13 Surprising Benefits of Yuzu Fruit

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

While yuzu is not commonly eaten as a fruit, it can provide a number of health benefits due to its active ingredients.

What is Yuzu?

Yuzu is a citrus fruit scientifically known as Citrus Junos and is commonly cultivated in Japan and Korea, although this fruit tree originated in China. This fruit is typically yellow or green and has rough, uneven skin, similar to a grapefruit. Not only does this fruit look like a grapefruit, but it also has a similarly tart taste. These fruits grow on overgrown shrubs or small trees, depending on the cultivar of yuzu. [1]

The aroma and taste of this exotic fruit are very strong and pungent, part of the reason why the food is rarely eaten raw. However, the rind and juice of this fruit are very popular for a number of culinary applications, including as a zest or ingredient in cocktails. In some cultures, the essential oil of this fruit is also used for improving skin health. [2]

Yuzu Nutrition

In terms of nutrition, yuzu is a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and copper. A 100-gram serving of this fruit has just over 20 calories, making it popular for those trying to lose weight. Some of the active ingredients in this fruit, including yuzunone, have a number of potential antioxidant effects on the body. [3]

A basket of fresh yuzu fruits on a wooden table

The juicy yuzu fruit is a hybrid of ichang papeda and mandarin orange. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Yuzu Fruit Benefits

There are quite a few potential health benefits to adding yuzu in your diet, including enhancing your mood, reducing inflammation, and improving brain health, among others.

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Aiding weight loss
  • Providing relief from nausea
  • Reducing the risk of chronic diseases
  • Boosting skin health
  • Preventing acne and other skin inflammations [4]
  • Anticancer potential
  • Defending against cold and flu
  • Curing vomiting and stomach disorders
  • Improving blood clotting
  • Protecting brain health and preventing cognitive decline [5]
  • Optimizing muscle recovery for athletes
  • Supporting healthy mood

How to Use Yuzu?

Depending on where you are in the world, yuzu may be used in many different ways, including as a drink, in cooking, or for skincare.

  • Oil: The scent of this oil has been popular in Japan for centuries due to its uplifting and invigorating effects. The oil can also be rubbed on the skin to reduce inflammation. [6]
  • Skin Care: You may find yuzu oil or extracts in many skincare products, including those for psoriasis, eczema, acne, or inflammation.
  • Beverage: The juice of this fruit is often used to produce wine and other liquor, and can be found as an ingredient in various cocktails.
  • Culinary Uses: You can add fresh juice to many different recipes, including ceviche, salad dressings, seafood marinade, and even some desserts for an extra tang of flavor.

That being said, outside of Southeast Asia, these fruits are difficult to find, but the juice is more readily available.

Yuzu vs Lemon

  • Yuzu is more acidic than lemons and is thus rarely eaten as a fruit.
  • Lemons are slightly less acidic than this exotic fruit, but not enough to make a major difference
  • The rind of both these fruits can be used for zest in certain cocktails

Side Effects

Although side effects are rare, allergies to this fruit do exist, which may manifest as contact dermatitis or gastrointestinal issues. Generally, eating this fruit and using its extracts in moderation is recommended.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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