What is yuzu and why is it good for your gut?
Yuzu is a hybrid citrus fruit also known as yuja. It originated in China over 1,000 years ago and now grows in Japan, Korea, and other parts of the world. The fruit is small, with a diameter of 2–3 inches (5.5–7.5 cm). It has a relatively thick yellow skin, has an aromatic flavor, and is more sour than other citrus fruits. Compounds like limonene and linalool are responsible for yuzu oil’s distinct aroma, which carries notes of grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, and lime. Interestingly, several studies note that yuzu oil has soothing effects when inhaled, potentially helping reduce tension and anxiety.
Yuzu is most common in Japan, and it is used in a variety of dishes, and it is available in both concentrated forms and juice forms in the United States, but there is a ban on importing the fresh fruit from foreign markets. Though yuzu is grown in some areas of California, and can be both grown and sold domestically. Yuzu is in high demand with low supply, so it can be a bit pricey in your regular Asian supermarkets. If you can get your hands on this fruit that looks like a cross between a lemon, white grapefruit, and an orange, there are significant benefits to adding them to your diet!
These fruits have 59% of the RDA for vitamin-C, 31% for vitamin-A, as well as other vitamins such as vitamin B6, B5, and thiamine. 1 cup of Yuzu also contains 1.8 g of fiber! The fiber in these fruits-- as well as many other fruits-- helps with gut motility and digestion, and B-vitamin complexes play an important role in regulation and support of gut microbiome function. They also help regulate and provide nutrients for the bacteria that live there.
Citrus flavonoids in yuzu have been found to moderate chloride channels in the colon and stimulate the digestive system in an in-vitro model, meaning it was done in a lab and not in human test subjects. The citrus compounds that are in these little fruits can potentially aid in digestion and motility in combination with the fiber. The properties in two key flavonoids (hesperidin and naringin) in both the yuzu flesh and peel have been shown in test-tube and animal studies that yuzu extract may have anti-clotting effects by inhibiting the grouping of platelets. This can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke.
Try adding these different citrus varieties into your diet for a change!
Ways to eat it
Add yuzu in as a tangy addition to any smoothie or breakfast oatmeal recipe!
Its juice, peel, and seeds serve as gourmet flavorings for vinegars, dressings, seasonings, sauces, and marmalades.
Yuzu oil is also commonly used in cosmetics, perfume, and aromatherapy!
Like many citrus fruits, yuzu is a fantastic addition to a salad!
#GoodGut tip: For those with a sensitive gut, try freezing a bit of this fruit before using it in a recipe.
Recipe: Yuzu-Persimmon Salad
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
1/2 yuzu fruit (1 Tbsp bottled yuzu juice)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp gluten-free soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/4 cup natural sweetener (applesauce, fresh orange juice)
2 fuyu persimmon, diced
4 cups salad leaves (your choice)
Whisk all the wet ingredients together to make the dressing.
In a large bowl, combine the persimmon and salad leaves.
Combine the dressing and greens with persimmon.
Heal with each meal!
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Karp, D. (2003, December 3). The Secrets Behind Many Chefs’ Not-So-Secret Ingredient. The
Mandl, E. (2020, January 3). 13 Emerging Benefits and Uses of Yuzu Fruit. Healthline.
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Rosner, H. (2020, February 27). Nothing Compares to Yuzu. The New Yorker.
Williams, R. (2021, July 15). Yuzu Dressing Persimmon Salad (Vegan + GF). Rhian’s Recipes.