The mandarins orange (Citrus reticulata) also known as the mandarin or mandarine, is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges, usually eaten plain or in fruit salads. Specifically reddish-orange mandarin cultivars can be marketed as tangerines, but this is not a botanical classification.
Mandarins are smaller and oblate, rather than spherical like the common oranges (which are a mandarin hybrid). The taste is considered less sour, as well as sweeter and stronger. A ripe mandarin is firm to slightly soft, heavy for its size, and pebbly-skinned. Mandarins are generally peeled and eaten fresh. The fresh fruit is also used in salads, desserts and main dishes. With the sweetness one would thought it end there but alas nature has more in stock, the health benefits and nutritional values of mandarins is enormous. In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried peel of the fruit is used in the regulation of ch’i, and also used to treat abdominal distension, to enhance digestion, and to reduce phlegm. Mandarins have also been used in ayurveda (traditional medicine of India).
The Nutritional Values Of Mandarin.
Mandarin orange contains 85% water, 13% carbohydrates, and negligible amounts of fat and protein (table). Among micronutrients, only vitamin C is in significant content (32% of the Daily nutritional Values) in a 100 gram reference serving, with all other nutrients in low amounts.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.31 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.8 g||5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.216 mg||4%|
|Vitamin C||26.7 mg||44%|
|Vitamin A||681 IU||23%|
|Vitamin E||0.20 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||0 µg||0%|
The Health Benefits Of Mandarins.
As in oranges, Mandarins too are very low (53 calories/100 g) in calories. Nevertheless, they are valuable sources of flavonoid antioxidants like naringenin, naringin, hesperetin, vitamin-A, carotenes, xanthins, and lutein; in fact, many times higher than in the oranges the more reason we have other health benefits listed below.
The antioxidants in mandarin oranges can lower your bad cholesterol levels. They do this by combating the free radicals that oxidize your cholesterol, which makes the cholesterol stick to your artery walls, This causes blood to slow down when moving in the arteries, which can increase your risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. The attachment to the arteries can also cause an increase in liver disease as well.
Mandarin oranges are a good source of dietary fiber, with 3 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving. Regularly eating fiber helps you feel fuller longer, reducing your desire or need to eat more food, assisting in weight loss. Women should consume about 25 grams of fiber daily, and men need about 38 grams. Adding mandarin oranges to your meals often can supply you a significant part of this daily requirement.
Inhibits the Growth of Leukemia.
Mandarin oranges contain tangeretin, a flavone found in citrus peels which studies have shown help reduce the risk of leukemia.
Mandarin oranges offer a small amount of potassium. This mineral is an electrolyte that maintains fluid balance in your body. Potassium dissolves in solution and plays a role in conducting electricity through your system, a process that keeps your heart beating at a steady rate. You need 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day, reports the Linus Pauling Institute. One medium-sized mandarin offers about 150 milligrams of potassium.
Improves Eyes Health.
Adding mandarin oranges to your diet can aid in keeping your eyes healthy. Mandarins provide vitamin A, a nutrient that protects your retinas and improves night vision. Women need 700 micrograms of daily vitamin A, while men require 900 micrograms, explains the Linus Pauling Institute. Enjoying a medium mandarin orange as an afternoon snack adds about 30 micrograms of vitamin A to your diet.
Provides You Immunity.
The high vitamin C content of mandarin oranges can help reduce your risk of illness. Vitamin C has two big functions for immunity. It helps boost your immune system so that your body can fight off foreign bacteria. Vitamin C also acts like an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals that feed on cells. Free radicals damage cellular walls, leading to chronic conditions, such as cancer and heart disease. To keep your body healthy, consume the recommended amount of daily vitamin C. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, women need 75 milligrams and men require 90 milligrams. Enjoying one medium mandarin orange offers nearly 25 milligrams of this beneficial vitamin.
Maintain Your Calories.
A medium-sized mandarin orange that is 2 1/2 inches in diameter provides approximately 45 calories. This low-calorie serving of fruit fits perfectly into your diet, especially if you are on a weight-loss plan. Since mandarins are generally sweet tasting, replace your afternoon sugary snack with one of these oranges. You’ll curb your sweet tooth without having to feel guilty about going overboard on calories.
Mandarins are a good source of B-vitamin complex like folate. Folate has shown to help in neural tube formation and red blood cell formation in prenatal babies. A deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women can lead to the birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects in newborns.
Mandarins are an excellent source of fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Fiber can help prevent constipation, helping make your bowel movements easier to manage.