A Refreshing and Health-Boosting Citrus and Tahini Salad

The health benefits of citrus fruits have been used for centuries by cultures around the world. As a great source of essential minerals, vitamins, and fiber, adding citrus to your daily menu is a great way to boost health. Here’s a recipe to start.

7 minute read

Last Updated July 14, 2020

Herbed Citrus Salad - Men’s Health Recipe - 1MD

Citrus fruits are diverse, refreshing, and tasty. The fruits in this category include oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. All are just as beneficial for your health as they are delicious to your taste buds. 

Citrus fruits have been used for centuries to treat ailments, and the wide variety of flavors of citrus fruits are favored across the world. Citrus fruits, and products made from the juices, are full of healing compounds and health-boosting nutrients.

Health Benefits of Citrus

Citrus fruits provide an abundant source of essential minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber. The vitamin C in citrus fruits enhances your body’s ability to absorb valuable nutrients such as iron

These are all necessary for healthy development and growth, as well as overall well-being. In addition to valuable nutrients, citrus fruits contain phytochemicals that protect against serious diseases.

The evidence supporting the benefits of citrus is overwhelming. It is recommended to eat large amounts of citrus to enjoy maximum benefits these fruits have to offer.

Fight Cancer

Citrus fruits have been linked to reducing the risk of certain cancers. The plant compounds have been shown to protect against lung, esophageal, breast, stomach, and pancreatic cancers. 

The flavonoids act as antioxidants that block the expression of genes responsible for causing cancer and degenerative diseases. The compounds in citrus fruits also suppress cancers by blocking the formation of new cancer cells and by inactivating carcinogens. 

Better Digestion

Citrus fruits are full of fiber, which promotes healthy digestion. Fiber serves as a food source for gut bacteria, which protects your gut from inflammation and infection. 

In addition to this, fiber promotes healthy bowel movements to prevent common digestive issues like constipation and bloating. Fiber also makes you feel full, which can help support a healthy diet and weight loss plan. 

Better Immunity

The high vitamin C content in citrus fruits boosts your immune system. In addition to fighting colds and other viral infections faster, vitamin C helps reduce inflammation. 

Regularly consuming citrus or vitamin C can reduce your chances of getting sick and reduce the recovery time if you do catch a cold. A lack of inflammation in the body reduces the risk of serious diseases and reduces stress and anxiety. 

Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, which works with your immune system to prevent oxidative damage. 

Better Heart Health

Studies found that regularly eating citrus fruits is linked to a reduced risk for heart disease and stroke. Grapefruits, in particular, are known to decrease blood pressure. 

Several of the antioxidant compounds in citrus fruits, like naringin, can improve markers of heart health. Lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure significantly reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. 

Healthier Skin

Oxidative damage from the sun and weather causes skin to age quickly. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that works to reduce oxidative damage and protect your skin. 

Citrus supports the body’s natural ability to produce collagen, an important protein for healthy skin. Since your body loses collagen as you age, getting vitamin C is a natural way to boost collagen levels and promote healthier and younger-looking skin.

Improved Kidney Health

Kidney stones are common and are caused by a build-up of minerals. Studies have found that kidney stones are more common among individuals that eat less citrus

Consuming citrus fruits or juices increases the amount of citrate in urine, which lowers the risk of kidney stone development. 

Cognitive Protection

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the flavonoids protect against the events that lead to nervous system deterioration. Regularly consuming citrus fruits or juices has been linked to brain cell protection, improved brain cell function, and enhanced cognition.

Bone Health

The vitamin C in citrus fruits has been proven to protect against bone loss. Bone loss is common as the body ages and increases the risk of arthritis, which can be debilitating. 

Consuming citrus provides vitamin C, which is an essential component of collagen. Collagen is the foundation of bone mineralization, so without it, bone mass and density begin to deteriorate. 

Herbed Citrus Salad with Tahini Dressing and Greens Recipe

Ingredients

For the tahini dressing:

1 large shallot, minced
Finely grated zest of 1 tangerine, plus ¼ cup of the juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon fine salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons tahini
Water, as needed

For the salad:

1 ruby red grapefruit
1 Cara Cara orange
1 mandarin orange
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, minced
4 cups spring mix or baby lettuce
¼ cup pomegranate arils 
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Dressing:

Place the shallot, tangerine zest and juice, lemon juice, honey, salt, and chili powder in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to give shallots time to marinate. Whisk in the tahini until the mixture is emulsified. If the dressing is too thick, add water to thin.

Salad: 

1. Prep the citrus; trim the top and bottom from each piece of fruit. Then, with downward strokes, cut remaining peel off in strips, removing the peel and white pith. Cut off any remaining pith. Slice citrus crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Sprinkle the tarragon and parsley over both sides of the citrus rounds.

2. Place the greens in a medium bowl. Drizzle in a few tablespoons dressing and toss. 

3. Arrange the greens on a plate and top with the citrus rounds. Finish with another drizzle of tahini dressing, sprinkle with the pomegranate arils, and finish with a few twists of freshly ground pepper.

The Bottom Line

The amazing health benefits of citrus fruits have been scientifically proven. When you combine the benefits of these fruits with their refreshing variety of flavors, it makes perfect sense to consume them every day. 

Citrus fruits can be enjoyed as snacks or incorporated into breakfast, lunches, and dinners. Every time of day is perfect for a little citrus, and a little citrus will go a long way when it comes to your health.

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