Florida Ruby Red Grapefruit Rated Tops in Sweetness

ruby_red_redoOur Ruby Red Grapefruit are blushing — and with good reason. Considered by many grapefruit lovers to be the tastiest and sweetest of all grapefruit varieties, Florida Ruby Red Grapefruit have been called the “Rolls-Royce” of citrus fruit. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a comparative evaluation of U.S. fruit shipped to the European Union a few years ago, Florida’s Ruby Red Grapefruit earned top honors. Florida Ruby Reds were judged to have the highest sugar content and thinnest skin of all grapefruit varieties grown in the U.S.

All that fresh juicy sweetness packs a considerable nutritional punch. Not only does half a medium grapefruit contain just 40 calories, but all Florida Grapefruit varieties are excellent sources of vitamin C. According to the USDA, half of a medium grapefruit (about 1/2 cup) provides 70% of the recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamin C, 5% of recommended daily fiber intake and 2% of your daily calcium requirement. But hidden in their festive red color, Florida Ruby Reds pack a few extra nutritional benefits not found in their pale White Grapefruit cousins.

Like other red-colored fruits and vegetables, including Red Navel Oranges, festive Florida Ruby Red Grapefruit are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes healthy eye sight, providing 23% of RDA. Ruby Reds also contain a generous dose of lycopene which may help prevent heart disease and has been linked to a decreased risk of ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. In fact, in a 2007 Florida study comparing the nutritional densities of various fruit juices, Florida Ruby Red Grapefruit juice was declared the clear winner, followed by orange juice and white grapefruit juice – no wonder our Ruby Reds are blushing!

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Florida Tangerines: Small But Mighty Nutrition Super Stars

Florida Tangerines may be slightly smaller than Florida Oranges, but they shine just as brightly on the nutritional stage. A medium-sized Florida Tangerine has just 50 calories, and packs a huge nutritional punch. Just one of these nutritional super stars (and who can eat just one?) provides half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, a lengthy list of beneficial vitamins and minerals, and several times more disease-fighting antioxidants than an orange.

Once called “Christmas oranges” because they were a handy size to stuff into the toes of children’s Christmas stockings, tangerines didn’t arrive in North America until the mid-1800s. Believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, this sweet, tasty citrus fruit arrived in Europe in the early 19th century through the North African port of Tangier, Morocco; hence its name. Today, Florida is the top U.S. producer of tangerines.

Lunchbox favorites, Florida Tangerines have a thin, bright orange, easy-to-peel skin. When peeled, they break easily into juicy, bite-sized sections; perfect for snacking out of hand or tossing into salads, yogurt, cereal or smoothies. Low-cal and fat, cholesterol and sodium-free, sweet Florida Tangerines make a guilt-free addition to weight-loss menus.

In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin C, Florida Tangerines contain many essential vitamins and minerals important to good health, including vitamins A, B6 and E and thiamin, folate, riboflavin, niacin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and copper. Like all Florida citrus, Florida Tangerines are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber; but they also contain more disease-fighting antioxidant flavonoids than most other citrus fruits. A daily Florida Tangerine promotes healthy skin and strong bones, nourishes the immune system and may reduce the risk of cancer, arthritis, coronary heart disease and obesity.

Choose Florida Tangerines that feel heavy for their size, have a rich orange color, and are free of soft or brown spots. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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Red Color Gives Red Navel Oranges an Extra Nutritional Punch

Cara_Cara_OrangesA holiday favorite because of their brilliant red flesh, Florida Red Navel Oranges are only available from FloridaOrange.com in December. Like Florida Navel Oranges, their non-blushing cousins, sweet red navels are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. Providing more than 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, navel oranges are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin B1, potassium, vitamin A and calcium. A slimming 60 calories and fat, cholesterol and salt-free, Florida Navel Oranges are recognized as one of the world’s healthiest foods. But in addition to all the nutritional benefits packed into the skin of every Florida Navel Orange, the bright red flesh of Florida Red Navel Oranges provides an extra nutritional kick not found in their paler cousins.

WebMD calls red fruits and vegetables “the new health powerhouse.” The flavonoids and phytonutrients that give Florida Red Navel Oranges and other red fruits and vegetables their vibrant scarlet color have special immune system-boosting properties that help your body fight off disease and infection. Red fruits and vegetables are packed with powerful antioxidants, including lycopene and anthocyanins, that neutralize the free radicals associated with cancer and many chronic diseases.

• Lycopene may help protect against prostate, cervical, lung and possibly breast cancer. It also helps decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and improves blood vessel function which can decrease your risk of stroke, heart attack and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60.

• Anthocyanins are the pigments that give red navels their bright hue, but they are also antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help your body’s immune system fight off disease, bacteria and cancer.

Don’t miss out on this delicious holiday treat. Red navels are only available in December and supplies may be limited, so order fresh-picked Florida Red Navel Oranges and Red Navel Deluxe Mixes from FloridaFarms.com early before they’re gone!

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Florida Tangelos Are Flavorful Result of Ancient Pollination Accident

Somewhere in Southeast Asia more than 3,500 years ago, a bee’s erratic flight led to the accidental pollination between a mandarin orange and a grapefruit. The result was a fruit that shared characteristics with of many of its citrus cousins but had a flavor uniquely its own. Nearly 34 centuries later, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cultivated a new tangelo hybrid in Florida in the 1930s. The Florida Tangelo is the luscious modern incarnation of that ancient Asian ancestor.

Unique citrus hybrids, Florida Tangelos have the easy-to-peel skins and well-developed sections of Florida Tangerines, the sweet juiciness of Florida Navel Oranges and the delicious tanginess of Florida grapefruit. It’s as if Mother Nature tossed the citrus gene pool in a blender and pushed pulse. The flavorful result makes Florida Tangelos a delicious choice for fall snacking. Easy sectioning and few seeds also make Florida Tangelos a favorite addition to fruit and lettuce salads.

Only available from mid-November to December, Florida Tangelos are superior to those grown in other parts of the country. The limestone bedrock that underlies Florida’s citrus orchards produces particularly flavorful, high quality Tangelos that are prized for their bright orange color, large size, appealing sweetness and distinctive taste.

At about 60 calories, a medium-size Florida Tangelo provides 45% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C which may help prevent heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis and age-related macular degeneration. Packed with many other essential vitamins and minerals, fresh, ripe Florida Tangelos are also an excellent source of powerful disease-fighting antioxidants and flavonoids, making them a super health food that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Florida Tangelos may be one of the lesser know members of the Florida citrus family, but they pack a healthy wallop!

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Health Benefits of Florida Navel Oranges

There’s much more to Florida navel oranges than vitamin C. Well known for their high vitamin C content – one 8-ounce glass of Florida orange juice supplies 100% or more of the daily recommended requirement for vitamin C — Florida navel oranges are also an excellent natural source of other essential nutrients, including vitamin B, folate, dietary fiber and potassium. But the health benefits of Florida navel oranges also include antioxidants and phytochemicals vital in protecting the body against illness and potentially life-threatening chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.

To promote good health, nutritionists recommend eating 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. To obtain maximum nutrition from the food you eat, choose fresh fruits and vegetables and freshly squeezed juices whenever possible. Fewer vitamins and nutrients are lost when fruits and vegetables come directly from the growing source as they do when you purchase fresh-picked Florida citrus from FloridaOrange.com.

Low in calories and 100% fat, salt and cholesterol free, Florida navel oranges are a healthy choice if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. They also offer an impressive list of health benefits:

• Vitamin C promotes healthy growth of collagen and connective tissues, promotes wound healing and tissue repair, aids treatment of anemia and stress, reduces the length of colds, helps prevent cataract formation, helps prevents free radical damage associated with cancer and chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and stroke..

• Complex carbohydrates boost energy and help stabilize blood sugar.

• Dietary fiber aids digestion and helps prevent colon cancer.

• Folate promotes new cell production and healthy growth and helps prevent neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida.

• Potassium plays a role in muscle contraction and maintaining healthy blood pressure.

• Phytochemcials protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Give yourself a healthy boost; order fresh-picked Florida navel oranges from FloridaOrange.com today!

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How Did Florida Navel Oranges Get Their ‘Bellybutton’?

How Florida navel oranges got their name is no mystery. The protuberance at the blossom end of this distinctive-looking orange looks like a human bellybutton, hence the “navel” in its name. But what put the navel in Florida navel oranges? The secret to the mystery is revealed when you peel and pull apart these juicy eating oranges.

Inside each Florida navel orange, you will see what looks like another very tiny orange at the blossom, or navel, end of the fruit. In fact, this small growth, which scientists call a conjoined twin, is actually a second, fully formed but miniature orange. This unusual orange within an orange is the result of a genetic mutation that prevents the interior orange from growing to maturity.

The origin of the mutation that created America’s favorite eating orange has been traced back to a happy accident that occurred in the citrus grove of a Brazilian monastery in the mid-1800s. As recounted on a 2009 NPR broadcast, a Presbyterian missionary discovered oranges with an unusual bellybutton protuberance growing on a single branch of an orange tree. Intrigued, he opened the orange and discovered a small orange inside that was deliciously sweet and seedless.

Aware of the promise of his discovery, the missionary took cuttings and began to propagate orange trees that bore this delicious new type of orange fruit. Cuttings from the original plant shared with friends and the U.S. Department of Agriculture brought navel oranges to the United States where Florida’s climate proved to be an ideal growing environment.

Because seedless navel oranges are unable to reproduce naturally, Florida orange growers achieve propagation by grafting sprouted buds onto the trunks and roots of other citrus trees. The sweet, juicy Florida navel oranges you order from FloridaOrange.com today are all genetic clones of the original navel orange! When you bite into a succulent navel orange from FloridaOrange.com, you are biting into a piece of history!

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Why US Citrus is Better than Imported Citrus

It is becoming more and more apparent just how important it is to consume products that are grown in or originate from the United States. Citrus makes up one fifth of all of the fruit that is consumed in the United States. While the temptation to consume imported citrus is there, make sure you are an informed consumer to understand any potential health issues.

EPA Standards

Growers in the United States adhere to standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA sets strict guidelines for which chemicals can be used in the United States for produce. Even though citrus fruits have a peel, chemicals can still be absorbed into the peel or remain on the peel, making the fruit dangerous for human consumption. EPA standards ensure that all fruit that is consumed is safe for us to eat.

Spreading Of Disease

A few agricultural diseases are spread from both citrus fruit and seeds. For example, citrus canker originated in citrus fruit that was imported from Australia. This disease is identified by lesions that appear on the leaves, twigs and fruits of citrus trees. If given a suitable environment, the disease can easily be introduced to other parts of the world.

To maintain good health for people in the United States as well as protect our own citrus trees, it is important to be cautious about importing citrus products from outside the United States. With all our products grown by local growers in Florida, you can rest assured that our citrus selections are safe and healthful for you to consume.

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