Mandarins belong to the Citrus genus. It’s believed they originated in ancient China, which is how they got their name. Their peel is deep-orange, leathery, and protects the sweet, juicy segments inside.
Mandarins grow on flowering small- to moderately-sized citrus trees. As they ripen, they change from a deep green to their recognizable orange color and grow to a width of about 1.6–3 inches (4–8 cm).
You may hear mandarins referred to as “mandarin oranges,” but this is not an accurate description. Though they share an orange exterior, mandarins are a different species of citrus from oranges, which belong to Citrus sinensis.
Unlike oranges, mandarins are not round. Rather, they’re oblong, resembling a sphere with a flattened top and bottom. They’re also easier to peel.
Mandarins boast an impressive nutritional profile.
One medium mandarin (88 grams) packs the following nutrients:
Carbs: 12 grams
Protein: 0.7 grams
Fat: 0.3 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Vitamin C: 26% of the Daily Value (DV)
Magnesium: 2.5% of the DV
Potassium: 3% of the DV
Copper: 4% of the DV
Iron: nearly 1% of the DV
This potent little fruit delivers over a quarter of the DV for vitamin C, which is important for skin health, wound healing, and proper immune function.
Mandarins also provide important minerals. While they’re not a rich source of copper, they boast more of it than most fruits. Copper is essential to health, as it aids red blood cell production and iron absorption. Thus, it helps transport oxygen to your tissues.
Along with vitamins and minerals, one medium (88-gram) mandarin packs 8% of the DV for fiber. Fiber feeds your beneficial gut bacteria, which aid digestion and may even help reduce your risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Mandarins are rich in health-boosting plant compounds like flavonoids.
Flavonoids are readily found in foods. They’re a type of antioxidant that helps defend your body against an imbalance of free radicals, which could otherwise lead to oxidation. Oxidation can promote aging and the onset of diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Another way that flavonoids may help protect against cancer is by suppressing genes that support cancer growth and inactivating cancer-promoting compounds.
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Store in a cool and dry place
This product requires a quantity of 10 minimum.