Monday, December 27, 2021

Here Comes 2022: To Your Health!


The new year is upon us, and just as we were getting back into the swing of things with holiday family gatherings and more, another COVID variant has us, once again, in a bit of a tailspin. Now, as we venture forth into an uncertain new year, we wonder: Can I make traditional resolutions? Will eating right make a difference in keeping me healthy? How can I nurture my mental health? Here in our household in the days leading to Christmas, we all started feeling under the weather. Fortunately, we had a whole gift basket full of delicious citrus from Florida Fruit Shippers, and after diving into them (I personally had a grapefruit every day), we soon felt a lot better. With this experience in mind, I wanted to delve further into the magical power of citrus to effect better health and better moods, with the hope that it will help us all enjoy a better new year.


Getting healthier is an almost universal New Year's resolution that can be aspired to anytime, Omicron variant or not.  While our physical health is vitally important, our mental health too needs some extra TLC during these unchartered times. Here at Florida Fruit Shippers, we are committed to bolstering your health journey with the support of citrus. Yes, citrus has been proven to have quantifiable positive effects not only through its better-known immunity-enhancing qualities, but also on your mental health. Let's examine some of the ways that oranges and other citrus foods can be your all-inclusive health ally during challenging times.


Citrus is water-rich, and getting adequate water intake is critical in keeping those cells hydrated and resilient. The water contained in a single orange is enough to satisfy half a cup towards your daily water intake. More hydration means better cognitive function and better flushing of toxins out of your system, making you feel better both mentally and physically. Want even more water out of your citrus? Drink freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices and watch your cognitive function soar; the flavonoids in citrus juices can enhance blood flow to the brain.

Oranges and grapefruits of all varieties are also full of good fiber; a single piece of citrus can provide over twelve percent of your daily recommended fiber intake.  Fiber keeps your gut healthy; this not only assists in keeping you regular, but also helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and contribute to better sleep.  Another bonus of the high fiber content in citrus is that it makes you feel fuller longer, thereby contributing to weight management.  These physical benefits also do a great service to your mood, and here's a little-known bonus: our guts contain a large number of neurons, second only to the brain.  Happy nerves make better moods.


Many health-conscious foodies are aware that oranges are superheroes in the antioxidant department.  Known as flavonoids, the antioxidants in oranges are well-known to combat oxidative stress, fight cancer, and have antibiotic anti-inflammatory properties. In the good mood department, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that flavonoids have also been shown to help combat depression. Flavonoids are plentiful in the bright, orange-colored rind, or zest.  For maximum health benefits, it is recommended that you consume one tablespoon of zest per week. 


Feeling blue? Get orange! The mere smell of citrus fruits has long been known to have a positive, uplifting effect on the mood. By their very essence, a simple orange or grapefruit is a natural aromatherapy tool, with no fancy equipment or expensive products needed.  Just sniffing the outside of an orange or grapefruit might do the trick. To intensify the experience, scrape or pierce the rind to release the essential oil aromas, close your eyes, and inhale deeply. Most people describe the effect of citrus aromatherapy as equally uplifting and anxiety-easing. Best of all, there are no side effects or contraindications.

Wishing you a healthy, happy 2022, both inside and out.


 7 Health Benefits of Oranges, According to a Nutritionist |

Why Citrus Fruits Induce a Feeling of Calm - Grace & Lightness Magazine (

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Saturday, December 11, 2021

The Tradition of Giving Oranges for Christmas


Oranges for Christmas

Ties, slippers, bicycles, video game consoles, chocolates, and (inexplicably) fruitcake are all staples of holiday gift-giving. But no gift suits the Christmas tradition better than oranges.  Long touted in Asia as "the fruit of life," receiving an orange in ancient times was considered a tremendous honor, due to the belief that oranges held magical powers that could ward off evil and bring good fortune.  Today, receiving an orange in one's stocking or a gift basket of citrus fruits and other goodies is a timeless gift that has its roots in Christmases of times long ago.

A Little History

The tradition of giving oranges for Christmas can be traced back to the early 19th century, when people started hanging stockings on their mantels. According to one of the classic legends of Saint Nicholas, there were three sisters who couldn't afford their dowries for marriage.  Jolly ol' St. Nick threw three pieces of gold down their chimney, which landed, one each, in three stockings that were hanging on the fireplace mantel to dry. When the "Night Before Christmas" was published and widely received in 1823, the tradition of hanging stockings for Christmas was born, and a sweet orange placed in the stocking's toe was used to represent good fortune for the recipient and the generosity of a magnanimous Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus.

A Little More History

During the Great Depression, oranges and other citrus fruits were a delicacy and very hard to come by.  Giving citrus as a gift was considered generous, and to receive even a single orange or tangerine was a luxurious treat.  Even well into the twentieth century, oranges were not easily accessible in cold midwestern and northern states. Oranges made for an exotic and refreshing gift during the holidays, one that northerners would cherish since citrus wasn't readily available. With the advent of mass-produced confections and the newer tradition of overconsumption, parents appreciated the natural, healthy sweetness of oranges as a fresh alternative to all of the heavy holiday foods and desserts.

What About Today?

These days, folks almost anywhere can go to a big box store and buy a bag of citrus. However, the quality of produce available en masse is questionable at best. Both taste and nutrition are directly impacted by the quality of the fruit and the care in which it is grown, harvested, and transported.  So, while more people these days may have regular access to a mediocre orange or grapefruit, few people have ever tasted and experienced both the pleasure and nutrition of a high-quality fruit that is truly gift-worthy. In the spirit of sustaining a longstanding and healthy Christmas tradition, it makes sense to make sure that the citrus you gift is from a reliable source that has many wonderful gift-giving options.

From all of us here at Florida Fruit Shippers, we wish you and yours a happy, healthy, Merry Christmas!


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