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by inKin
08 Apr

The Best Superfoods - A to Z: U is for Ugli Fruit

Jamaican Tangelo, or as we often call it, the ugly fruit, originated on the island of Jamaica at the beginning of the 18th century. It was exported to the US and England in the 1930-the 1940s. It is a natural cross of a tangerine or orange and grapefruit.

"Ugli" is a brand name under which the fruit is marketed, and it plays with the word "ugly" as the fruit does not look very appetizing. However, as people say - appearances are deceiving. Despite its not very delicious and attractive appearance, the ugli fruit has inherited all the nutrients of orange and grapefruit and is packed with many vitamins and minerals. Thus if you want to flavor your life with a new citrus taste, the ugli fruit could be an excellent choice. 

 

Nutrition Facts 

Like its "parent" fruits, the ugli fruit is rich in several nutrients, especially Vitamin C, which should be an essential part of a healthy diet. Half of the ugli fruit contains 45 calories of which:

  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 12 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 70% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
  • Folate: 8% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 2% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 4% of the RDI 

However, unlike grapefruit, the ugli fruit does not include furanocoumarins. Furanocoumarins are a specific group of organic chemical compounds that are found in citrus plants. These compounds are not allowed to consume with certain medications as they enter into interaction with them. Thus people avoiding grapefruit because of drugs could eat ugli fruit instead.  

 

Health Benefits 

 

Controlling Weight

One medium-size ugli fruit contains 87-90 calories, making it an excellent fruit for people trying to lose or control their weight. Are you looking for a snack option? Ugli fruit is here for you. It will fuel your body with necessary nutrients and deliver a healthy dose of fiber and protein. These two also stabilize the amount of sugar in the blood and help to fight frequent food cravings. 

 

Fighting Diabetes

Ugli fruit has a low glycemic index as it contains no fat or cholesterol. The fiber in this fruit also helps to control blood sugar. Another essential component in ugli fruit that helps in fighting diabetes is pectin. Pectin is a gelatin-like carbohydrate that could be found in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. Its commercial version is also used in the productions of jams and jellies as a thickener. Pectin has several benefits for health, including controlling cholesterol and fighting blood sugar. 

 

Boosting Immune System 

Improving our immune system is crucial to fight diseases and stay healthy. The ugli fruit, along with other citruses, is known for its immune-boosting qualities. This is mainly due to the high amount of Vitamin C in them. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient essential for all the tissues of our body. It is a powerful antioxidant supporting the immune system by producing white blood cells, which protect the body from infections. 

 

Improving Eyesight 

Ugli fruit contains a dose of Vitamin A, which is essential for eye health. Vitamin A protects the cornea, which is the outer surface of the eye. It helps us to see under the conditions of low light. The deficit of Vitamin A can result in night blindness. 

 

Reducing Skin Damage

Are you suffering from eczema or psoriasis? Ugli fruit contains a natural antioxidant called catechin. This is a powerful antioxidant that reduces skin damage, boosts collagen synthesis, and protects from UV radiation. Include this fruit into your daily diet, and you will relatively improve your skin. 

 

Ugli Fruit Salad With Spinach 

 

Are you tired of traditional salad ingredients and are looking for something new and unique? If yes, then this quick and easy-to-make ugli fruit salad is what you need. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup of sliced strawberries
  • 1 avocado peeled and diced
  • 1 ugli fruit peeled and cut into segments
  • 1tbsp cider
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 

 

Instructions:

Toss all the fruits and vegetables together in the bowl. Mix the olive oil, cider, salt, and pepper in a jar. Add dressing to the ingredients. 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Depositphotos

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