A kumquat isn’t much bigger than a grape, yet this bite-sized fruit fills your mouth with a big burst of sweet-tart citrus flavor. In Chinese, kumquat means “golden orange.”
They were originally grown in China. Now they’re also grown in several other countries, including warmer areas of the United States, such as Florida and California.
In contrast with other citrus fruits, the peel of the kumquat is sweet and edible, while the juicy flesh is tart.
What are Kumquats?
Kumquats (Citrus japonica) are the fruits of a small tree in the Rutaceae family. These small citrus fruits resemble oranges to a certain degree, both inside and out, although they are smaller in size than most orange varieties. These shrubs or small trees are native to the Asian-pacific region, where they have been grown and cultivated for thousands of years. They didn’t make it to Europe or the Americas until the 19th century but have spread extensively since then.
There are different types of kumquats, but the most common one is the round kumquat variety, which looks like a small orange. Due to the sweet flavor, they are used for garnishing, cocktails, jams, jellies, preservatives, candies, and desserts.
Various types of liquor and liqueur are made from the fruits. Brines and extracts of kumquats have been used for various medicinal purposes over the years for sore throats and respiratory issues. The various essential oils, organic compounds, and nutrients are what have led to such diverse applications of these tiny citrus fruits in traditional medicines throughout the world.
Nutritional Value of Kumquats
A 100-gram serving (about 5 whole kumquats) contains:
- Calories: 71
- Carbs: 16 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Fiber: 6.5 grams
- Vitamin A: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 73% of the RDI
- Calcium: 6% of the RDI
- Manganese: 7% of the RDI
Kumquats also supply smaller amounts of several B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and zinc. The edible seeds and the peel of kumquats provide a small amount of omega-3 fats.
As with other fresh fruits, kumquats are very hydrating. About 80% of their weight is from the water. The high water and fiber content of kumquats make them a filling food, yet they’re relatively low in calories. This makes them a great snack when you’re watching your weight.
Health benefits Of Kumquats
- Assisting with collagen synthesis and wound healing
- Possessing anti-viral and anti-cancer activities
- Helping in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis and diabetes
- Helping with iron absorption from food sources
- Regulating digestive health
- Helping with the elimination of constipation, excess gas, bloating and cramping
- Eliminating and counteracting free radicals from the body
- Functioning as co-factors for metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats
- Boosting the immune system
- Assisting in stimulation of new cell growth
- Helping protect the body against foreign invaders, infections, bacteria and fungi
- Helping optimize insulin and glucose balance in the body
- Nourishing hair and teeth
- Increasing energy levels
- Improving skin health
- Building strong bones
Kumquats are packed with some of the best nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamin C, which enhance the hair and teeth quality.
Vitamin C, natural organic compounds, antioxidants, and minerals, present in kumquats, have a major effect on the quality, texture, and strength of your hair.
Kumquats are rich in fiber, water, and carbs, and are low in calories. Hence, are an ideal food for people trying to lose weight. They will fill you up and keep you healthy, which will reduce your urge to overeat.
Read more: Health Benefits Of Eating Spicy Foods
You wouldn’t expect kumquats to be so rich in carbohydrates, but they are! Carbohydrates are essential for replenishing our energy reserves in a simple way. These fruits can provide that burst of energy in our diets, while also giving us all the other benefits too! The high level of riboflavin, a key vitamin involved in the production of energy, makes this process even easier.
Build Strong Bones
The significant calcium content in kumquats helps to protect your bones over a long term. High calcium levels in your body increase the rate of healing and ensure that your bones stay healthy and strong well into the old age.
Kumquats are a rich source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are closely connected to vision health. Beta-carotene works as an antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress in the macular cells, thereby limiting macular degeneration and reducing the development of cataracts.
The combination of antioxidants and vitamins in kumquats make them ideal for protecting the skin from cancerous effects of the sun and negative effects of free radicals, which cause wrinkles, age spots, and rough, unhealthy skin. Kumquats, like many citrus fruits, can have a great effect on the appearance and feel of your skin because of the high levels of vitamin C.
Kumquats impact the immune system in a number of ways as they are rich in vitamin C, just like oranges! A study conducted in Switzerland on “Vitamin C and Immune Function” clearly states that the vitamin is a powerful antioxidant and behaves as a co-factor for biosynthetic enzymes. It also helps to stimulate the growth of new cells and boosts the immune system to protect your body from infections, bacteria, and fungi. Without vitamin C as our first line of defense, we would not only be unable to protect ourselves, but we also wouldn’t be able to heal.
Flavonoid extracts in kumquats were found to lower the blood lipid levels in obese rats, according to research studies done on laboratory rats by the University in Changsha, China. A Michigan State University report said that kumquats are a great addition to your winter diet as it has low sugar content, low sodium, zero cholesterol, and 0.1 grams of fat. Its high level of dietary fiber benefits both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Aid in Digestion
One of the major functions of kumquats is their role in regulating digestion. 8 kumquats are equivalent to 10 grams of fiber and eating a handful of them isn’t a tough thing to do! This amount of fiber helps to keep your gastrointestinal tract moving and regulates your digestion. It can help to eliminate constipation, excess gas, bloating, and cramping and increase the efficiency of your nutrient uptake. The fiber in these fruits can also help protect against inflammatory bowel disease.
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