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The Health Benefits of a Tangerine

Updated on September 26, 2014

What's So Great about the Tangerine?

Tangerines just might be one of the few fruits that are underestimated when it comes to its potential health benefits. With so much attention being given to the banana, the apple and the orange, this tiny citrus fruit is at risk for flying under the radar for some fruit lovers.

It is a member of the mandarin family and is perhaps one of the easier members of the citrus family to peel when you're in a hurry, thanks to the loose skin that envelops this sweet piece of fruit.

Tangerines are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C and are relatively low in calorie count at 50 calories. It is a fairly versatile fruit. Approximately, one-third of the tangerine crop is utilized in juice, sherbets, and canned sections.

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Tangerines Aid in Weight Maintenance and Weight Loss

Who would have thought that this tiny piece of fruit could aid in weight management and/or weight loss? Simply stated, tangerines possess a unique ability to support weight loss as well as diabetes management that hasn't thoroughly been researched until within the last few years. It is said to possess a chemical that makes it more potent than the overly touted grapefruit.

Tangerines are rich in fiber at two grams and aid the body in achieving effective digestion. Good news to low-carb dieters. Tangerines only contain 13 grams of carbohydrates.

Other Health Benefits of the Tangerine

Tangerines can help fight against cardiovascular disease. They contain the substance nobiletin which is said to aid in protecting the heart from atherosclerosis - the disease responsible for most heart attacks and strokes. Nobiletin belongs to the family of molecules commonly referred to as flavonoids. Flavonoids naturally occur in citrus fruits. Tangerines have the highest of nobiletin concentrations than any other citrus fruit. Not only is this substance greatly significant in the fight against cardiovascular disease but it is also significant in preventing the storage of fat in the liver.

Tangerine peels contain chemicals that aid in lowering cholesterol. These chemicals are known as polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs). Peels can be incorporated into a variety of recipes so that you may take advantage of those recipes.

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Shopping for Tangerines

When shopping for a good tangerine there are a few distinct characteristics that you will want to search for whether in the grocery store or at the farmer's market.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Select fruit that are symmetrical in shape and are plump
  • Avoid fruit that has dents/perforations in the skin
  • Do select fruit that is smooth and shiny
  • Skin should be slightly loose-fitting
  • Fruit should be heavy, or at least heavy as a tangerine can be.

The good news is that you can store tangerines at room temperature for 3 days or in a refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Other Preparations of Tangerines

Although delicious as a stand-alone piece of fruit, tangerines can be prepared and eaten in a variety of ways including:

  • Being added to salads
  • Grated peels may be used as an ingredient in a marinade, batters or cookies
  • Stir-Fry dishes
  • Smoothies

© 2014 Mahogany Speaks

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