Inside Cal Poly Logo

New Year, New Decade; It’s Time to Squeeze the Day

With so much to be thankful for in the new year, we’re taking the time to be especially appreciative of citrus fruits — one of the most popular food ingredients around the world. Their bright colors, great tastes and immense nutritious value put them in the limelight as a great way to kick off the new year, and are just a few of the reasons we chose them to be this month’s SuperFood.

Originally discovered in Southeast Asia, citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, limes and mandarins. You know you’ve got a citrus fruit when you bite into the pulpy, usually sour flesh after peeling away the rind. These juicy fruits can take your diet to the next level in many different ways, be it adding zest to a salad, freshness to a smoothie, or pucker to a main dish.

Across the board, citrus fruits provide your body with a plethora of healthy vitamins and minerals. They are primarily packed with vitamin C, which fights against cancer and heart disease, and the common cold. They are also loaded with fiber, cleaning your body of excess cholesterol, and potassium, keeping your heart beating regularly. Citrus plants are high in antioxidants, which have been said to slow the aging process.

You can find citrus fruits at Campus and Village markets, and at salad bars around campus. Keep scrolling to learn more about fruits in the citrus family.


These round fruits have appeared on dining tables across the country for decades — and, if you’re wondering, the color orange is named after the fruit, not vice versa.

Most oranges that appear in grocery stores come from Brazil or Florida, and are harvested by hand. Just one orange gives you all the vitamin C you need for a whole day, making them the perfect midday pick-me-up snack.

As far as orange juice, the average American consumes 2.7 gallons of orange juice a year, making it the most consumed juice.


Lemons are evergreen, producing fruit all year round. One lemon tree can produce up to 600 pounds per year, and can live for more than 100 years.

Lemons are multi-purpose fruits — their zest can be used in baking, their leaves make great teas, and their high acidic content makes them perfect cleaning agents!

Most lemons in the U.S. come from California and Arizona and the most common types are Meyer, Lisbon, and Eureka.


Tangerines have long been the go-to easy peeler citrus, and a perfectly sized for small snacking.

Tangerines are named after Tangier, Morocco, the port from which they where they were first shipped to Europe. The small citrus first appeared in the U.S. in New Orleans, and later was commercially grown in Florida, along with the Sunshine State’s more famous crop, oranges.


Grapefruit are large and carry quite a bit of juice, up to 75 percent juice typically. Squeezing one grapefruit could yield up to 2/3 of a cup of juice.

Most grapefruits come from Florida, but they are also grown in a small area in Texas, and are the official fruit of the Lone Star State.

Grapefruit trees can reach up to 30 feet tall and a single tree can produce up to 1,500 pounds of fruit.