summer. Yet, some of today’s farmers don’t even know what a hoe is. Their only reaction is to spray weeds with herbicides.

My father always told me you have to look at it two ways. He said if you got an orange tree growing in your yard and you have beautiful St. Augustine grass growing under the orange tree, you could say, “Oh my, that orange tree is getting all the fertilizer and water from my beautiful grass, so I’ve got to do something about that orange tree.” The next guy comes by and says, “Oh my, that grass is taking all the fertilizer and water away from the orange tree. I’ve got to do something about that grass.” My dad would say, “You know what? They’re compatible. They exist with each other. They get along.” The exception would be what we call a “reset,” such as a small one-year old tree. It’s then that the weeds are a major problem. But a mature tree actually produces shade that doesn’t allow for weeds to grow well under its canopy anyway.

FRUIT PICKIN’ TIME

In late fall, when harvest is right around the corner, I begin to look for signs of fruit maturity. There are state-mandated maturity guidelines for harvesting based on minimum levels of brix [fruit sugar], juice, and ratio. Until the fruit meets all three of these criteria, we can’t pick it. Every variety has its own standards. After meeting the maturity levels, we’ll look at size because there are minimum size requirements as well. So, you’ll find us out in the groves with our calipers measuring fruit size as harvest time (November through May for various varieties), gets closer.

What’s funny is that it’s the buyer who decides what the right size is. The fruit falls into five different categories, with one being too small and the other, too large. So, it’s the middle three sizes that a buyer typically wants. The homemaker doesn’t have a choice when going to the supermarket. When I give grove tours, many women will see some of my biggest grapefruit and ask why they can’t buy that in the store. Well, now you know!

BEING A DIE-HARD ORGANIC FARMER

At the end of the day, I love growing organically. I have eleven beautiful grandkids and I know I am creating something worthwhile for their longtime health if they are going to eat citrus.  I believe I am educating them on how to read the label, so to speak. They can make intelligent food choices based on the knowledge of how a food was grown, how it was processed and how it was stored. I know what it is to be a conventional farmer, and I know the difference eating organic can make in your health. As long as I have a choice, I’ll never go back with all that I’ve learned and observed over the past 14 years of being an organic farmer. I believe that organic is the better choice.

A Quick Q&A with “Papaw” McLean

UM: What’s your favorite citrus variety?

Papaw: Ruby Red Grapefruit

UM: What’s your favorite tractor?

Papaw: A big green one with citrus implements

UM: How do you like your grapefruit eaten?

Papaw: “Sectionized.”

UM: Favorite breakfast?

Papaw: Fresh organic grapefruit from my grove, 4 ounces of cottage cheese, and a handful of raw organic almonds

UM: What legacy do you want to leave your grandkids?

Papaw: I want them to understand that it’s the three L’s. #1: You got to love life. #2 You’ve got to love the land. #3 You’ve got to love the Lord. And if you can understand those three principles, you’ll carry this legacy onto the next generation.

UM: In your opinion, what’s the best reason for someone to try organic for the first time?

Papaw: I know that organic is a healthier source of citrus juice –– orange, tangerine, grapefruit. I know that it has a higher antioxidant level than any of the other juices. If you’re going to drink orange juice because it’s healthy, then choose the healthiest one.