What is an ugli fruit, and why is it good for your gut?
Ugli fruit, also known as Uniq fruit or the Jamaican tangelo, is a cross between a Mandarin Orange and a pomelo (closely related to the grapefruit). This citrus fruit can be orange, yellow, or green in color outside, bright orange on the inside, and anything but ugly! Ugli fruit tastes juicy, sweet, and tangy, making it a great ingredient in smoothies, sauces, and dressings. When grown, the crop is not large and this limited supply makes it expensive and rather scarce during the year: they are only in season from December to April.
Ugli fruit is high in vitamin C, folate, calcium, and potassium. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties, while folate, calcium, and potassium play an important role in metabolism. Diets high in folate may be protective against and help lower the risk for colorectal cancer, which is on a steady increase in those of all-ages world-wide.
Vitamin C in particular has various benefits for the gut, as it helps to create a healthier gut microbiome by maintaining balance of good gut bacteria and bad gut bacteria. Potassium can also be found in ugli fruit and potassium is essential in gut health. Potassium is one of the major compounds used in nerve signaling, and a potassium deficiency can lead to digestive problems due to a failure to relay signals from the brain to the digestive tract.
In addition to all these micronutrient benefits, 1 Ugli fruit contains 2 grams of fiber. Fiber (as many of us know) is essential for bowel motility, but microbiome health, and reducing risk of a plethora of gut-related diseases.
Ways to eat it
Eat it by itself as a refreshing snack!
Add it to other meals such as salads, smoothies, or stir-fries to replace oranges or tangerines, or add to the citrus combination!
Recipe: Citrus Fruit Salad
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
4 ugli citrus fruits, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp olive oil, to drizzle
fresh cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Arrange the citrus slices and cucumbers on a plate.
Top with shallots and lime zest.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with cayenne pepper to taste, and salt.
Finish with the cilantro and squeeze the lime juice over the top.
Heal with each meal!
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