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Why runners should eat more citrus

Summary: Runners and Long Distance Joggers, this is a great article by Liz Applegate, which talks about the great benefits citrus fruit can have on our bodies. First published in Runners World on the 9th March 2015, this article offers two amazing recipes showcasing how you can use this fruit to help give your salads a real citrus boost.

By Liz Applegate, Ph.D.

In-season citrus fruit pack loads of runner-friendly nutrients—while punching up meals with bright flavor.

To Boost Heart Health: Blood oranges and pomelos

The antioxidants that give blood oranges their red hue protect arteries and improve bloodflow. Pomelos also benefit your ticker: The white layer surrounding the fruit is high in fiber and flavones that lower LDL.

To Help Blood Pressure: Satsumas

Studies show citrus may help control blood pressure. The effect may be due to flavanols and potassium in citrus (the mineral is key for healthy blood pressure). One satsuma has 200 milligrams of potassium, or six percent of your daily need.

To Protect DNA: Clementines

One Clementine has only 35 calories and more than 60 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. Studies show vitamin C in citrus protects DNA from oxidative damage caused by pollution and heavy training.

To Lose Weight: Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a good source of soluble fiber—the type that helps you feel full. Research also shows a compound (called nootkatone) in the white peel of grapefruit may help improve weight loss by stimulating an enzyme that promotes fat breakdown.

To Fight Cancer: Kumquats

These small, oval fruits have tart flesh and a thin, sweet, edible rind. The rind is rich in flavonoids that possess strong anticancer action and have the potential to be used to treat prostate and colon cancers.

To Strengthen Immune Health: Lemons and limes

The rind of these tart fruits is rich in terpenes, compounds that act as powerful antioxidants that protect immune health and DNA.

To Shield Your Eyes: Cara caras

These navel oranges have pinkish-red segments that are rich in carotenoids, which are converted to vitamin A (one cara cara has 30 percent of your daily need for A). Zeaxanthin, a type of carotenoid in cara caras, plays a role in eye health.

Now that you know the importance of cirtus' nutrients in your diet, here are two easy recipes to use the fruit.


Pair it with tortilla chips, or use as a topping on steak.


1 blood orange, peeled and diced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
½ red onion, diced
½ yellow bell pepper, diced
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, diced


In a bowl, combine the orange, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and jalapeno. Toss well. 


The vitamin C in citrus boosts the absorption of iron found in spinach.


2 cups baby arugula
2 cups baby spinach
2 satsumas, peeled and chopped
¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic-vinegar dressing
1 teaspoon lemon zest


In a large bowl, add the arugula, spinach, satsumas, cheese, pine nuts, and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the zest. Toss to combine.

Keep Fit Junkies, if you enjoyed this article and would like to read more like this from Liz, don’t forget to click on Liz Applegate’s name, here or above, and this will take you to all the articles she has published so far on Runners



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From the iron pushers to the aerobic warriors, the hard-core cyclists, the extreme sports lovers, the solo runners, the 6 am swimmers to the multi-sport heroes, who train like they have no finish line, anyone with this kind of mindset is welcome. Keep Fit Junkie was built to keep you informed, educated and inspired!