Everyone enjoys delicious Mandarin oranges in the December holiday season. It seems that where ever we go there are bowls full of these beautiful sweet oranges. With their lose skin making them easy to peel, they are a simple fun treat for children too. The bonus is that they are a yummy superfood full of health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Mandarin Oranges
1. Nutrient Rich
Mandarins are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps prevent chemical damage to cells and helps keep the immune system healthy. They are also a good source of vitamin A, and a source of B-complex vitamins.
2. Reduces Risk of Liver Cancer
The National Institute of Fruit Tree Science studied a Japanese population who ate a high number of mandarin oranges. In another study, a team at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine studied patients with hepatitis who drank mandarin juice for a year. Both of the studies showed that mandarin oranges reduced the chance of liver cancer.
3. Lessens Risk of Hardened Arteries
Tangerines contain a powerful flavonoid known as nobiletin, which has been shown in a study to lessen the hardening of arteries, especially in diabetics.
4. Fights Breast Cancer
Both tangeretin and nobiletin were found to fight breast cancer cells, according to a study using the extract of the peel.
2. Reduces the Risk of Leukemia
Mandarin oranges contain tangeretin, a flavone found in citrus peels which studies have shown help reduce the risk of leukemia.
Mandarin Orange Trivia
- A Mandarin orange includes several varieties, including the Mandarin (China), Tangerine (named for Tangier, Morocco, where they were first imported from China), Dancy, Clementine and Satsuma (Japan).
- It is unknown when the Tangerine was first cultivated but records show that they existed in China and Japan 3,000 years ago.
- The Satsuma tangerine, which is available in limited quantities in the U.S., was first grown in Japan over 700 years ago.
- Mandarins vary in size and sweetness, but they all have loose skins that is easily peeled off.
- In 1882 they were first introduced into the U.S.
How To Select
Always look for unblemished fruits with an orange or red color. They should feel heavy, which means they are juicier. Never pick soft fruit as these are spoiling. Watch out for rotting fruit and those with cuts or brown marks.
How to Store
The fruit can be stored for about a week without refrigeration. Do not wash mandarins when storing as wet fruit can encourage fungus growth and make them spoil faster. If not consumed within a week, place them in the fridge and they will keep for up to two weeks.
Here are 3 tasty simple mandarin orange recipes:
Refreshing Fruit Salad with Mandarin Oranges – an easy to make and refreshing fruit salad.
Delicious Mandarin Orange Kale Salad – a smart tasty way to get some healthy greens into your diet.
Yummy Mandarin Orange Green Smoothie is Easy to Make – Try this for a very healthy breakfast.
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should have in your diet.