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Summer Citrus

When is it too much of a good thing?

As the hotter months approach, nothing says summer like the promise of citrus. From grapefruit and oranges to lemons and limes, demand for citrus naturally rises due to endless possibilities in thirst-quenching cooking and beverages. But nutritionists warn that consuming too much can be harmful to your health on many different levels.

Grapefruits 

Come in a variety of colors and can vary from very tart to nice and sweet. They, too, offer many health benefits including being high in vitamins A and C, without significantly affecting blood sugar or insulin levels. A diet that includes grapefruit can support healthy skin and can help lower your risk for many diseases, as well as help with weight loss. Still, grapefruits should be avoided if you are taking certain medications such as statin drugs, calcium channel blockers or psychiatric prescriptions. Medical professionals also caution those with kidney conditions to beware of the added potassium in grapefruit, which could cause complications.

Lemons 

Generally come highly recommended by health professionals because they pack a vitamin C punch and are rich in antioxidants and antibacterial agents. They can aid in weight loss by helping you feel fuller and more satisfied, and can also provide a powerful flavor source without adding calories. However, lemons, and limes for that matter, have a high acidity level that can erode tooth enamel, so it is recommended that you brush your teeth after consumption. 

When putting lemon or lime in your water or tea, it is recommended that you squeeze the juice in rather than drop the entire slice into the drink. The produce is often shipped with a wax coating to protect the fruit, and that coating may contain toxins. If you are cooking with any citrus that requires zest, nutritionists suggest buying from a local farm stand or purchasing an organic variety at the grocery store.

Oranges 

Also come with a healthy reputation for being high in vitamin C and an excellent source of bone-building minerals, plus fiber. An orange makes for a great snack because it is low in calories, but over-indulge and you might end up with heartburn, stomach cramps, diarrhea or nausea, and in more serious cases, headache, muscle pain and an increase in blood pressure. Health professionals warn that those who suffer from migraines or high blood pressure should be very careful about how much citrus is consumed on a regular basis.

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