Citrus fruits - Real power from nature
There are fruits that we can hardly do without in winter: citrus fruits. Not only because we bring a bit of sun and heat into the house with them when it's cold and uncomfortable outside. It is above all the high vitamin C content that makes the aromatic fruits so popular. Even an orange or grapefruit is enough to cover the daily requirement of vitamins. But what exactly is it about these fruits??
Citrus fruits belong botanically to the berries, however to a special kind of the berry fruits, the so-called Endokarp berries. They are characterized by the fact that the fruits are not completely meaty and juicy. In addition to the tasty pulp, there is a white layer (albedo or mesocarp) and an outer, yellow to orange peel (Flavedo or Exocarp). The thin skin surrounding the individual fruit compartments or crevices is botanically referred to as endocarp and contains innumerable juice sacs.Especially in the cold winter months, citrus fruits such as tangerines and clementines are popular to ensure vitamin C intake. The small orange fruits differ mainly in taste. (Image: karepa / fotolia.com)
Between these seeds are embedded. They are supplied with nutrients and water from the fruit stalk via vascular bundles in the middle of the fruit. The white part of the fruit peel becomes more fibrous with increasing maturity and thus allows the separation of the individual columns from each other. Depending on the type and variety of citrus fruit the fruit peel is different thick. For example, with lemon, it takes most of the fruit.
Although all citrus plants come from a plant family, they are quite different in appearance. Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, grapefruit, kumquats, limequats, mandarins - and here again "ordinary mandarins", "satsumas", mandarin hybrids and "clementines" - are correspondingly diverse in the fruit shapes and colors of the citrus fruits "- to name just the most important.
Citrus fruits are healthy: they contain little calories, with 51 mg per 100 g of vitamin C as well as carbohydrates such as glucose and fructose. Together with fruit acids and aromas, the sugars provide the varietal taste and stimulate the appetite. Flavonoids as health-promoting phytochemicals should protect human cells from free radicals, slow down aging processes and reduce the risk of cancer. As they are found especially in the albedo - the spongy, white tissue underneath the shell - you should not completely remove the "whiteness" of oranges or clementines. The mineral content of citrus fruits is low compared to other fruits, but there are significant amounts of potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Citrus fruits should always be bought fully ripe, as the fruits do not ripen.
Citrus fruits are very versatile in the kitchen. They taste fresh or squeezed into juice, processed into fruit salad, desserts or to jams and jellies. Salads, fish and meat dishes as well as pastries can be spiced up with them. The shell of untreated citrus fruits is perfect for flavoring and seasoning. With lemon and orange slices, simple dishes can be decorated.
By the way: If you want to prevent a cold, you should use cold water for a "hot lemon". Vitamin C is sensitive to heat and therefore stays in cold water for longer. The drink from the juice of a squeezed lemon in a cup of water, sweetened with a spoonful of honey, provides vitamin C and the germ and anti-inflammatory substances from the honey. However, since vitamin C is less effective in an acute cold, it should be used more preventively. Thus, the course of a cold can be at least shortened. Heike Stommel, bzfe