THE CITROUS FRUITS in most common use include LEMONS, LIMES, GRAPEFRUIT, ORANGES and TANGERINES. By careful grafting all may be produced on a single citrus fruit tree. There are many varieties of oranges and several of grapefruit and lemons. Two types of limes are well known, the small round yellow ones and the large blue green Persian limes.
All the citrous fruits are alkalinizing in their effect and should be used in liberal quantities, not however to the exclusion or even limitation of equally valuable fruits of other types.
LEMONS and LIMES, owing to their high content of the antiscorbutic vitamin C, have a well deserved reputation for preventing and curing scurvy. Their value in this disease (now recognized as a deficiency manifestation) was known long before anyone even imagined that there were such things as vitamins or essential vital elements which were present in certain foods and absent in others. Even today many people fail to realize that liberal quantities of meat, potatoes, gravy, bread and butter all put together can truthfully be said to constitute a starvation diet and we might add a toxic and highly acid forming one bedsides. It is really possible to slowly starve in the midst of apparent plenty. Nutritional deficiencies can exist in every possible degree and combination.
As a cooling, refreshing, thirst-quenching, health-giving beverage there is nothing better than fresh lemon or limeade (without sugar of course). Add the rind if you wish but no sweetening.
Lemon-milk is a palatable food and drink and a good substitute for buttermilk. Put the juice of half a lemon in a glass of milk and stir thoroughly.
The fresh juice of one or two lemons or limes in one or two glasses of cool water each morning on first arising is often very beneficial and frequently mildly laxative. A few people will experience more of a laxative effect if hot lemonade is taken, but when vitamin C has been weakened if not destroyed by heating (pasteurization).
In febrile conditions fresh lemon or lime juice is wonderful. Lemons and limes should be taken freely whenever there is a cold. They are mildly diuretic and will never damage mucous membranes or other tissues anywhere in the body.
Lemons are often advised in connection with reducing diets. Of course it depends upon what all the diet includes. Naturally there will be weight reduction if very little or other foods are taken. When someone asks, “Doctor, dont lemons thin the blood?”- -if by that is meant do they impoverish the blood or tend to produce an anemia the answer is NO.
As a prophylactic against canker sores in the mouth we advise lemon or lime juice as a mouth wash and to be taken internally as well. These fresh juices and all the citrous fruits are especially valuable in the prophylaxis and treatment of pyorrhoea.
Limes have a flavor all their own and make a nice change from lemons. Every good thing that may be said about lemons applies also to limes. Either lemon or lime juice should be used in place of vinegar. The ordinary commercial vinegar is especially detrimental. A salad dressing made of pure olive oil and fresh lemon or lime juice is healthful as well as agreeable in taste.
ORANGES are being consumed in ever increasing quantity throughout the United States and Canada. Available through the entire year even in remote districts, their importance is tremendous commercially as well as from a nutritional standpoint.
Tree ripened fruits is always to be preferred and every effort should be made to resist the “color added” proposition. Oranges should always be judged by their sweetness and flavor and not by their size or appearance. The sweeter the orange the more healthful is the fruit.
People with poor hepatic function and a bilious tendency should not put the emphasis on oranges. They should use more grapefruit, apples and all other fruits and a few oranges will then be well tolerated.
Orange juice is the first course in the “all American” breakfast and is generally followed by cereal, bacon, eggs, toast and coffee. Such a breakfast menu is entirely too routine and when the orange juice is canned the meal is still worse from a health and vitality standpoint. A different kind of raw fruit or raw fruit juice should be served each morning. Better yet, omit the cereal and serve a large mixed fruit salad. It makes a delicious and satisfying breakfast.
GRAPEFRUIT are being used in larger quantities than was the case even a few years ago. They are a valuable fruit and the fresh juice is thirst quenching and very refreshing. The use of sugar on grapefruit is only a habit and an undesirable one. Discontinue the use of sugar, honey, syrup or salt on grapefruit for a few months and a preference for the natural flavor will soon express itself.
Pink and also seedless grapefruit are now available in the market and soon there will be as many interesting varieties as there are of oranges. Try them all, enjoy them all.
TANGERINES. The ideal citrous fruit should peel as easily as a tangerine, have the sweetness of the sweetest orange and provide the size and liberality of a large grapefruit. Tangerines are often disappointing, but when just right are really delicious. Try expressing the juice and note its amazing sweetness. There is a surprising contrast in the juice to the tangy tartness of the whole fruit.