Uses and Benefits of the Kumquat

If you like citrus fruits, you must try the kumquat, a fruit that stands out for its high quality vitamins and antioxidants.
Uses and Benefits of the Kumquat
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 23 September, 2022

The kumquat is a fruit that stands out, fundamentally, for its vitamin C content. This element is key to achieving internal homeostasis, thus avoiding the development of both infectious and chronic pathologies. It’s also known as the “Chinese mandarin” and is the only citrus fruit that we eat with the peel, which ensures a much higher intake of flavonoids and antioxidant compounds.

Before we begin, we must emphasize that the presence of fruits and vegetables in the diet is recommended by almost all nutrition experts. However, some care must be taken with fruits. In the case of sedentary people, it isn’t recommended to have more than 2 or 3 pieces a day, as their fructose content could cause alterations in the functioning of the liver.

Benefits of the kumquat

The kumquat.
Curiously, the peel of the kumquat is eaten and, in addition, it’s sweeter than its pulp.

First of all, it’s key to comment that the vitamin C in kumquats improves the functioning of the immune system, both innate and acquired. This is evidenced by research published in the journal Nutrients.

This element will reduce the risk of infections and ensure better control of symptoms should they develop. Therefore, it’s necessary to ensure that the level is always maintained in optimal ranges.

On the other hand, we can’t fail to mention the presence of fiber inside the kumquat. This substance makes the difference when we talk about intestinal health. It’s able to increase the volume of the fecal bolus.

This will cause a greater stimulation of the mechanoreceptors of the digestive tube. In this way, you’ll be less likely to experience constipation, as the transit will be smoother. A study published in the BMJ corroborates this.

In addition to all this, there’s the effect of antioxidants. Phytochemicals are able to neutralize the formation of free radicals and their subsequent accumulation in the body’s tissues.

This effect has been shown to be related to a lower incidence of chronic and complex pathologies, such as cardiovascular diseases and various types of cancer. For this reason, it’s essential to ensure a constant supply of them.

Finally, this fruit provides folic acid. This nutrient is especially important during pregnancy, as requirements are increased at this time. If you don’t take enough, the risk of experiencing alterations in the development of the fetus would increase, especially at a neurological level. For this reason, it’s common to recommend supplementation.

How to consume kumquats

As we mentioned before, the kumquat is the only citrus fruit that’s consumed with peel. The sweet taste is found in this part, although with certain acidic nuances. The pulp, on the other hand, is bitter. It’s normal to rinse them a little with water to clean any possible impurities and eat them whole. Their small size allows it. However, there are more options to enjoy them!

For example, it’s possible to use these fruits as an accompaniment to salads or even in cocktails. They can also be crushed to make juices. It’s even possible to find frozen varieties that work well in smoothies, improving their organoleptic characteristics and nutritional density.

In some places, they are used to make jams, with a characteristic sweet and acid touch. However, this last option isn’t the most recommended one for regular consumption, as the sugar content is very high.

Uses and benefits of the Kumquat or Chinese Orange
Kumquats are best eaten with their peel on.

To conserve the kumquat, a cool and dry place is always recommended. It’s important to avoid direct exposure to sunlight so that they don’t ripen quickly and lose organoleptic and nutritional qualities.

Some people put them in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life, but it’s best to keep them at room temperature. In the worst case, they can be frozen, even if they have been cut first.

You may also be interested in: 5 Alternative Uses for Orange Peels

Kumquat, an exotic fruit with several health benefits

As you have seen, the kumquat is a variety of citrus fruit from China that has several health benefits, mainly derived from its vitamin C and antioxidant content.

Both elements are vital in the prevention of chronic and complex pathologies, which will prevent well-being from diminishing over the years. However, it’s essential to avoid any nutritional deficit to achieve this goal.

Finally, don’t forget that it’s best to ensure a varied consumption of fruits and vegetables. Each of these foods contains different types of phytochemicals.

Ensuring the intake of all of them in varying proportions is essential in order to maintain internal homeostasis. This will balance the oxidative and inflammatory processes, which is key to preventing problems in our body’s organs.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
  • Tabbers MM, Benninga MA. Constipation in children: fibre and probiotics. BMJ Clin Evid. 2015;2015:0303. Published 2015 Mar 10.
  • Neha K, Haider MR, Pathak A, Yar MS. Medicinal prospects of antioxidants: A review. Eur J Med Chem. 2019;178:687-704. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.06.010

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.