Are Mandarin Oranges Good for Health?

Mandarin orange is a very popular fruit among the Chinese especially during Chinese New Year. Are you aware about the benefits and risks while enjoying mandarin oranges?

Vitamins in Mandarin Oranges

The raw mandarin fruit is enriched with nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, organic acids, amino acids and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. (1) 

The high level of Vitamin C contributes to its antioxidant properties – preventing oxidation damage on body cells.Its antioxidizing action also promotes skin and gum health. 

In the citrus fruit family, mandarin oranges has amongst the highest value of carotenoid β‐cryptoxanthin (a potent provitamin A). (2) It is a useful source of Vitamin A and it is important in improving eyesight and the immune system. (3) The recommended daily requirement for Vitamin A and C are met by consuming approximately 4 Mandarin oranges.

Protein and Potassium in Mandarin Oranges

The juice sacs of Mandarin oranges carry an abundance of amino acids. Asparagine, arginine, aspartic acid, proline and glutamine are the most dominant non-essential amino acids in the mandarins. (4) These amino acids help in repairing body cells, building up muscles and promoting nerve health. 

Mandarin oranges are also a good source of potassium (comparable with bananas!) and it has a very low amount of sodium. It is therefore suitable to be consumed by those who have high blood pressure and can promote heart health by lowering the blood pressure. (5)

Risks associated with excessive intake of Mandarin Oranges

Mandarins are highly nutritional, however  some people should not consume too many mandarin oranges. People should cut down on their intake of mandarins if they are taking certain medicines such as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). These medicines tend to cause retention of potassium in the body. 

Excessive potassium intake will also burden those who have kidney disease because the kidneys are not able to eliminate potassium effectively. 

The intake of mandarins should also be reduced in people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease and gastric problems because the acidity of mandarins might trigger the symptoms like heartburn.

Conclusion

In short, although mandarin oranges are highly nutritional and satisfies our cravings at the same time, it should not be consumed excessively, especially by certain people. Overall, I would personally recommend consuming a maximum of four mandarin oranges a day.

 

Reference:

  1. Identification of bioactive composition and antioxidant activity in young mandarin fruits.Ye XQ, Chen JC, Liu DH, Jiang P, Shi J, Xue S, Wu D, Xu JG, Kakuda Y (2011). Food Chem. 
  2. Citrus juices technology. In: MA, Erginkaya Z, Ahmad S, Erten H, editors. Food processing: Strategies for quality assessment. Akyildiz A, Ağçam E (2014). New York Heidelberg Dordrecht London: Springer. 
  3. The role of carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases in the regulation of carotenoid profiles during maturation in citrus fruit. Kato M, Matsumoto H, Ikoma Y, Okuda H, Yano M (2006). J Exp Bot.
  4. Effect of different postharvest temperatures on the accumulation of sugars, organic acids, and amino acids in the juice sacs of Satsuma Mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) fruit. Matsumoto H, Ikoma Y (2012).  J Agric Food Chem.
  5. Effects of oral potassium on blood pressure: meta- analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Whelton P, He J, Cutler J (1997). The Journal of the American Medical Association.