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11 Health Benefits Of Kumquat, Nutrition And Recipes

Scientifically termed as Citrus japonica, kumquats are not bigger than an olive. The orange lookalikes have a sweet-tart citrus flavour. These bite-sized fruits resemble orange inside and out but are incredibly small and oval in shape, almost like that of an olive. The citrus fruit, unlike its family members, can be consumed as a whole. The peel of kumquats is sweet and edible, making it a healthy snack [1] .

Kumquats are of different varieties, such as round kumquats, oval kumquats, Jiangsu kumquats and centennial variegated kumquats. Out of these, oval kumquats are the most common ones. The sweet and citrusy flavour of kumquat makes it a common ingredient for cocktails, jams, jellies, candies, and desserts [2] . The fruit is also made for the production of liquor and liqueur. But the uses and the benefits of the colourful fruit does not stop there because kumquats are not just any fruit but are comprised of various nutritional benefits that can do amazing things to your health. Yes! So what are waiting for? Read on to know the ways through which this olive shaped-orange lookalike fruit can help you.

Nutritional Value Of Kumquat

100 grams of the citrus fruit contain 71 calories of energy, 0.86 g fat, 0.037 mg thiamine, 0.09 mg riboflavin, 0.429 mg niacin, 0.208 mg pantothenic acid, 0.036 mg vitamin B6, 0.15 mg vitamin E, 0.86 mg iron, 0.135 mg manganese and 0.17 mg zinc.

The remaining nutrients present in kumquat are as follows [3] :

  • 15.9 g carbohydrates
  • 9.36 g sugars
  • 6.5 g dietary fibre
  • 1.88 g protein
  • 15 mcg vitamin A equiv.
  • 17 mcg folate
  • 8.4 mg choline
  • 43.9 mg vitamin C
  • 62 mg of calcium
  • 20 mg magnesium
  • 19 mg phosphorus
  • 186 mg potassium
  • 10 mg sodium

Health Benefits Of Kumquat

Some of the most effective benefits of the citrus fruit are mentioned below [4] , [5] , [6] , [7] .

1. Aids digestion

Rich in fibre, kumquats are extremely beneficial for regulating your digestion process. Consuming this citrus fruit help improve the functioning of your gastrointestinal tract, as well as help, get rid of constipation, excess gas, bloating, and cramping. The fibre content is also beneficial in protecting your body against inflammatory bowel disease.

2. Boosts immunity

Packed with vitamin C, kumquats can help improve your immune system. Being a powerful antioxidant, the vitamin help stimulates the growth of new cells thereby boosting the functioning of your immune system to protect your body against infections, bacteria, fungi and other environmental toxins.

3. Improves bone health

Kumquats possess sufficient calcium content, thereby making it useful in protecting your bones. Regular consumption of the citrus-rich fruit can aid in increasing the rate of healing, which in turn help prevent the onset of bone-health issues due to old age. It makes your bones stronger and prevents brittleness [5] .

4. Aids weight loss

The citrus fruit is rich in fibre, water, and carbohydrate and has a very low-calorie count. Kumquats are considered to be an ideal food if you are looking forward to losing some weight. The fibre content in the fruit keeps you feeling full, thereby reducing the constant urge to snack.

5. Controls diabetes

According to a study, the flavonoids in kumquat were shown to reduce the blood lipid levels. Though the study is yet to be conducted on human beings, this ones shows a promise. Being low sugar, low sodium and zero cholesterol, kumquats are extremely beneficial for individuals suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes [7] .

6. Improves vision

A rich source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, consuming kumquats help improve your vision. The beta-carotene in the fruit functions as an antioxidant, thereby reducing the oxidative stress in the macular cells and hence preventing macular degeneration and development of cataracts.

7. Boosts energy

Rich in carbohydrates, kumquats are essential sources of energy. Along with that, the riboflavin content also helps improve your energy levels by producing the required amount of energy [8] .

8. Manages cholesterol

Loaded with fibre, kumquats help reduce the LDL cholesterol level in your body and prevent the onset of various heart conditions such as hypertension and so on. Along with that, the fruit help increase the production of good cholesterol (HDL) [9] .

9. Fights free radical cells

The antioxidants in kumquats help eliminate the free radical cells in your body. It is one of the most effective and beneficial natural remedies for fighting free radical cells present in the body. In this manner, kumquats can be beneficial in preventing the onset of cancer [10] .

10. Produces red blood cells

Rich in iron, regular consumption of the citrus fruits can help promote the production of red blood cells in your body. Incorporate kumquats in your diet to prevent anaemia.

11. Improves oral health

Kumquats are a good source of calcium, which is an essential nutrient required by your body. Regular and controlled consumption of the fruit can help improve your teeth and keep your gums healthy and devoid of any diseases [11] .

How To Eat Kumquat

The fruits are best eaten unpeeled and whole. The peel has a sweet flavour and the juice is tart. The longer you chew the fruit, sweeter the flavour. If you dislike tart flavours, you can squeeze it out before eating the fruit [12] .

Kumquats can also be eaten in the following forms [12] :

  • Marmalades, jams and jellies
  • Tiny dessert cups (when halved and scooped out)
  • Chutneys, marinades and sauces for meat, chicken or fish
  • Baked into bread
  • Candied
  • Use it as a garnish
  • Sliced and steeped in boiling water for tea
  • Sliced in salads (fruit or leafy green)
  • Sandwiches
  • Puréed or sliced for dessert toppings
  • Baked into desserts (cake, pie or cookies)
  • Added to stuffing

Healthy Kumquat Recipes

1. Kumquat salad

Ingredients [13]

  • 10 sprigs of parsley
  • 10 sprigs of Chinese cabbage, boiled
  • 10 sprigs of mint
  • 10 kumquats
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Directions

    • Pinch the leaves off the parsley and mint sprigs.
    • Tear the leaves into smaller pieces and add them to the Chinese cabbage.
    • Cut the kumquats lengthwise into quarters and add them to the salad.
    • In a bowl, whisk the lemon juice, oil, and salt.
    • Drizzle it over the salad.
    • Toss the salad to coat everything evenly with the dressing.

    [Source: EatingMadeEasy]

    2. Florida ambrosia salad

    Ingredients

    • 1 coconut
    • 3 white pink grapefruit
    • 3 navel oranges
    • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ inch chunks
    • 1-pint kumquats, cut on a diagonal into ¼ inch-thick slices
    • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
    • ½ cup unsweetened apple juice

    Directions

    • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    • Drain the liquid from the coconut.
    • Bake the coconut for 15 minutes then transfer to a folded towel.
    • Using the back of a knife crack the shell open and carefully remove the flesh from the shell.
    • Shave the coconut into thin strips.
    • Cut the peel off the grapefruit and oranges.
    • Add the pineapple, kumquats, pomegranate seeds, 2 cups coconut shavings, ½ cup coconut juice, and the apple juice to a bowl.
    • Toss gently.

    Side Effects

    • People who are allergic to citrus fruits should avoid kumquats, as it may cause hives, redness, itching or swelling [14] .
    • Eating too much of kumquats can cause bloating, cramps and diarrhoea [15] .
    View Article References
    1. [1] Fang, S. W., Li, C. F., & Shih, D. Y. (1994). Antifungal activity of chitosan and its preservative effect on low-sugar candied kumquat.Journal of food protection,57(2), 136-140.
    2. [2] Choi, H. S. (2005). Characteristic odor components of kumquat (Fortunella japonica Swingle) peel oil.Journal of agricultural and food chemistry,53(5), 1642-1647.
    3. [3] Barreca, D., Bellocco, E., Caristi, C., Leuzzi, U., & Gattuso, G. (2011). Kumquat (Fortunella japonica Swingle) juice: Flavonoid distribution and antioxidant properties.Food Research International,44(7), 2190-2197.
    4. [4] Koyasako, A., & Bernhard, R. A. (1983). Volatile constituents of the essential oil of kumquat.Journal of Food Science,48(6), 1807-1812.
    5. [5] Ben-Yehoshua, S., Peretz, J., Rodov, V., Nafussi, B., Yekutieli, O., Wiseblum, A., & Regev, R. (1998, August). Postharvest application of hot water treatment in citrus fruits: the road from the laboratory to the packing-house. InXXV International Horticultural Congress, Part 8: Quality of Horticultural Products 518(pp. 19-28).
    6. [6] Zhang, J., Tao, N., Xu, Q., Zhou, W., Cao, H., Xu, J., & Deng, X. (2009). Functional characterization of Citrus PSY gene in Hongkong kumquat (Fortunella hindsii Swingle).Plant cell reports,28(11), 1737.
    7. [7] Prokopy, R. J., & Duan, J. J. (1998). Socially facilitated egglaying behavior in Mediterranean fruit flies.Behavioral ecology and sociobiology,42(2), 117-122.
    8. [8] Schirra, M., Palma, A., D’Aquino, S., Angioni, A., Minello, E. V., Melis, M., & Cabras, P. (2007). Influence of postharvest hot water treatment on nutritional and functional properties of kumquat (Fortunella japonica Lour. Swingle Cv. Ovale) fruit.Journal of Agricultural and food chemistry,56(2), 455-460.
    9. [9] Lou, S. N., & Ho, C. T. (2017). Phenolic compounds and biological activities of small-size citrus: Kumquat and calamondin.journal of food and drug analysis,25(1), 162-175.
    10. [10] Güney, M., Oz, A. T., & Kafkas, E. (2015). Comparison of lipids, fatty acids and volatile compounds of various kumquat species using HS/GC/MS/FID techniques.Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture,95(6), 1268-1273.
    11. [11] Terao, R., Murata, A., Sugamoto, K., Watanabe, T., Nagahama, K., Nakahara, K., ... & Eto, N. (2019). Immunostimulatory effect of kumquat (Fortunella crassifolia) and its constituents, β-cryptoxanthin and R-limonene.Food & function,10(1), 38-48.
    12. [12] Palma, A., & D’Aquino, S. (2018). Kumquat—Fortunella japonica. InExotic Fruits(pp. 271-278). Academic Press.
    13. [13] Wessel, K. (2012, Dec). Kumquat [Blog post]. Retrieved from, https://www.epicurious.com/ingredient/kumquat
    14. [14] Stevens, C., Khan, V. A., Wilson, C. L., Lu, J. Y., Chalutz, E., & Droby, S. (2005). The effect of fruit orientation of postharvest commodities following low dose ultraviolet light-C treatment on host induced resistance to decay.Crop Protection,24(8), 756-759.
    15. [15] Papaj, D. R., Roitberg, B. D., & Opp, S. B. (1989). Serial effects of host infestation on egg allocation by the Mediterranean fruit fly: a rule of thumb and its functional significance.The Journal of Animal Ecology, 955-970.

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