Mandarin Oranges Are A Healthy Snack

mandarinsMandarin oranges are a popular snack in the winter months and around the holidays. They are readily available at most any grocery store, and offer a portable, easy to eat snack. Even better, mandarins are extremely good for you, and are a healthy sweet treat.

Identifying Mandarin Oranges

This palm-sized, bright orange citrus fruit has a shape similar to a tangerine or orange. The difference is they are smaller, and have flattened poles. When ripe, a mandarin has a slightly soft feel when gently squeezed and are effortless to peel.

These little citrus gems contain easy-to-separate segments and are often eaten as is. They can also be added to salads or desserts. You can also juice them for a healthy drink. Probably the most appealing aspect of most of the commercially available mandarins is that they are seedless.

How Are Mandarins Healthy?

Nutritionally, mandarin oranges are a very smart snack. One average mandarin has only about 47 calories. It also packs a whopping average 30% of your daily recommended value of vitamin C. Additionally, it will provide close to a gram of protein, 7 grams of sugar, and about 10% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. There is no fat or cholesterol in a mandarin, so they’re regarded as a hearty healthy snack and perfect for those watching their weight.

A mandarin orange contains close to a gram of fiber. Fiber is important in any diet as it helps you feel fuller for longer, and can help curb cravings and ward off over-indulging.

Mandarin oranges provide antioxidants, which everyone can benefit from. The main antioxidant profile of mandarins includes those involved in eye health (beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin).

Phytochemicals are responsible for the mandarin’s bright orange color, and also provide health benefits in the form of flavonoids. The flavanoids found in mandarins, hesperetin and naringenin, both may help lower cholesterol. Some research also suggests these flavonoids may aid in cancer prevention by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.

Try a mandarin orange today and check out our other articles on healthy foods.

Video credit: Handimania | Youtube

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