Discovered for the first time in ancient China over three thousand years ago, Tangerine is a hybrid of bitter orange and the popular mandarin fruit. Tangerine gets its flavors from both these; it is tangy as well as sweet. Tracing back to the eighteenth century, the fruit got its name from a city Tangier, Morocco, that had a port through which the first tangerines were sent to Europe.
This flat, reddish-orange fruit has gained popularity for various reasons. Among the numerous health benefits of tangerines, they are most famous for their high nutrient, low-calorie quality. They are also a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folate as well.
Sweeter and less sour than an orange, these fruits are easily peeled and are majorly grown in the Southeast Asian tropical forests. In the Northern hemisphere, it is a seasonal fruit, which starts coming to the market in October and lasts up to the month of April.
A Brief About the Beneficial Tangerine
Tangerine is one of the oldest domesticated plants. Being a type of citrus fruit, it belongs to the family called Rutaceae and the genus of flowering plants. Tangerines trees are small and erect. The fruits grow on the end of the branches. Tangerine has various juicy hybrids like Tangors, Tangelos, Clementine’s, etc.
They are smaller in size than oranges and taste more sweet and strong than the oranges. However, they are less sour or tart. They are pretty expensive, due to their loose skins, making them hard to pick. The highly beneficial tangerines are known for their vitamin C(1) content, which is more than that in oranges and additionally, has lesser calories than the latter.
[Read: Benefits of Ugli Fruit]
What are the Tangerine Nutrition Value That Makes It Stand Out?
To know the nutritional benefits of tangerines, we need to first study their composition. The fruit contains 0% fats, 4% of daily value carbs, and has 85% of water content, which is very high. From the information given below, let’s understand the nutrient composition of tangerines.
- Vitamin A 14% of Daily Value
- Folate 4% of Daily Value
- Vitamin C 44% of Daily Value
- Carbs 13.3 grams/100 grams
- Fiber 1.8 grams/100 grams
- Fat 0.3 grams/100 grams
- Protein 0.8 grams/100 grams
- Calories 53
- Potassium 5% of Daily Value
Being a high source of vitamin C, which works as a potential antioxidant, it helps in synthesizing collagen in our body and helps in iron absorption from the foods. Vitamin A present in tangerine helps improve vision, immunity, and cell communication and reproduction. Folate is a type of vitamin B which helps build RNA and DNA for healthy new cells and produces red blood cells.
It also contains a good quantity of Potassium, a mineral useful for all the tissues and organs in the body, bone health, and for the proper functioning of several systems of the human body. Other than this, Tangerines are full of flavonoids. These help in fighting cancer as well as prevent cardiovascular diseases(2). All this makes tangerine the wonder fruit it is today.
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How is Tangerine Different from Orange?
Let’s look at the difference between tangerines and oranges.
In size, oranges are bigger than tangerines. The latter is less round and flatter. While oranges weigh more and are firm, tangerines are softer and lighter. The skin of oranges being tighter than that of tangerines, they are difficult to peel. Another difference between the two is their colors. Oranges mostly come in yellow-orange, while tangerines are reddish-orange in color.
|Vitamin A||4% DV||14% DV|
|Folate||8% DV||4% DV|
|Vitamin C||89% DV||44% DV|
|Carbs||11.7 / 100 grams||13.3 /100 grams|
|Fiber||2.4 / 100 grams||1.8 /100 grams|
|Fat||0.1 /100 grams||0.3 /100 grams|
|Protein||0.9 /100 grams||0.8 / 100 grams|
|Potassium||5% DV||5% DV|
|Water Content||87% DV||85% DV|
As discussed before, tangerines are sweeter and less sour than oranges. Also, the flavor in tangerine is stronger than that in oranges. Blood orange, however, is an exception; it is different in taste than both, tangerines and oranges.
Like all other citrus fruits, tangerines are a very good source of vitamin C. Along with that, they contain potassium and fiber that help in low blood pressure and muscle repair, and digestion, respectively. Oranges contain a lot of anti-oxidants. These are good for heart-related problems. The citric acid in oranges helps against kidney stones. Nutritional benefits of tangerines and oranges are many as seen above.
[Read: Benefits of Mamey Fruit]
What are the 10 Health Benefits of Tangerine?
1. Good for Eyes
In America, the major reason for the loss of vision in the people of the age 60 and above is cataract and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)(3). Tangerines help treat it. Being a great source of vitamin A and C, tangerines can delay, reduce the risk and even prevent the loss of vision in older people. Overall, they are very good for the eyes. Eaten raw and fresh, the vitamin content is properly retained.
[Also Read: Natural Remedies to Treat Dry Eyes]
2. Important for Skin Care
The antioxidants in Tangerine help the skin from harmful free-radicals. Vitamin C content in the fruit adds to the benefits. One can use a simple homemade mask made from tangerine to remove dirt, bacteria, oil and brighten the skin. For this, you need to mix honey, yogurt, tangerine slices together.
Applying this mixture, leaving it on for approx. 10-15 minutes and then rinsing it off, makes the skin clean, soft, and glowing. Tangerine can be a significant part of one’s skincare regime.
3. An Anti-Aging Aid
The distinctive qualities and a large number of antioxidants in Tangerine support the formation of elastin and collagen. Not only is this good for the skin, but also slows down the aging of a human body. It also reduces wrinkles.
4. Iron Absorption
Doctors usually suggest more iron consumption. But iron intake is not enough; its absorption is necessary. Vitamin C in Tangerine aids the body to absorb iron from the food very effectively. Iron keeps the body active, fresh, glowing, and helps in reducing eye bags under your eyes.
5. Keeps Your Hair Healthy
The vitamins in tangerine allow the body to absorb iron. Iron is good for a lot of things, including hair. For hair, iron absorption helps in improving their health and growth. Another vitamin present in this fruit, vitamin B12, is very good against hair loss and the graying process. It also promotes hair growth.
6. Mood – Boosters
The scent of citrus is proven to be good for our moods. It reduces anxiety and stress and helps a person calm down. This enhances the mood and hence, is directly good for our mental health.
7. Stronger Bones
For improving bone density and reducing the risk of fractures, it is suggested to consume more potassium and vitamin C. Tangerines are a rich source of both these nutrients!
[Also Read: Essential Oils for Broken Bones]
8. Improves Immune System
Among so many benefits of Tangerines, one is the enhancement of immunity in our body. Vitamin C helps to do so. Tangerine, taken with mint tea, will help boost the immunity as well as introduce anti-viral properties.
9. Good for Diabetes and Digestion
Having high water content, tangerines keep you hydrated and the vitamin A present in it helps in nutrient absorption. This makes the fruit good for digestion. The flavonoids are a good means of prevention against type 2 diabetes. The flavonoid called nobiletin reduces the production and storage of fats. Hence, on consuming tangerines, the person has reduced risk of diabetes. Moreover, tangerines are a big aid in weight loss as they contain a fiber which inhibits your hunger.
10. A Healthy Heart
Nobiletin, a flavonoid present in tangerine is good against a major cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis. This disease is the most common cause of attacks and strokes. The potassium present in this fruit also helps against heart-diseases. Additionally, folate in tangerines is good for cell and tissue growth as well as DNA repair. It helps in the generation of red blood cells.
Tangerine- Side Effects & Precautions to be Undertaken
Despite all the benefits of tangerines that we have seen, and research being carried out on them, there is very little information available on the side effects it has on your health. Consumption of tangerines is good, but some people might have to take note of a few precautions while consuming them. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are at a greater risk of developing a side effect and it is advisable to keep tangerines at bay.
A hybrid of orange and mandarin, tangerines are a type of citrus fruits found in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. The fruit has a strong flavor and is sweet and tangy in taste. The health benefits of tangerines are numerous.
From protecting against heart diseases, diabetes, kidney stones, orthopedic diseases, to life-threatening diseases like cancer, tangerines are proven to be highly beneficial. They bring other advantages too- for hair, skin, eyes, weight loss, and many more.
The nutrient composition of tangerine is what makes it an amazing health-friendly fruit. However, they come with certain side-effects, especially for pregnant women, and are costly.