The kumquat is a small citrus fruit that originated in South Asia. These fruits, which resemble small oranges, are very versatile. They can be eaten plain, cooked with other foods, or used to make garnishes or jam. If you’ve never eaten one, consider picking up a few next time you visit the supermarket. Besides being tasty, these fruits have many powerful nutritional benefits that can improve numerous aspects of your health. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Health Benefits of Kumquat
The kumquat is very small compared to other citrus fruits – most varieties are only as big as an olive or a grape. However, there are a lot of health benefits packed inside these little fruits. They can help prevent you from getting sick, improve your skin’s appearance, boost your digestive health, and even prevent diabetes.
Boost Your Immunity
You’ve probably heard that you should eat oranges when you have a cold. As it turns out, kumquats are also good for warding off illnesses. Like other citrus fruits, they are a rich source of vitamin C. This is an essential component immunity-wise. Enjoying a handful of these fruits every day could help you stay healthy throughout flu season.
One of the biggest health benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables is their high fiber content. These fruits are no exception. Each one packs over a gram of fiber. As a result, they will keep your digestive tract healthy, help you feel fuller longer, and even keep your blood sugar steady. Therefore, they will reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
These fruits are a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are health-boosting substances that prevent oxidative damage within the body. Simply put, that means they reduce inflammation, lower the risk of cancer and heart disease, and slow down the aging process. Most people who eat a Western diet don’t get enough antioxidants. Therefore, these fruits can help you meet your daily target.
Kumquat Nutritional Value
These citrus fruits are a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is considered to be both a vitamin and an antioxidant. This nutrient is what gives citrus fruits, as well as other foods like sweet potatoes and carrots, their bright orange color. Vitamin A plays an important role in eye health. Getting enough of this nutrient is crucial for maintaining good vision throughout life. Vitamin A also supports bone health and immune function.
- B Vitamins
There are eight different B-vitamins, and they’re often referred to collectively as B-complex vitamins. They play many important roles in the body, including converting food into fuel and keeping energy levels high.
- Vitamin C
Citrus fruits are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin C. Why is vitamin C so important? Like vitamin A, it is both a vitamin and an antioxidant. It plays an essential part in regulating many of the body’s systems, including the immune system. It’s also important for healthy cell reproduction. When you’re getting enough vitamin C, you’re less likely to develop cancer. Also, your cuts and scrapes will heal faster. Moreover, your skin will look better overall.
- Vitamin E
These fruits are also a good source of vitamin E, which has a protective effect on the whole body. Vitamin E boosts emotional health and helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s. Moreover, it negates the harmful effects of certain toxins.
If you’re feeling inspired to start including kumquats in your everyday diet, there are many ways you can do it. These fruits are very versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. You can enjoy them as they come, or incorporate them into other dishes. Here are a few ideas for what you can do with these fruits.
Eat them raw
These fruits are delicious all on their own. They have a tart, tangy citrus flavor. There’s no need to peel them, unlike other citrus fruits. The peel is soft, edible, and has a sweet taste. Enjoy a handful with your breakfast or with an afternoon cup of tea.
Put them in a salad
These fruits are just sweet enough to lend some complexity to a healthy green salad. Chop them up before tossing them in with greens and any other veggies you like. They also make a great addition to a fruit salad.
Make jam or preserves
If you like citrus-based preserves like orange marmalade, try making your own using kumquat. The great thing about making your own preserves is that you can decide how sweet you want them and whether to incorporate other fruits or herbs for extra flavor.
Add flavor to your cup of tea by crushing a fruit at the bottom to release its fragrant juices and oils. Add a teabag and boiling water. Black tea, such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey tastes especially good with a kumquat added.
The kumquat may not be the best-known citrus fruit, but its delightful taste and its wide range of health benefits make it a great choice, whether you’re trying to eat healthier or you just want to shake up your diet a little. Incorporate these fruits into your diet to increase your vitamin and antioxidant intake, boost your immune and digestive health, and enjoy a fresher, more colorful diet.