Kumquats may sound like a funny name to give fruits, but there is nothing remotely strange in its appearance. These small citrus fruits basically look like oranges from inside out. The difference mainly lies in their size and flavor. Kumquats come from a small tree under the Rutaceae family, with the full scientific name of Citrus japonica. The kumquat tree is actually a shrub that is native to many countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The kumquat tress are being cultivated and grown in this area for many centuries, but it was only in the 19th century that the kumquat tree started being grown in Europe and the Americas.
There are many kumquat varieties, but the most common is the round-shaped kumquats. These look like oranges and feature a sweet flavor that makes it ideal for garnishes, cocktails, jellies, jams, candies, and desserts too.
There are also alcoholic drinks and liqueur that are made from kumquats. Extracts and brines on the other hand are being used for their medicinal purposes. Kumquats also are a great source of essential oils, organic compounds, and nutrients that are proving themselves useful in a variety of applications in traditional as well as modern medicine all around the globe.
Kumquats Nutrition Facts
Kumquat is a powerhouse of nutrients in that it contains compounds that make for the healthiest of essential oils. It contains limonene, alpha-pinene, and monoterpenes among many others. Just like any other citrus fruit, the kumquat has high amounts of fiber, calcium, potassium, Vitamin C, crucial fatty acids, and Vitamin A.
Health Benefits of Kumquats
- Improves Digestive Health
Eating kumquats regularly will prove beneficial for those who want to maintain healthy digestive function. The intake of up to 8 kumquats is equivalent to 10 grams of fiber. Since kumquats are small in size, eating 8 kumquats or more is not as hard as you may think. The high fiber concentration helps in keeping the gastrointestinal system functioning smoothly. Fibers are very powerful in regulating the digestive processes resulting in regular bowel movement and prevention of digestive issues such as constipation, gas, bloating, and cramping to name a few. Yet another benefit of improved digestive health as a result of high fiber intake is that of increased nutrient absorption rate along the gastrointestinal canal.
- Diabetes Mellitus Management
Apart from the digestive health benefits, fibers found in kumquats are crucial in the prevention of diabetes mellitus type 2. Fibers function to optimize insulin and glucose balance in the body, thus avoiding unusual rise and fall of sugar levels in the bloodstream.
- Boost Immune System Function
Kumquats have positive impact on the immune system in many ways. Just like any other citrus fruits, kumquats are rich in Vitamin C- an integral nutrient with the primary function of increasing the rate of growth and activity of new cells. Vitamin C also protects the body from disease-causing microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Vitamin C is our first line of defense from common conditions such as cold an flu.
- Improved Skin
The combination of antioxidants and vitamins present in kumquats make them the perfect nutrient to improve skin health. These nutrients protect the skin from prolonged sun exposure. The healing process speeds up when we have enough nutrients from kumquats. They reverse the effects of free radicals, thus reducing the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone.
- Improved Vision
Kumquats also feature Vitamin A and beta-carotene. These nutrients are crucial in improving vision and visual acuity. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that reduces the rate of oxidative stress in the macular cells in the eyes. With regular consumption, rest assured that macular degeneration and cataracts are kept at bay.
- Bone Growth and Development
The high amounts of calcium in kumquats are yet another health benefit for those who consume this unassuming fruit regularly. The calcium content ensures that the body has enough calcium deposits over the long term, thus protecting the body from bone loss and other skeletal problems as we age.
- Energy Booster
Kumquat is not only filled with nutrients but it also contains high amounts of carbohydrates too. Although carbohydrates have gained a bad reputation in recent years, it is still an essential nutrient as it provides high levels of energy needed for physical activities. Kumquats provide sudden burst of energy, making it an excellent food item before workouts. The riboflavin content on the other hand is key to energy production, thus making the process of energy synthesis more efficient than ever.
- Weight Loss
Aid Kumquat’s high fiber content, high water content, and low carbohydrate characteristics make it the ideal addition to a healthy weight loss regimen. Kumquats will keep you satiated for longer periods of time, thus reducing sudden cravings and hunger pangs.
- Hair and Teeth Health
The combination of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals found in kumquats deliver a positive impact on the quality of the skin, hair, nails, and teeth.