Yoga & Fitness

When Should You Avoid Eating Citrus Fruits? Steps To Take

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Winter brings along a number of infections and illnesses that require our utmost care. Besides maintaining proper hygiene, it is also important to eat foods that have immunity-boosting properties. This includes citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes. They are not only rich in vitamin C and fibre but also packed with various antioxidants that strengthen our immune system and protect us against deadly pathogens. However, while citrus fruits offer numerous health benefits, they can be problematic for certain individuals.

Also Read: 7 Benefits Of Using Vitamin C Rich Skincare Products

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic condition where stomach acid continues to flow back into the oesophagus, leading to irritation and symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.

Speaking with the OnlyMyHealth team, Dr Amit Miglani, Director and HOD-Gastroenterology, Asian Hospital, Faridabad, said, “Citrus fruits are rich in acidic content and can aggravate acid reflux symptoms,” adding that the high degree of acidity might irritate the oesophagus and aggravate heartburn.

In a 2006 review involving about 400 patients with GERD, 72% reported increased heartburn after having either orange or grapefruit juice. The study was published in the Journal JAMA Internal Medicine and found that other factors, including carbonated beverages, spicy food, fatty foods, coffee, and late-evening meals, also increase symptoms of acid reflux.

The key is to choose low-acid types of citrus fruits whenever feasible and have them in moderation, according to Dr Miglani.

Oral Health Issues

While citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C, which is necessary for healthy gums, their acidic content makes them harmful for tooth enamel. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), frequent consumption of acidic foods and beverages can increase the risk of erosive tooth wear. This includes foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.

Also Read: The Truth Behind Your Smile: Crucial Facts About Teeth And Oral Health

Citrus Allergy

Citrus allergy is a rare allergic reaction to proteins found in citrus fruits. It usually occurs when the immune system misreads a harmless allergen and starts attacking it to defend your body, according to Medical News Today.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, including itching, swelling, hives, difficulty breathing, or anaphylaxis.

Individuals with pollen allergies could be more at risk of developing a citrus allergy due to a phenomenon called cross-reactivity. Those who have the condition should avoid consuming citrus fruits and/or products containing citrus ingredients.

What To Do?

If you experience any discomfort after eating citrus fruits, it is advisable to replace them with non-acidic alternatives like berries, melons, or apples. Opt for fruits that are gentler on the stomach.

Monitor how your body reacts to citrus fruits and speak with your doctor in case of any symptoms.

Persistent gastrointestinal issues, such as acidity and heartburn, should not be ignored. Seek professional guidance and make the necessary amends for quicker relief.

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