6 Ways to Liven Up Your Winter Diet With Citrus

Citrus fruits can give your winter meals a much-needed flavor boost, and they provide a myriad of health benefits.

Citrus fruits brighten up the dreariness of winter. They're vibrant and zesty and they have extraordinary health benefits. High in vitamin C, citrus strengthens the immune system to fight off coughs and colds and helps in the formation of collagen, allowing wounds to heal more quickly and holding bones, ligaments and tendons together.

Adding citrus to green, leafy vegetables can help your body absorb iron. Citrus fruits are known for their abundance of flavonoids, antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and protect against heart disease and cancer. They also provide a good source of potassium and folate.

Besides oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits, you may want to explore more exotic citrus options like blood oranges, pomelos and tangelos.

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6 Favorite Ways to Use Citrus 

Click on the links to get the full recipes.

Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffins

Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffins

Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffins

The perfect way for athletes to get their vitamin C and fiber first thing in the morning. Heart-healthy walnuts boost the protein in this recipe, fueling the rest of the day.

Orange Chicken Salad

Orange Chicken Salad

Orange Chicken Salad

For a fun twist on lunch, boost your chicken salad by adding fruit, nutmeg almonds and yogurt. This makes a great post-workout meal, because it contains antioxidants to lower inflammation and protein and carbs to help with muscle formation.

Weeknight Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner

Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner

Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner

Lemon adds lots of flavor and brightens up any meal. This recipe is simple, and the chicken turns out tender and juicy. It's an excellent go-to recipe if you work out after school, because it's ready in just 10 to 15 minutes and you can refuel within the recommended 45 minutes. Pair this with whole grain carbohydrates for the ideal balance.

Citrus Salad with Fried Rosemary and Olives

Citrus Salad

Citrus Salad

This is definitely going on my grocery list this week. Juicy blood oranges combined with crispy herbs and salty olives make the perfect starter to any meal. The salt is especially good if you have a high sweat rate.

Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This simple recipe pairs citrus dressing and leafy greens for both flavor and iron absorption. Let the fresh grapefruit shine with a touch of sweetness and spice. It boosts heart health and your metabolism.

Chocolate-Dipped Clementines

Chocolate-Dipped Clementine

Chocolate-Dipped Clementine

Chocolate and orange are a match made in heaven. I love the ease and beauty of this nutritious dessert. Get creative with your toppings—try chopped pistachios, dried craisins or graham crackers. This anxtiodant-laden combination makes a terrific recovery snack or dessert for athletes.

RELATED: Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Veggies


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Topics: PROTEIN | HEALTH | CHOCOLATE | CHICKEN | FRUIT | SALAD | HEART | VITAMIN C | ANTIOXIDANTS | DINNER | ORANGES | CHICKEN SALAD | WHOLE WHEAT