If you’ve ever tried a citron, you know that it isn’t like most other citrus fruits, but it can provide a wide range of impressive health benefits, so add it to your fruit basket if you can.
What is Citron?
Citron is actually one of the original 4 citrus fruits – the others being pomelo, papeda, and mandarin. This large citrus fruit can have a bumpy exterior and is often colored like a lemon. The shape can vary widely, depending on the cultivar, and other factors like climate and even twig arrangement. Unlike most citrus fruits, e.g. lemons and oranges, there is a very small amount of juice in a citron, because most of the inner pulp is dry. The white rind, however, is what most people seek out for culinary uses, and due to its rich nutrient composition.
Known around the world by many different names, citron is used for a variety of culinary and medicinal applications, due to its high levels of vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants. This fruit also offers high levels of dietary fiber, calcium, iron, beta-carotene, niacin, manganese, zinc, selenium, vitamin B6, and potassium, just to name a few.
Citron Health Benefits
Some of the top health benefits of citron include its ability to reduce the risk of cancer, support weight loss efforts, reduce blood pressure, lower acidity in the gut, soothe pain and strengthen the immune system, among others.
A research paper published in the Food Chemistry Journal states that there are many antioxidants in citron, which make it an ideal way to sweep out free radicals in the body and reduce your chances of oxidative stress-related chronic disease, which may also include cancer. Citrus fruits, such as citron, are likely to help reduce the risk of cancer by slowing the progression of the disease in the body and making carcinogens inactive, states a study published by a team of Italian researchers in the Nutrients Journal.
Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the juice and essential oil of this fruit make it ideal for acute pain, or chronic problems, such as headaches or discomfort from arthritis.
Boosts Immune System
With a significant level of vitamin C, citron is able to stimulate the immune system and increase the production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense against infections.
Balances Acidity Levels
The juice and oil from this fruit are able to balance acidity levels in the gut and improve overall digestive efficiency, while also eliminating problems like excess flatulence, constipation, and nausea.
There are quite a few ways to use citron in your daily or weekly routine, both for culinary applications and medical uses. As with using any powerful substance that is packed with antioxidants and active ingredients, moderation is recommended.
In terms of your diet, the citron rind is actually what you will be consuming after you cook it in syrup or allow it to caramelize. The outer rind is used as zest in certain cocktails or beverages, while even the small amount of juice can be extracted and consumed, although its flavor is quite potent. This fruit is also ideal for making jams and marmalades, and can even be pickled, a popular option in India.
Medicinally speaking, the essential oil is widely used in the treatment of both topical and internal problems; it is an antibiotic and is known to soothe the stomach and conditions of constipation and nausea, among many others.
Difference between Citron and Lemon
Citron is one of the original citrus fruits, whereas lemon is a hybrid, albeit an extremely popular one. Lemon tends to have a rather thin rind and a bitter, astringent taste, while citron has a very thick rind, a limited amount of juice, and a milder flavor than lemon.