Kumquat Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Kumquats

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As citrus fruits go, the humble kumquat may not be the most popular, but it has plenty to offer. This small orange fruit stands out for its unique, oblong shape and sweet, edible peel. Its intriguing flavor is a blend of sweetness from its peel and bright tang from its juice.

While the kumquat may be less common than the orange, the benefits are similar. Kumwauts boasts plenty of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. If you’re looking for a sweet fruit, look no further.

Here’s a look at the nutrition, health benefits, and uses of kumquats.

Kumquat Nutrition Facts

Approximately five kumquat pieces (100g) provide 71 calories, 2 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat. Kumquats are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. This nutrition information has been provided by the USDA.

 

  • Calories: 71
  • Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 10mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 6.5g
  • Sugars: 9g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Vitamin C: 44mg
  • Calcium: 62mg
  • Magnesium: 20mg

Carbs

Most of kumquats’ calories come from carbohydrates. In one serving, you can expect to take in 16 grams of carbs, 9 of which are from natural sugars. Their remaining carbs come from fiber, at an impressive 6.5 grams per serving.

Fats

Kumquats are a very low-fat food. A serving of about five fruits contains only 1 gram of fat.

Protein

You won’t find much protein in kumquats. Each individual fruit provides less than 1 gram, totaling 2 grams in a single serving.

Vitamins and Minerals

Kumquats’ most abundant micronutrient is vitamin C. At 44 milligrams, each serving supplies 68% of the Daily Value. Additionally, kumquats also contain smaller amounts of vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium.

Calories

One hundred grams of kumquats (equivalent to about five pieces) provides 71 calories.

Summary

Kumquats are an excellent fiber-rich food that provides tons of vitamin C. These fruits are also high in carbohydrates, but low in fat and protein.

Health Benefits

Supports a Healthy Immune System

Although vitamin C isn’t the cure for the common cold (as folklore might have you believe), it does play a key role in supporting the immune system. This abundant nutrient in kumquats helps cells protect themselves against invading pathogens. And, as an antioxidant, it prevents the buildup of damaging free radicals. These actions work together to promote immune defense.

May Boost Collagen Production

Kumquats’ vitamin C stores don’t just impact what happens on the inside of your body—they could also have benefits for your outward appearance. Vitamin C helps regulate the body’s creation of collagen the protein that keeps skin elastic and helps prevent damage from the sun. A diet sufficient in vitamin C could help maintain that youthful glow.

Benefits Digestion

Ounce for ounce, kumquats are one the highest-fiber fruits around. Their 6.5 grams of fiber per serving can substantially contribute to the recommended target of 38 grams per day for men and 25 grams for women. Getting enough fiber in your diet is an excellent way to promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation and diarrhea.

Helps Reduce Inflammation

Kumquats are high in several antioxidant compounds, which are especially concentrated in the peel. An antioxidant-rich diet not only reduces systemic inflammation but may also reduce the risk of conditions like heart disease and certain cancers.

May Promote Satiety

If you’re working on losing weight, consider kumquats for a tasty snack or side dish starter. The zingy little fruits can add bold flavor to fruit salads, smoothies, or even desserts—without a lot of calories. Plus, their high fiber content will help keep you satiated and curb cravings.

Allergies

If you know you’re allergic to other citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruit, you may want to use extra caution eating kumquats. Cross-reactivity between the different types of citrus could make an allergic reaction to kumquat more likely.

Adverse Effects

Consumed in moderation, kumquats aren’t likely to cause adverse effects. But like any food, too much of them could pose problems. Because of their high level of fiber, overdoing it on kumquats might lead to digestive distress, gas, or bloating. People who need a low-fiber diet should be careful about how many kumquats they eat.

Those on a low-carb diet will also need to stay mindful about eating too many kumquats, since each serving provides 16 grams of carbs.

Varieties

Dozens of kumquat varieties exist, but in the U.S., you're most likely to see the medium-sized, oval-shaped Nagami fruits. Larger kumquat varieties include Meiwa and Fukushu, while Marumi kumquats are on the smaller side. In recent years, cross-bred hybrid fruits have blended kumquats with limes, mandarins, and more. (You may just have to seek these out at specialty exotic fruit purveyors.)

When It’s Best

A kumquat is a citrus fruit, so it’s not surprising that its growing season parallels many other citrus varieties. In the United States, kumquats are grown from November through April.

To choose a ripe, juicy kumquat, give it a gentle squeeze. The best quality fruits will be firm to the touch. And be sure to select those with a vibrant orange color. Green kumquats are not ripe enough to eat.

Storage and Food Safety

To be sure of kumquats’ safety, watch for fruits that are mushy or discolored. If you see these signs of spoilage, it’s best to throw them away.

To keep your kumquats fresh, there are several ways to store them. Though the fruits can sit out at room temperature for a few days, you’ll get more life out of them by keeping them in the refrigerator. There, they can last up to about two weeks.

Want to extend kumquats’ lifespan even further? Try stashing them in the freezer. Frozen whole kumquats can stay good for up to six months. (For easier use once defrosted, you can prep the fruits by halving and seeding them—but this will decrease their freezer life somewhat.)

Just note that after the fruits emerge from the freezer, they won’t be exactly like they were when fresh. Their texture will likely be softer and a bit soggier. However, since many kumquat recipes call for cooking the fruits—which alters their texture anyway—this may not be a concern.

How to Prepare

Unlike other citrus fruits, which must be peeled before eating, kumquats are unique in that you can eat them whole. If you enjoy eating them peel and all, consider buying organic kumquats, since pesticides may linger on the outside of conventionally grown kumquats.

Eating the fruits whole isn’t, of course, mandatory. You can also peel them, slice them, and seed them. They also make a one-of-a-kind addition to salsas, desserts, sauces, chutneys, and more.

Recipes

Healthy Kumquat Recipes to Try

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Article Sources
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