(NaturalNews) Citrus fruits contain a vast array of phytonutrients that are just now being respected for the extraordinary health values they hold. Fruits and vegetables have been renowned for years for providing essential nutrients such as vitamin C. Today, nutritional scientists have discovered a group of bioactive flavonoids that enhance the effects of vitamin C and provide a powerful defense against oxidative stress.
Bioactive flavonoids, vitamin P, are found in living fruits and vegetables. The various bioflavonoids found in citrus include hesperidin, quercetin, diosmin, naringin, & rutin among others. These phytonutrients are vital for proper absorption of Vitamin C. In fact, studies have proven their ability to enhance and prolong the action of vitamin C.
Many vitamin C supplements consist of synthetically derived ascorbic acid. This is virtually ineffective. Without the natural citrus bioflavonoids ascorbic acid is easily oxidized and can actually be harmful to the body. This is why whole food nutrition is so much better than synthetically derived supplements.
Studies have shown benefits of the citrus bioflavonoids on capillary permeability and blood flow. This is due to the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of these phytonutrients. This is especially important for oxygenating tissues and maintaining normal blood pressure. It also reduces swelling, venous backup, and edema. This process also improves respiration in the lungs.
Hesperidin is found most abundantly in the peel and membranous parts of lemons and oranges. Hesperidin is often used for the treatment of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. A deficiency of hesperidin in the diet has been linked with abnormal capillary function, extremity pain & leg cramps.
Rutin and quercetin are the strongest bioflavonoid anti-oxidants. These 2 phytonutrients have very powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. They along with the other bioactive flavonoids have their greatest effects within the blood stream and capillary beds. These have also been shown to be highly effective at preventing and treating varicose veins. These are found in large quantities in the fruits and rinds of lemons, limes, grapefruits, & oranges.
A 1955 study by Dr. Biskind looked at 69 cases of acute respiratory infections that were treated with a whole water soluble citrus bioflavonoid complex. The disorders included the common cold, acute follicular tonsillitis, & influenza. Within 8 to 48 hours all but 3 cases saw a significant decline in infection. Dr. Biskind credited this rapid recovery to improved capillary permeability and the enhanced vitamin C bioavailability.
In 1962, Dr. Robert Cragin used lemon-orange derived bioflavonoids on different groups of athletes in a double blind study. It was found that the athletes taking bioflavonoids experienced less muscle and joint injuries than the control group. These athletes also recovered quicker from similar injuries than the group of athletes not taking the bioflavonoids. The addition of vitamin C to the bioflavonoids (as seen in citrus fruits) appeared to enhance these effects.
The best sources of citrus bioflavonoids are in lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges, & tangerines. They are in their most potent form when they are picked off the tree in their full ripeness. The longer they are off of the tree the more nutrient value they lose. Once peeled, citrus fruit begin to oxidize and within days can lose a significant portion of their anti-oxidant value.
Enhance Your Citrus BioFlavonoid Consumption:
Do not throw away squeezed lemon… eat the pulp and membrane first.
If the peel is organic, you can shred it into a lemon zest and apply it to meat, salads, etc.
Avoid orange & grapefruit juices due to the high sugar and instead eat the whole fruit which contains fibers and significantly more bioflavonoids.