I wrote about kumquats a couple of years ago, when I was first introduced to them. It took me a few tries to warm up to these balls of flavor, but then they became a favorite. So I was really pleased to see them in our local stores again, just as this seasonal fruit reaches its peak. If you’ve never tried them before, kumquats look like mini oranges, but they are more oval than round. You eat them whole — the peel is actually the sweet part. They are certainly a flavorful snack! But more then that, they have many health benefits, and I thought it would be fun to share two of the biggest ones with you.
Kumquats are a great source of vitamin C
If you enjoy six kumquats a day (which is easy since they are so small), you can get your full RDA of vitamin C. Vitamin C, especially when it comes from your diet instead of a supplement, has long been linked to a stronger immune system. Those with high dietary intake of vitamin C were also found to be less likely to develop cataracts. Because the vitamin C in food can be heat-sensitive, raw fruits and vegetables are one of the best sources, and kumquats definitely qualify as a great choice in the produce section.
Kumquats may help fight cancer
Kumquats, like other citrus, are a good source of d-limonene. This compound has been researched for its cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties and is more concentrated in citrus peels. There are many general studies about this amazing compound, but I was pleased to find a direct study with kumquats and cancer. This study observed that the oils from fresh Nagami kumquats halted the growth of human prostate cancer!
All to say, kumquats, between their vitamin C content, the d-limonene compounds, and the many other trace minerals and vitamins they contain, are an excellent and delicious way to boost your body’s immune system.
Have you tried them? What do you think of their flavor?
Photo: Kimmi Harris
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