In the same way that some people accidentally pick up plantains instead of bananas because they look so much alike, kumquats are often picked up because they look like oranges. However, the taste of kumquats is certainly a more pleasant surprise than what you’d get from a plantain. Kumquats fall in the citrus fruit category, and are smaller than their relative oranges, but taste quite similar despite having a more sour kick.
Another thing that kumquats have in common with oranges is some great nutritional value. You should, of course, be getting more citrus in your diet and kumquats are a fantastic way of doing so. They can be found in many parts of the world from the United States to China, and are relatively cheap. Let’s take a look at the nutritional breakdown of this amazing fruit, and the health benefits that you’ll get from adding more to your diet.
Nutrition of Kumquat
Don’t expect to get too many calories out of kumquats as you are only eating about 70 for each 100 gram serving (which is nearly four ounces). That serving gets you about two grams of protein, and more than a quarter of your daily recommendation for dietary fiber. When looking at the vitamins, vitamin C is the big one here with three-quarters of your daily recommendation, making it an excellent choice. The other vitamins aren’t quite as abundant at about five percent daily value, but include important ones such as vitamin A, riboflavin, folate, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.
The minerals are in the same boat as the non-vitamin C nutrients, coming in at around five percent of what you need each day. Some of the important ones are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. While kumquats might seem like a one-trick pony, they are healthy overall, and don’t contain any cholesterol and less than one gram of fat per serving.
One of the first things that we think about when it comes to oranges is how it contains a lot of vitamin C. Since kumquats are in the same family, they also contain plenty of this essential vitamin that’s key for immune health. Vitamin C not only helps prevent and/or help you get through some of those minor illnesses like the common cold, but it can prevent some serious ones down the line.
Kumquats have been shown to help prevent certain types of cancers as the essential vitamins attack the free radicals that are often responsible for tumor and cancer cell growth. Every part of your body is better protected when you get antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C into your system, which also helps to fight off infections that can happen in the skin. You often don’t realize how important vitamin C is until it’s too late.
Good for the Heart
If you visit a doctor that says you need to really start watching your heart health, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll be told to eat more fruits and vegetables. Kumquats are a great place to start if you want to improve your heart health, as they have been shown to help lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride counts in the body. That alone will drastically reduce your chances of heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
Another fantastic nutrient found in kumquats is potassium. While there isn’t a lot of potassium compared to fruits like the banana, every little bit helps since most people aren’t getting enough in their diet. Having enough potassium helps the blood to flow more efficiently while strengthening blood vessels. Along with some essential omega acids, your heart health will improve tremendously.
Some of those same nutrients that improve your heart health also help your body either prevent diabetes, or help to manage the condition if you already have it. Another nutrient that comes into play here is fiber, which improves your overall digestive system. Not only does that mean more regularity and fewer problems like diarrhea or constipation, but it also means a boosted metabolism and blood sugar regulation.
Doctors can’t stress enough how important fiber is to a diet when you’re wanting to prevent blood sugar problems, especially for those already with diabetes. Eating kumquats can help you avoid spikes and crashes that are caused by varying insulin and glucose levels, making it the perfect snack to keep you feeling fine and healthy.
Going back to the metabolism aspect of kumquats, the fiber that boosts your metabolism also helps you to feel more full throughout the day. Since the kumquat is a sweet and delicious treat that can also fill you up, it’s a great tool to have when you’re trying to drop a few pounds. It’s also low in calories for the amount of nutrients that it has, making it a perfect part of a balanced diet.
Your weight isn’t the only thing that you think about in terms of appearance, either. With vitamins E and C found in kumquats, your skin and hair get a huge boost by creating more elasticity, glow and less oil. That includes your scalp, which when healthier, allows your head to grow more hair that comes in thicker and more voluminous.
You’ll find a little bit of calcium in each kumquat, but something that can really help your bones that you don’t often think about is vitamin A. Vitamin A helps your body to absorb more calcium, which builds stronger bones that are less likely to lose density over time. This also applies to your teeth, leaving you with a much stronger smile that is less prone to tooth loss and other oral diseases thanks to the additional antioxidants that wipe away bacteria.
Summing it Up
For the average person, all of these benefits that you get from kumquats thankfully don’t come at a cost. So are there any negatives to adding more of these delicious fruits into your diet? Some might be allergic to citrus fruits like kumquats, and it can also interfere with certain types of medication. Other than that, people who have breast cancer will want to consult with their doctor before eating any citrus fruits.
These are problems that are very circumstantial, and negatives aren’t based off of the actual fruit itself. That’s good news for a large majority of the population that enjoys eating kumquats. You’ll want to make sure that you’re getting enough vitamins from the rest of your diet to have a balance in nutrients since kumquats are loaded in just two departments. With all of that said, feel free to eat these pretty much whenever you want, enjoying both the taste and fantastic health benefits!