About Kumquat - The Miniature Citrus Gem
Kumquats are one of the remarkably diminutive members of the citrus family, but what they lack in size, they more than make up for in taste and nutrients. If you’re wondering just how small this orange-like fruit can possibly be, well, let’s just say that the only way you’ll be able to tell kumquats and olives apart is from their color!
This fruit, also known as cumquat or gum gwat, is available in four varieties namely the Meiwa kumquat, Nagami kumquat, Marumi kumquat and Hong Kong Wild. You might be tempted to refer to kumquats as ‘baby oranges’ but you will soon realize that this little fruit is in a league of its own. For starters, the kumquat is the only citrus fruit that can be consumed with the skin intact. In fact, the peel is what gives kumquats that delectable dash of sweetness to complement the sourness of the pulp!
The juicy pulp on the inside contains small green seeds. Kumquat seeds, which are similar to orange seeds, should be removed before this succulent fruit is savored.
Kumquat Nutritional Value
So how strong is this tiny citrus fruit in the nutritional department? Even before we divulge any details, you should know that kumquats deserve to be incorporated into your regular diet. Your body deserves the wholesome goodness of the humble kumquat!
Kumquats are quite the powerhouse of vitamins. 100 grams of fruit contains sizeable quantities of the essential Vitamin C (100%), Vitamin A (8%) and Vitamin E! These all-star vitamins work wonders to keep your body fit and disease-free.
Iron (6%) and calcium (8%), are two of the prominent minerals, among numerous others, that kumquats are rich in! if you’re looking for a fruit that delivers a high fiber content, look no further! Kumquats contain a whopping 36% of dietary roughage per 100 grams of fruit.
Kumquat- Health Benefits
Innumerable kumquat benefits have been acknowledged and verified by health experts. Let’s take a look at them!
For Powerful Anti-oxidant Protection!
Kumquats are an excellent source of Vitamin C. What is so special about this Vitamin? It is a water soluble substance, which implies that it can easily permeate through cell membranes and provide effective protection from bacterial and viral agents! With an adequate store of Vitamin C, you can reduce the risk of suffering from influenza, fever, heart disease, osteo-arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and even stroke!
Anti- Cancer Properties!
Crammed with vital flavonoid antioxidants such as lutein, carotenoids, zeaxanthin and tannins, it comes as no surprise that kumquats have the potential to act as efficient anti-cancer agents. Flavonoids have the ability to weed out and decapitate mutagens and carcinogens, and restrict tumor growth. With flavonoids on your side, your body has enough resources to resist attacks from allergens, cancer causing agents and harmful microbes!
It’s All in The Peel!
Kumquat peels are wholly edible. In fact, removing the peel means depriving yourself from many essential oils that your body can benefit from! Limonene, pinene, a-bergamotene and caryophylleneare just some of the nutrient rich substances present in kumquat peel. They not only inhibit the growth of cancer cells, but also play an instrumental role in curing gallstones and alleviating heartburn.
Minerals? Yes, Please!
Kumquats are great sources of copper, iron and potassium. Your body needs these minerals for optimal functioning! Copper and Iron ensure that your body has enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells delivering oxygen to all parts of the body, and potassium is a key component of various bodily fluids which contribute to maintaining a normal heart rate and blood pressure level.
Possible Ways to Enjoy Kumquats
Before we explore the exciting world of kumquat recipes, here are a few handy tips for buying the best kumquats! Make sure that the fruit is smooth and free of bruises and blemishes. It should be richly colored and firm to touch. Kumquats can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks, or stored at room temperature for a maximum of 3 to 4 days.
The kumquat’s unique combination of sweet and sour makes it an exciting addition to any recipe! Of course, ripe kumquats are a delectable treat in their own right and can be consumed fresh. You can also throw in roughly chopped kumquat chunks into your regular fruit salad for that unique twist that only kumquat’s deliver. Or spread a thick layer of juicy kumquat marmalade or jam onto warm, toasted bread for a nutritional snack!
Additionally, you can also add kumquats to your regular cake recipe for an exotic kumquat cake that your family and friends will absolutely love!
Possible Health Concerns
Kumquats have no documented health risks. Moreover, they feature low oxalate content, thus individuals who are susceptible to oxalate induced kidney and gall bladder stones can consume them without worry.