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Mad about Mandarin Oranges

So let’s be clear when we talk about Mandarin Oranges – “Mandarin oranges” is in fact a term which references a group of citrus fruits. It includes several varieties such as the Satsuma, Clementine, Dancy, Honey, Pixie and Tangerine. What this means is that the tangerine is a mandarin orange, but not all mandarin oranges are tangerines!

 

Antioxidant Properties

Mandarins provide up to 80 percent of the daily vitamin C requirements for the body. Vitamin C has been established as a potent antioxidant. It strips free radicals of much of their harmful toxicity which neutralizes them. This helps to prevent damage to healthy cells. Free radical damage is a top cause of various cancers. A diet that frequently includes oranges can help reduce the risk of stomach, liver, throat and mouth cancers. Research has established that frequent intake of mandarin juice can help prevent liver cancer in patients with Hepatitis C. It contains a special antioxidant known as hesperedin. Some of the drugs prescribed to help cope with the side effects of radiation therapy cause some damage to healthy cells. Hesperedin has been established as an effective non-toxic alternative treatment during radiation therapy. The potent antioxidant properties in the fruit also help to derail growth of tumors in cancer patients.

 

Cholesterol

Mandarins also help to manage cholesterol levels in the body. This is achieved by the antioxidants in the fruit which lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood. High levels of cholesterol endanger your health in various ways. Free radicals are able to oxidize cholesterol. This causes cholesterol to cling to the walls of the arteries. It restricts the smooth flow of blood and contributes to high blood pressure. The risk of stroke and coronary heart diseases increases in such conditions. A high build-up of fatty acids also leads to liver disease.

 

Cardiovascular Health

Potassium and calcium play a vital role in the condition of blood. Potassium helps to stabilize blood pressure. High potassium intake, especially when sourced from fruits and vegetables, helps prevent hypertension. Calcium plays a vital role in blood clotting while magnesium helps to regulate blood pressure. This supports better cardiovascular health.

 

Dietary Fiber

The dietary fiber in a tangerine makes it a great choice for weight loss and good health. A 100 gram serving provides about 3 grams of dietary fiber. When included in your fruit menu regularly, it helps to make you feel full faster. This reduces the need to consume more food. The fiber facilitates proper digestion and helps to prevent constipation. It has also been established that foods rich in fiber help to detoxify the digestive tract. This helps to reduce the risk of diseases.

 

In the meantime, here's a healthy salad recipe using the the mandarin orange, courtesy of FarmOnPlate

Orange, Avocado & Arugula Salad

Cook time: 

1 Avocado peeled & thinly sliced
2 Mandarin oranges peeled & cut sideways
Handful of arugula, basil & mint leaves
Goat cheese
pomegranate seeds

Vinaigrette:

2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt & pepper

Put arugula, basil and mint leaves in a big bowl with avocado and mandarin oranges.
Put lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a tight lid bottle and shake it well to mix them all together. Drizzle it over your salad, mix it well. Garnish with goat cheese and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

Remember to stay healthy this Chinese New Year! Have a merry and blessed CNY – Gong Xi Fa Cai!