Category Archive for: ‘Citrus’
Best Food To Eat In Winter

Food For Winter

Winter food.  Winter is a time to refit.  To assess the foundation and structure of our body and make adjustments if necessary.  The first and most important thing to look at is our diet.  If you are the type of person that eats the same things year in and year out or even worse, Monday is salad night, and Tuesday is pizza night, etc.  You are causing a number of problems with your health.  Like any organism the body adjusts to the stimuli that confront it.  Food is a very powerful stimulus to the body.  Did you know that you can lose or gain weight eating exactly the same food, but eating it in different combinations or at different times of the day?


Surprise your body.  Make it adjust to different foods and different schedules.  It is good for you.  God forbid that you might have to actually think about it!

winter landscape


Back to winter.  Everything slows down in the winter.  Your body’s metabolism slows to maintain the fat you have stored in case food becomes scarce.  Your immune system is compromised by the lack of water soluble and sunlight provided vitamins, such as B-complex and C which are not stored by the body and must be replaced every day and while Vitamin D, is stored by the body, it is also harder to come by in the winter because our main source is sunlight.  That is why you are more likely to get a cold or the flu during the winter.

Serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain, is lost during the winter causing a winter depression.  All of these negative factors are all increased when you stay on your warm weather diet.



Winter Foods

If you can’t find sunshine to get your Vitamin D, you can get it in abundance from fresh fish not to mention omega 3 fatty acids:  The following is from Ask DrSears ranking seafood by nutrition:

  • Best sources of omega 3 fatty acids: salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, Alaskan halibut, sardines, herring.
  • Highest in protein per serving: tuna, salmon, snapper, swordfish. Most fish are similar in protein content. Best source of protein in grams per calorie of fish are: lobster, shrimp, tuna, cod.
  • Highest vitamin B-12 content: clams, mackerel, herring, blue fin tuna, rainbow trout, and salmon.
  • Highest in iron: clams, shrimp, mackerel, swordfish.
  • Lowest in iron: orange roughy, snapper, sea bass.
  • Highest in zinc: crab, lobster, swordfish, and clams.
  • Highest in calcium: canned salmon with bones.
  • Highest in total fat, saturated fats, and calories: mackerel.
  • Lowest in total fat and saturated fat: lobster, orange roughy.
  • Highest in cholesterol: shrimp, mackerel, lobster.
  • Lowest in cholesterol: yellowfin tuna, albacore, tuna, snapper, halibut, grouper.
  • Most risky fish for pollutants: wild catfish, shrimp, lake trout (warm-water fish and those in lakes from agrochemical run-off).
  • Least risky fish for pollutants: deep-water ocean fish, salmon and tuna.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Most important to eat daily are the foods containing your water soluble vitamins, B-complex and C.  Not only are they important to maintain your energy levels, they contribute to your appetite, vision, blood and nervous system.  The following is a table from the Colorado State University extension site about Water soluble vitamins.

Considerable losses during cooking.Uncommon due to availability in most foods; fatigue; nausea, abdominal cramps; difficulty sleeping.

Table 1: Water-soluble vitamins and their characteristics.
Common food sources Major functions Deficiency symptoms Overconsumption symptoms Stability in foods
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, melon, green pepper, tomatoes, dark green vegetables, potatoes. Formation of collagen (a component of tissues), helps hold them together; wound healing; maintaining blood vessels, bones, teeth; absorption of iron, calcium, folacin; production of brain hormones, immune factors; antioxidant. Bleeding gums; wounds don’t heal; bruise easily; dry, rough skin; scurvy; sore joints and bones; increased infections. Nontoxic under normal conditions; rebound scurvy when high doses discontinued; diarrhea, bloating, cramps; increased incidence of kidney stones. Most unstable under heat, drying, storage; very soluble in water, leaches out of some vegetables during cooking; alkalinity (baking soda) destroys vitamin C.
Thiamin (vitamin B1 )
Pork, liver, whole grains, enriched grain products, peas, meat, legumes. Helps release energy from foods; promotes normal appetite; important in function of nervous system. Mental confusion; muscle weakness, wasting; edema; impaired growth; beriberi. None known. Losses depend on cooking method, length, alkalinity of cooking medium; destroyed by sulfite used to treat dried fruits such as apricots; dissolves in cooking water.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Liver, milk, dark green vegetables, whole and enriched grain products, eggs. Helps release energy from foods; promotes good vision, healthy skin. Cracks at corners of mouth; dermatitis around nose and lips; eyes sensitive to light. None known. Sensitive to light; unstable in alkaline solutions.
Niacin (nicotinamide, nicotinic acid)
Liver, fish, poultry, meat, peanuts, whole and enriched grain products. Energy production from foods; aids digestion, promotes normal appetite; promotes healthy skin, nerves. Skin disorders; diarrhea; weakness; mental confusion; irritability. Abnormal liver function; cramps; nausea; irritability.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine)
Pork, meats, whole grains and cereals, legumes, green, leafy vegetables. Aids in protein metabolism, absorption; aids in red blood cell formation; helps body use fats. Skin disorders, dermatitis, cracks at corners of mouth; irritability; anemia; kidney stones; nausea; smooth tongue. None known.
Folacin (folic acid)
Liver, kidney, dark green leafy vegetables, meats, fish, whole grains, fortified grains and cereals, legumes, citrus fruits. Aids in protein metabolism; promotes red blood cell formation; prevents birth defects of spine, brain; lowers homocystein levels and thus coronary heart disease risk. Anemia; smooth tongue; diarrhea. May mask vitamin B12deficiency (pernicious anemia). Easily destroyed by storing, cooking and other processing.
Vitamin B12
Found only in animal foods: meats, liver, kidney, fish, eggs, milk and milk products, oysters, shellfish. Aids in building of genetic material; aids in development of normal red blood cells; maintenance of nervous system. Pernicious anemia, anemia; neurological disorders; degeneration of peripheral nerves that may cause numbness, tingling in fingers and toes. None known.
Pantothenic acid
Liver, kidney, meats, egg yolk, whole grains, legumes; also made by intestinal bacteria. Involved in energy production; aids in formation of hormones. None known. About half of pantothenic acid is lost in the milling of grains and heavily refined foods.
Liver, kidney, egg yolk, milk, most fresh vegetables, also made by intestinal bacteria. Helps release energy from carbohydrates; aids in fat synthesis. Uncommon under normal circumstances; fatigue; loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting; depression; muscle pains; anemia. None known.


 Bottom Line

If you want to get the message without doing the reading, eat the following in larger quantities during the winter months:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Water – stay hydrated year round
  • Chocolate – has many mood elevators
  • Citrus – especially oranges, limes and lemons
  • Nuts and Seeds – they contain selenium which will help you avoid the winter blues
  • Whole gains – remember whole grains
  • Cultured Yogurt – will help maintain your digestive system
  • Dark Green Vegetables – spinach, peas, kale all have iron which will help your blood
  • Legumes
  • Turkey
  • Cranberries
  • Winter Squash


Eat healthy and feel better.  Click on the highlighted links above for much more information on each subject and as always please ask me anything you’d like – jughandle



Limes – Why are there no seeds?

I have wondered for years why lemons have seeds and limes don’t.  No one could really give me a good answer until now.


LA times article

by David Karp


In General

If you’d like to read the whole article, just click on the link above.  I’m going to paraphrase a bit of it here.

Mr. Karp states that in the last 10 years or so there has been a boom in the quantity and variety of limes and their brethren here in the United States.  California, of course is a major producer.

Most of us think of a lime as the big green thing that looks like and is about the same size of a lemon.  Those are Persian limes or Tahitian or Bearss varieties and aren’t considered “true” limes. True limes are native to India or Asia and are known in the US as Mexican, Key or West Indian limes.  They are distinctive because they are small, round, very acidic with seeds and tend to be more sour than the Persian limes.  True limes also will yellow as they ripen in our cool winter climate.

The reason there are no seeds 

And now for the reason there are no seeds in our most common, Persian limes.  Originally, botanists gave the larger limes like the Persians their own “species” name, C. latifolia.  But now, scientists understand that they are a natural hybrid of the true lime.  You see, most citrus have two sets of chromosomes, but the large fruited limes have three.  The three sets of chromosomes makes them sterile and therefore seedless.  Mystery solved.


I for one am very intrigued with the options available to us now.  I love lemons and limes.  They add just the perfect acid and flavor to drinks and dishes.  If you haven’t tried a Meyer Lemon, you are in for a treat.  Meyers look like a lemon but taste like a combination of lemon and orange.  I grow Meyer Lemons and Persian limes at home in pots and if I can do it anyone can do it.  They produce 8 to 15 fruits on each of my 5 plants each year and the blooms smell amazing.

What to look for

Sweet Lime – these are a hybrid of citron and either sweet or sour orange.  They are small, round with a prominent nipple.  The are yellow when rip and have a pale yellow pulp.  They are very low in acid and their flavor is appreciated most by Latin American and Middle Eastern cultures





Kaffir Lime – these limes are related to “true” limes and are best known for the use of their leaves in Thai cooking.  The fruit is round with a nob on the top and a bumpy rind.  They are bitter and seedy.  If harvested at all, the fruit is used in hair wash and insect repellent.





Finger Lime – these bad boys are long and skinny like a finger and grow up to 3 inches long.  The skin is thin and the fruit has firm juice vesicles that pop on the tongue like caviar.  The flavor is a combination of lime and lemon with herbaceous notes.





Rangpur Lime – these look like a mandarin orange which are medium sized and flattish with seeds.  They are orange  and are referred to as Mandarin Limes.   They are native to India and is actually a hybrid of citron and mandarin.  The rind and juice have a clean spicy flavor with is great in cocktails and marmalade.


I’m looking forward to trying some of the different varieties as they become available.  If you are a plant enthusiast  you should try growing your own limes and lemons.  Don’t let them dry out and feed them often and you’ll have fruit the year round.  Even though the plant blooms in cooler weather, the fruit will develop slowly and remain on the tree until you are ready for them.  Once you have cut into a lime or lemon that you just picked from your own tree and have it be so juicy it squirts you in the eye, you will never go back.  – jughandle