Mandarins are fruits of an evergreen shrub native to Asia that belongs to the family of Rutaceae and are thought to have originated in the forests of China. Mandarin oranges resemble a common orange in shape but are smaller in size and come with a thin peel. Clementine, Tangor and Satsuma, Owari are some of the most commonly available mandarin oranges. Mandarin oranges with red orange skins are the most commonly found mandarin and are properly known as tangerine.
Mandarins are harvested mostly during the winter season and canned mandarins are available throughout the year. Mandarin oranges are used in salads and can be eaten raw too. The fruit is sweet and juicy and provides flavour to candies, bubble gums and ice cream. Mandarin peels contain essential oils that are used in the perfume industry and skin care preparations.
Health Benefits of Mandarin Oranges:
Mandarin oranges do much more than providing a pleasant taste. This citrus fruit has a number of health benefits like preventing cancer and weight gain.
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Research has revealed that mandarins can lower the risk of developing liver cancer. The carotenoids present mandarin oranges due to high Vitamin A have shown to reduce the risk of liver cancer. Mandarin juice given to hepatitis C patients failed to develop liver cancer because of its high beta cryptoxanthin content. Mandarin has a high level of limonene which has anti-cancer effects and also helps to prevent breast cancer.
2. Vitamin C:
Mandarins contain a high level of Vitamin C which provides a number of health benefits. Vitamin C helps to fight a number of unstable molecules in our body known as free radicals through its antioxidant properties. We all are aware of the fact that free radicals in the body can lead to infectious disease and cancer. The antioxidants present in mandarins disarm free radical and prevent cellular damage.
3. Cholesterol Problems:
Mandarins produce synephrine which curbs the production of cholesterol in the body. The antioxidants present in Mandarin help to lower bad cholesterol and promote good cholesterol. Mandarins combat the free radicals that oxidize the cholesterol which makes the cholesterol to stick to the artery walls. Further they contain soluble and insoluble fiber like hemicellulose and pectin which prevents cholesterol absorption in the gut.
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4. Blood Pressure:
Mandarins also help to lower blood pressure levels. They consist of nutrients and minerals like potassium that lowers the blood pressure. Mandarins keep the blood flow move smoothly through the arteries which keeps the blood pressure normal.
5. Weight Loss:
Mandarins are a substantial source of fiber. Fiber rich foods keep the stomach full for a longer period of time and reduce the desire or need to eat more food, assisting in weight loss. Doctors have found that eating mandarin oranges benefits to lower insulin, thus instead of storing sugar and converting them to fats, it uses it as a fuel that leads to weight loss.
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6. Healthy Immune System:
Vitamin C in Mandarin is instrumental in preventing cold and is vital for the proper functioning of a healthy immune system. Mandarins have anti-microbial properties that prevent wounds from getting septic and from viral, fungal and bacterial infections. Mandarins prevent spasm in the digestive and nervous system thus prevents cramps and vomiting. Mandarin is a natural blood purifier that helps to flush out toxins and unwanted substances from the body.
7. Skin Health:
Vitamin C present in Mandarin is very good for skin both when consumed internally and applied topically on the skin. Regular intake of mandarin juice makes the skin glow and improves the skin tone to a great extent. The antioxidants present in Mandarin protect the skin from harsh UVA rays and help the skin to resist the damage caused by the sun and free radicals. It also reduces the sign of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes.
Skin Benefits of Mandarin Oranges:
It is a well-known fact that citrus fruits are great for skin and mandarin is no different.
Mandarin comes packed with antioxidants. It can provide 80% of your total daily vitamin C requirement. They help neutralize the harmful toxic effects of free radicals. This makes your skin look younger and healthy.
9. Glowing Skin:
Mandarins come with a lot of dietary fiber. This makes it easy to cleanse the system. It flushes out all harmful toxins from one’s body. This gives a healthy and natural glow to your face.
10. Improved Skin Tone:
Mandarins are a good source of vitamin C and E. Both these are essential for a healthy looking skin. Regular intake of mandarins greatly improves the complexion. It also gives you flawless and blemish-free skin.
11. Fights Wrinkles:
Mandarins are popular for fighting signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines. They can be either consumed raw or as juice, and can be applied topically as well.
12. Heals Wounds:
Mandarin oil (extracted from mandarins) is found to be helpful in growing new cells and tissues. This helps in healing wounds faster.
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Hair Benefits of Mandarin Oranges:
The antioxidant properties of mandarins help fight pollution. Hence they protect your hair by conditioning them.
14. Shine And Bounce:
You can topically apply mandarin juice to your hair and rinse it thoroughly thereafter. Instant shine and bounce will be visible in your hair. Make sure you apply the mandarin juice only after adding it to your hair oil.
How To Select?
- Always look for unblemished fruits. These are good in quality.
- Look for glossy fruits when selecting.
- Weigh the fruit down with your hand. Always pick the heavier one.
- Heavy mandarins mean more juice.
- Never pick soft ones.
- Watch out for rotten fruits and those with cuts. Avoid them at all costs.
How To Store?
- The fruit can be stored for about a week.
- Never wash mandarins before storing.
- If wet, it can encourage growth of fungus and spoil the fruit.
- If not consumed within a week, you can refrigerate it for some more days. Refrigeration can extend its life to up to 2 weeks.
Eating Tips And Recipes?
Mandarins are famous because of their low calorie count and high content of essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins. It is best advised to eat at least 1-2 mandarins every day. Add it to your fruit salad. This will give your salad a much needed protein boost. It can also add a refreshing fragrance and taste to your sweet baked dishes.
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Mandarin Orange Healthy Dessert:
- 1 box sugar-free gelatin
- 1 cup of boiling water
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 cup drained mandarin oranges
- 1 cup of light whipped cream
- 1 cup low-fat yogurt
- 1 cup crushed pineapple in juice form
- In a dish, add gelatin and boiling water and keep stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Now add cold water and pineapple along with mandarin juice.
- Let it chill in the fridge until it is completely set.
- Now combine the light whipped cream and yogurt as well.
- Fold this well into the gelatin mixture.
- Let it chill for at least 3-4 hours.
- Once it is set well, cut into squares and serve.
Mandarin Orange Fruit Salad:
- 1 can of drained mandarin oranges
- 1 can of pineapple chunks
- 1 jar of maraschino cherries
- 1 cup of marshmallows
- 1 cup of flaked coconut
- 1 cup of sour cream
- Drain all the canned mandarins, pineapple chunks and cherries.
- Do not throw away the juice.
- You can store it for later use.
- Now combine these fruits with flaked coconut and marshmallows.
- Toss it well and mix.
- Pour in some sour cream and fold it in.
- Now let it chill in the refrigerator for few hours and enjoy this salad cold.
- You can sprinkle a little sugar to add sweetness.
- You may also add other fruits like seedless grapes.
- This delicious fruit salad can be enjoyed anytime, especially during summers.
Mandarins are fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free and saturated fat free as well. So eat as many mandarins as you want in a day.
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