What are tangerines?
Tangerines are a type of orange and fall under the Citrus reticulate variety of mandarin orange. They are smaller than orange and have a reddish-orange hue. Owing to their low acid content, they are sweeter than oranges.They take their name from Tangier in Morocco, their place of origin, and have been grown since the 1800s in Florida, where they were imported from Morocco. Now the major tangerine producing countries around the world include China, Spain, and Japan. These are followed by Brazil, Italy, Egypt, the United States, and Argentina.
What is the nutritive value of tangerines?
Tangerines are a powerhouse of nutrients. Here is a breakdown of a small-sized tangerine, weighing approximately 75 grams:
- 0.6 grams of protein
- 10.1 grams of carbohydrates
- 0.2 grams of fats
- 1.5 mg of sodium
- 1.3 grams of fiber
- 26.7 grams of vitamin C
- 40 calories
Besides this, tangerines also contain:
- Trace amounts of protein, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
- Plant-based chemicals such as flavonoids and phenolics.
- Essential oils with antioxidants.
- Phytonutrients such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin.
How are tangerines used?
Besides being peeled and eaten by hand, here are some of the most common ways in which tangerines are used:
- They are used to make fresh orange juice, sorbets, frozen juice concentrate, and citrus tonic recipe.
- Tangerines are used as a flavoring in orange ice creams such as the orange ice dolly recipe.
- There are several healthy tangerine recipes. They make for great salads when coupled with green leafy veggies and chicken such as chicken and orange salad recipes.
- Their juice and rind are used in baking cakes and puddings.
- Tangerines are used to make jams and marmalades.
- Dried tangerine peel is used in soups as a sweetening agent.
- They can be coupled with cottage cheese and yogurt for a healthy breakfast.
- Their peel is also used in several East Indian dishes such as orange chicken and seafood dishes.
- Tangerine peel is added to herbal teas to add a citrusy and fruit flavor.
- Tangerine peel powder is used to make drinks and desserts.
What are the health benefits of tangerines?
Like other citrus fruits, tangerines also have some amazing health benefits. They prevent deficiencies and lower the risk of several diseases. Here is a look at some of the most important tangerine health benefits:
- One of the most important tangerine fruit benefits is that due to its antioxidants content, it is very beneficial for people suffering from type-2 diabetes. These antioxidants reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals in your body. This helps manage the inflammatory symptoms of type-2 diabetes.
- Another tangerine fruit benefit is that its antioxidant content helps in reducing premature aging. They also prevent and delay age-related deterioration and disorders.
- An important tangerine health benefit is that they are super rich in vitamin C, which is not naturally produced by the body. Consuming tangerines regularly helps in the effect of free radicals not just in our body but also the ones that we get exposed to through environmental toxins and cigarette smoke. Reduced levels of free radicals have a direct impact on reducing the symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, neurodegenerative diseases, etc.
- A great tangerine health benefit is that its vitamin C content helps in making your immune system stronger. It influences the T cells, a type of white blood cells that protects your body against viral and bacterial infections. This also helps in preventing several allergies and their severity.
- Tangerine fruit benefits also include supporting your brain health. The antioxidants in them protect your brain from the damage caused due to free radicals, which in turn helps in protecting your brain cells from toxicity. All of these protect your brain from chronic neurological disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's.
- One of the most important benefits of tangerines is that their plant-based chemical content such as limonoids, coumarins, and flavonoids help in reducing the risk of certain types of cancers. These include cancers of the breast, lung, colon, liver, and blood.
- Tangerines, being a source of insoluble fiber, make you feel satiated for a long time. This helps in regulating your appetite and prevents binge eating, which in turn keeps your weight at optimum levels. This is important for preventing the serious disorders linked to obesity.
- Tangerines and their vitamin C content improve the production of collagen in your body. This, in turn, enhances the structure and quality of your skin. This synthesis of collagen also helps in wound healing and preventing premature aging.
- The potassium in the tangerines helps in regulating your blood pressure levels. This has a positive impact on your cardiovascular health.
- Being a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C, tangerines are important for maintaining good eye health. Both these vitamins help in keeping your retina and cornea functioning healthily. They also prevent xerophthalmia, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.
How to take tangerines?
The appropriate amount of tangerines depends on the age and the state of the health of the person consuming them. Usually, it is recommended to have no more than pieces of this fruit each day. In case you suffer from any health conditions, it is best to consult your doctor before adding tangerines to your diet. Remember, to gain their benefits, you should make healthy recipes with oranges minus the unhealthy ingredients such as cream, sugar, or syrups.
Are there any side effects of tangerines?
Like any other fruit, tangerines may also have some adverse effects on people. These include:
- Their over-consumption may lead to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
- They may interfere with medications for the liver.
- Not consuming healthy recipes of tangerine may lead to excessive weight gain.
Which are some of the best recipes for tangerines?
Here are some of the most fun and healthy tangerine recipes for you to try at home:
Tangerine, cinnamon, and orange juice:
One of the tastiest and healthiest juices that you can have, this is made by:
- Combining peeled tangerines, pomegranate seeds, orange juice, cinnamon powder, and water in a blender.
- Blend well and strain before serving chilled.
Tangerine and orange ice cream:
One of the best ice creams for summers, this is made by following these steps:
- Put peeled and pitted tangerines with sugar and water and bring to a boil.
- Let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Whisk egg yolks and pour the tangerine mix into them.
- Cook this over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Strain this mix and add the rind of tangerines along with a little orange juice.
- Add cream and vanilla extract. Freeze this for 7-8 hours and serve chilled.
- For better taste, you can top the ice cream with a few sprigs of mint leaves.
Tangerine, spinach, and orange salad:
One of the healthiest orange recipes, this festive salad is loved for its taste and texture. This is how it is made:
- Make an orange dressing by adding frozen orange juice concentrate, orange rind, olive oil, sugar, vinegar, poppy seeds, and salt, and lemon juice. In a bowl, combine spinach, chopped oranges and tangerines, cranberries, green onions, avocados, pomegranates, shaved parmesan, and almonds.
- Pour the prepared orange dressing on the tossed veggies and fruits.
- Mix well and serve cold.
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