The health benefits of kumquats include their ability to improve the immune system, regulate your digestive system, reduce your chances of developing diabetes, lower your cholesterol levels, boost the health of your skin, teeth, eyes, and hair, strengthen your bones, and improve nerve health.
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What are Kumquats?
Kumquats may have a strange name, but they don’t have that strange of an appearance. In fact, these small citrus fruits resemble oranges to a certain degree, both inside and out, although they are smaller than most orange varieties. Kumquats are the fruit of a small tree in the Rutaceae family, with a full scientific name of Citrus japonica.
This shrub or small tree is native to the Asian-Pacific region, where it has been grown and cultivated for thousands of years. They didn’t make it to Europe or the Americas until the 19th century, but have since spread extensively.
There is some variety in the different types of kumquat, but the most common one that is found in most stores is the round kumquat variety, which looks like a small orange. Due to their sweet flavor, kumquats are a favorite for garnishes, cocktails, jams, jellies, preserves, candies, and desserts.
Various types of liquor and liqueur are made with kumquats. Various brines that have been made, as well as extracts, have been used for various medicinal purposes over the years, including for sore throats and respiratory issues. The various essential oils, organic compounds, and nutrients are what have led to such diverse applications of kumquats in traditional medicines throughout the world.
Nutritional Value of Kumquats
Kumquats are made up of a wide variety of essential oils, including limonene, alpha-pinene, monoterpenes, and many others, which have certain beneficial effects on the body, as well as fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, beneficial fats, and vitamin A.
Health Benefits of Kumquats
One of the major functions of kumquats is their role in regulating the digestive health of those who eat some of these each week. 8 kumquats is equivalent to 10 grams of fiber, and eating a handful of kumquats isn’t very tough to do! That amount of fiber helps to keep your gastrointestinal tract moving and regulates your digestion to a healthy level. It can help to eliminate constipation, excess gas, bloating, and cramping, while also increasing the efficiency of your nutrient uptake.
Apart from their beneficial effect on digestion, kumquats can also thank their fiber content for their role in preventing diabetes. Dietary fiber can help to optimize insulin and glucose balance in the body, thereby preventing people from developing this terrible, incurable disease.
Kumquats impact the immune system in a number of different ways, but if their appearance is any clue, they are rich in Vitamin C, just like their larger cousins, oranges! Vitamin C is a very important nutrient in our diet, primarily because it has an effect on everything in our body. It helps to stimulate the growth of new cells and increases the activity of the immune system to keep our body protected from foreign invaders, infections, bacteria, and fungi. Without vitamin C as our first line of defense, we would not only be unable to protect ourselves, but we also wouldn’t be able to heal.
The combination of antioxidants and vitamins found in kumquats make them ideal to protect the skin, not only from cancerous effects of the sun, but also to heal the negative effects of free radicals, which can cause wrinkles, age spots, and rough, unhealthy skin. Kumquats, like many citrus fruits, can have a serious effect on the appearance and feel of your body’s largest organ.
Kumquats are a rich source of Vitamin A and beta carotene, which are closely connected with eye health and ability. Beta carotene works as an antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress in the macular cells, thereby limiting macular degeneration and reducing the development of cataracts.
The significant calcium content in kumquats means that those who partake in this delectable, tiny fruit will also be helping to protect their bones over the long term. High calcium levels means that you have more calcium deposits in your body, increasing your rate of healing and ensuring that your bones stay healthy and strong well into your older ages.
For such a small, unassuming fruit, you wouldn’t expect there to be so many carbohydrates in kumquats, but there are! Carbohydrates, despite their recent bad name and the many “No Carb” diets out there, are essential for our bodies, particularly if we are highly active people and need to replenish our energy reserves in a simple way. Kumquats can provide that burst of energy in our diets, while also giving us all the other benefits too! The high level of riboflavin, a key vitamin involved in the production of energy, makes this process even easier.
Promote Weight Loss
The high fiber content, high water content, low calories, and significant carb content make kumquats ideal for people trying to lose weight. They will fill you up and keep you healthy, which will reduce your urge to overeat.
While most people might not think about the connection between citrus fruits and your hair, vitamin C, natural organic compounds, antioxidants, and minerals have a major effect on the quality, texture, oiliness, and strength of your hair.
The same goes for your teeth, and fortunately, kumquats are packed with some of the best nutrients for hair and teeth, like calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.