Kumquat: properties, benefits and nutritional value

You probably know it by another name. The China orange is one of the most exotic and least consumed fruits, but the time has come: you must put a kumquat in your life.

kumquat

How many times have you heard the phrase “China orange”? Well, oranges from China do exist and are better known by the name of Kumquat. They are a small citrus fruit, with a smooth and thin skin, edible, and are a real nutritional treasure. The Kumquat, originally from China, is consumed whole and its skin is edible, a little sweet, however, the inside is more bitter with an acid point.

In fact, there are certain varieties of which only the skin is consumed. In the Iberian Peninsula, it is harvested during the months of January and February as it changes from green to orange. And the person responsible for introducing this fruit in Europe was the English botanist Robert Fortune in the mid-nineteenth century and called it Fortunella Margarita.

What is kumquat?

Kumquat is a perfect citrus fruit for making jams and jellies, and delicious meat sauces similar to chutney can be prepared. In Asia, kumquat pickles in vinegar are also made, and in Hong Kong there is a typical dessert of kumquat in syrup. It can be kept at room temperature for about 4 days and a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

As it belongs to the citrus family, it is rich in Vitamin C, potassium and folic acid. It has a large amount of fiber. It has antioxidant properties thanks to carotenoids (oxalic, tartaric, malic and citric acid). To a lesser extent, it contains minerals and trace elements such as magnesium and calcium, which is why the WHO recommends its consumption.

Also, the skin of these foods is fleshy, thin and in most species, edible. The outer layer is usually somewhat spicy, while the inner layer is sweet. The pulp is not too fleshy or juicy. It is found in acidic fruits such as orange, lime or lemon. In addition, it contains small green and white seeds inside. They ripen very slowly while a color change is observed.

Properties

kumquat

Kumquats are rich in vitamin C like other citrus fruits such as acerola, orange, tangerine, grapefruit and lemon. In addition, they also provide us with proteins and fiber, which in proportion, is in quantity superior to many other fruits.

Although in smaller quantities, these fruits also provide us with other vitamins such as B and E. They also provide minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Both the seeds and the skin of the fruits are edible. Both provide us with omega 3. Similarly, kumquats are hydrating foods with 80% water in their composition.

Average nutritional value per 100 grams

Calories 71 kcal
Carbohydrates 15.9 gr
Sodium 10 mg
Water 80.85 mg
Protein 1.88 g
Vitamin A 290 UI
Vitamin C 43.9 mg
Vitamin B-9 17 mg
Calcium 62 mg
Potassium 186 mg
Match 19 mg
Sodium 10 mg

 

Health benefits

These fruits are ideal to include in our diet. Thanks to the nutritional properties of these citrus fruits, kumquat is a delicious and eye-catching fruit with excellent health benefits.

Antioxidant

Unlike other citrus fruits, Chinese oranges contain more antioxidants in the peel than in the pulp. They are rich in antioxidant plant compounds such as flavonoids and phytosterols. In addition, these fruits also provide us with essential oils that are very beneficial to our health. In addition, vitamins C and E are excellent antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals that accumulate in our body.

Good for pregnant women

Kumquat contains folic acid, an essential vitamin in the processes of cell division and multiplication that take place in the first months of pregnancy, although its acid composition can cause acidity.

Indicated in cases of anemia

Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron from food, so the Kumquat is recommended in cases of iron deficiency anemia, accompanying iron-rich foods or supplements of this mineral as this accelerates recovery.

Natural antiseptic

The citric acid content makes it a fruit with antiseptic properties on the digestive and urinary tract. In addition, it alkalinizes the urine, which benefits those who have kidney stones (especially uric acid salts) and facilitates the elimination of uric acid.

Satiating effect

This fruit provides a significant amount of fiber that promotes intestinal transit and reduces the rate of gastric emptying. Therefore, it is very useful in slimming diets, since its consumption produces a feeling of satiety.

Ideal for weight control

This fruit is rich in fiber and water. Thanks to this composition, it is a natural satiating, ideal to avoid snacking and to follow a slimming diet.

Cholesterol-lowering properties

The phytosterols in this citrus fruit have a chemical structure similar to that of cholesterol. For this reason, they may be favorable for blocking the absorption of cholesterol in our body.

Also, as the following study shows, kumquats extract helps to reduce blood sugar. Also, total cholesterol, bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. [2]

Strengthens our natural defenses

As a common feature in all citrus fruits, kumquats are rich in vitamin C. In addition, this fruit provides us with other plant nutrients that help us to strengthen our immune system.

How to eat kumquat?

kumquat

They are usually used as decorative elements in dishes of different recipes. The cluster of is very nice to see next to its shiny leaves. Most of the fruits can be eaten raw, and have a sweet, sour, aromatic and spicy taste.

They are usually eaten with the skin on, as you would eat a grape. In this way, they can be eaten whole or sliced in a very decorative way in salads or cocktails. The sweetness of the fruit is found in its peel which also has acidic overtones, while the pulp is bitter.

Try holding it between your thumb and forefinger and roll it back and forth gently several times. In this way, you release the essential oils into the skin. Put it in your mouth whole, discarding the seeds as you would a grape. As a result, you will feel a delicious burst of sweet and sour citrus flavor.

Also, it is recommended to chew these fruits well, the more you chew, the sweeter it will be and the better the essential oils are released.

Why should you eat kumquat?

This dwarf orange-shaped fruit from Asia is the only citrus fruit that has an edible skin and does not need to be peeled, making it the perfect snack between meals. You can even use it as a food to replenish your energy after a gym session. You will replenish fluids and thanks to its high fiber content, you will feel satiated. Something super important to avoid the temptation of some ultra-processed snack.

The China orange is not only rich in Vitamin C, but also in potassium, folic acid and carotenoids, which make it a strong antioxidant and a very depurative fruit. It seems incredible that something so small can be so beneficial. But it is true. We already carry it in our bag as a ‘healthy’ snack.

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