A fruit-bearing tree and shrub which comes from the family of Rutaceae plant is called Citrus. This group produces citrus fruits such as limes, pomelos, grapefruits, oranges, and pomelos. Varieties of Citrus fruits are native to Melanesia, Australia, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.
The trees of Citrus are usually large shrubs, reaching 16-49 ft long, with evergreen leaves that are alternately arranged, and with spiny shoots. The flowers, on the other hand, are reclusive. Each flower can measure from 2 to 4 cm in diameter, and often has five white petals and numerous stamens. The flower has essential oil glands giving it a strong scent. And this flower will transform into a fruit once matured.
Citrus fruits are remarkable for their fragrance and are good sources of Vitamin C. However, the content depends on the variety of the fruits. The juice of the fruits contain high amounts of citric acid which give them sharp and tangy flavor. Thus, this genus offers enormous health benefits. Citrus fruits can be eaten fresh, preserved in pickles, and pressed for juice.
Let us get to know the different types of Citrus fruits and the health benefits they offer.
Types of Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are often incorporated to someone’s diet because of the vitamins and nutrients essential for everyone’s health. The Citrus family is a good source of dietary fiber that lowers bad cholesterol levels and helps the digestive system. It has vitamins that strengthens our immune system. Citrus fruits are also a great source of minerals and anti-oxidants that help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar level. Check out the list of different types of Citrus fruits below.
Kaffir lime, also known as Citrus hystrix or Markut lime, is native to southern China and southeast Asia. Both fruit and leaves of Kaffir lime are used in Southeast Asian cooking, while its essential oil is used in cosmetics. Its crashed leaves produce exceptional citrus fragrance. Aside from cooking and cosmetics, Kaffir Limes are also used as insect repellent. This citrus fruit acts as a blood detoxifier, improves oral health, and aids digestive activities. Its extracted oil can also be used as a stress reliever, while citronellol and limonene found in Kaffir limes are used as insect repellent. Additionally, this variety of citrus can boost our immune system, enhance hair care, and is an effective remedy for gout, edema, rheumatism, and other inflammatory conditions.
Blood oranges originated from the Southern Mediterranean – Europe. This citrus fruit belongs to the flavonoid group and with a scientific name of Citrus sinensis. Its flesh is blood-red in color due to the presence of anthocyanins and its skins are harder to peel. It is known to be an effective home remedy for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) because of its flavonoid content. Blood oranges are distinguishable from other varieties of citrus fruits because of its distinctive crimson color, making this species ideal for tropical juices and desserts. When it comes to taste, Blood oranges are a bit sour similar to sour raspberries. This fruit is also abundant in chrysanthemin and a rich source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C.
Mandarin orange is a distinct species of orange and is small in size. It is scientifically known as Citrus reticulata and belongs to the family Rutaceae. This citrus fruit species originated from China which the locals in some area believe it as a symbol of hope and propose good fortune. The dried peel of the Mandarin oranges can treat several health problems. The Mandarin oranges that measures 4-8 cm in diameter, is usually prepared in fruit salads or eaten plain. It is a bit sweet and a little sour taste.
This citrus fruit is commonly known as Lemon. The Citrus limon origin is from South Asia in North Eastern India. This variety of citrus fruits also belongs to the Rutaceae family and its scientific name is Citrus × limon. The evergreen shrub produces a yellow or pale yellow prolate fruit that contains five to ten seeds. The lemons are the famous leading acid citrus fruits because of its alluring color, fragrance, and taste. Lemon juice is also a good source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C.
Grapefruit, scientifically known as Citrus × paradisi, is among the healthiest fruits one should eat. It is a great source of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Grapefruit reduces the risks of heart failure, lowers cholesterol levels, and aids weight loss. It has a flesh color of yellow to dark pink, and a taste of sour to semisweet and bitter fruit. Grapefruit is commonly prepared and eaten during breakfast. It originated from Jamaica and was referred to as “”forbidden fruit” of Barbados.
Buddha’s hand or the fingered citron, is a small thorny shrub that bears fruit that is carved up into finger-like sections resembling the Buddha’s fingers — which is the reason why it is called Buddha’s hand in China, Japan, Korea, and France. Scientifically known as Citrus Medica Var Sarcodactylis, this citrus fruit is rich in volatile oils, coumarin, limonin and diosmin. Unlike other citrus varieties, Buddha’s hand does not have that much nutrients. However, it is a prime source of Calcium, dietary fiber, and Vitamin C.
Citrus x Aurantiifolia or the Key Lime fruits are usually picked while they’re still green. The skin color will later on change to yellow when ripened. This citrus fruit is smaller in size, has a spherical shape, contains high acid, and with a strong aroma. Key Lime is native to Southeast Asia. Same with other varieties of citrus fruits, Key Lime contains vitamins and minerals essential for our body. It helps us fight infections, regulates blood sugar level, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, enhances digestion, fights against peptic ulcers, and slows down aging. These are just some of the reasons why this citrus fruit must be included in your diet.
The Finger lime originated from the coastal border region of Queensland and New South Wales. It is also known as the Australian finger lime or caviar lime. These citrus plants can grow up to 23 ft, have small leaves, and white flowers. The Finger lime fruit is cylindrical, and comes in different color like green and pink. It is often used as garnish and the main component of the marmalade and pickles. The dried Finger lime skin can also be used for flavoring spice.
Finger lime originated from the coastal border region of Queensland and New South Wales. It is also known as the Australian finger lime or caviar lime. These citrus plants can grow up to 23 ft, have small leaves, and white flowers. The FingTheer lime fruit is cylindrical, and comes in different color like green and pink. It is often used as garnish and the main component of the marmalade and pickles. The dried Finger lime skin can also be used for flavoring spice.
The orange is scientifically known as Citrus × sinensis. It is also called the Citrus sinensis. Its family includes sweet oranges such as blood oranges and navel oranges. It is also a great source of calories, fiber, and protein. The flowers of the orange tree are also known to be used for perfumery because of its alluring fragrance. Orange is assumed to be native to southern China, southeastern Asia, and northeastern India.
Tangelo is a hybrid of Citrus reticulata and Citrus maxima (c Maxima) variety. This citrus fruit has a tart and tangy taste. It has a loose skin that is easier to peel. It is sometimes called “honeybells” because of its shape. The fruit is low in calories, and is a good source of flavonoids (anti-inflammatory oxidants). The Tangelo fruit is also notable for its ability to help weight loss, reduces risk of cancers, and regulates blood pressure. This can be prepared in a form of juice or can be eaten raw.
Known as Citrus × meyeri, is native to China. It is a citrus fruit that is a cross between mandarin/pomelo and citron hybrid. Meyer lemon trees can grow up to 10 ft long. Its leaves are shiny and dark green in color. The flowers are white and the fruits are small with a deep yellow skin. This citrus fruit is sweet in taste because it contains less citric acid, and it is best used for lemonade.
Tangerine is a citrus fruit that is referred to as Citrus x Tangerina. This fruit is smaller in size than the typical oranges. Its taste is sweet and less sour. Tangerine fruit is commonly used in desserts, salad, and main dishes while its peel is used for baking and drinks. It is believed to originate from Morocco and was later on imported to America.