It has been well known for a number of years that eating fruits and vegetables is good for you. However, until recently, we were only able to identify a few of the agents-in addition to fiber-that made plant foods so healthy. Now science is discovering a vast array of plant chemicals that lower our risk for many chronic diseases.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans states, “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables of different kinds, as part of the healthful eating patterns described by these guidelines, may help protect you against many chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for health.” These “other substances” include a number of plant chemicals including indole3-carbinol, isoflavones, phytosterols, d-limonene, lutein, flavonoids, and many others not yet identified. Many of these plant chemicals have profound effects on cellular function, protecting cell DNA from damage and helping the cells to replicate properly.
One plant component that is of particular interest is d-limonene. This compound is classified as a monoterpene, found abundantly in a number of fruit peels, but is significantly high in concentration in the rinds of grapefruits, tangerines, oranges, and lemons. In addition to their high antioxidant content, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and fiber, we can add d-limonene to the health promoting ingredient list found in citrus fruits. Essential oil extracted from these peels contains a concentrated amount of the essential plant component d-limonene. This plant constituent is extremely safe and is often used in institutional and household cleaning supplies in place of more caustic ingredients. *
In the body, d-limonene is found to possess a cleansing property of sorts. Clinical studies show that d-limonene induces the body to increase the production of certain enzymes that help break down specific toxins. This substance also increases the body’s ability to break down old and worn out cells, preventing them from lingering in the body and becoming toxic. It also assists the body’s ability to keep mutated cells from replicating and spreading throughout the body. *
Extensive clinical research points out that taking steps as simple as including an abundance of fruits and vegetables in your diet and supplementing with d-limonene-rich oils are highly protective to body cells and may add years to your life. This is another important reason for including the life enhancing benefits of essential oils as part of your healthy lifestyle.*
D-limonene is most prevalent in citrus oils such as Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, and Citrus Fresh. Other Oils that contain d-limonene include: Elemi, Pine, Bergamot, Ledum, Dill, Frankincense, Fir, Spearmint.Reprinted with permission of Young Living, Lehi, UT 84043