Ask the experts: Nutrition content of citrus fruit

Q. “For a refreshing drink, I enjoy sliced citrus fruit — such as lemon and orange — added to a cup of boiling water. In this form, would I also be enjoying the benefits of vitamin C that citrus fruit offers? Is the nutritional goodness in the flesh or in the juice?"

Kerry (via email)

A. HFG senior nutritionist Rose Carr answers:

Vitamin C is one of the more unstable nutrients, easily destroyed by air, light and high temperatures, so the amount of vitamin C available from your hot drinks will be less than from eating the same amount of fresh citrus. The vitamin C we get from citrus is mostly from the juice, although the peel is also rich in vitamin C, so if you use the zest you’re getting more. But in terms of nutritional goodness, don’t forget the fibre which you get when you eat the flesh.

First published: Dec 2011

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