What Are the Benefits of Mandarin Oranges?

Mandarin oranges, sometimes called tangerines, are common additives in culinary cuisine. Their halves are placed into main dishes, salads and desserts, such as gelatin and pudding. The oil from mandarin oranges is used in tasty treats, providing flavor for candies, gum and ice cream. However, mandarin oranges do more than provide a pleasing taste. This citrus fruit has multiple health benefits, from reducing the risk of cancer to weight loss.

Mandarin oranges on plate (Image: dmitroza/iStock/Getty Images)

Lowered Cancer Risk

Mandarin oranges can lower your risk of liver cancer, says the RxPG News site. In a study published in the March 2009 issue of Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, researchers found that, people with chronic viral hepatitis who drank mandarin orange juice reduced their risk of developing liver cancer. In the 2.5-year study, participants with the disorder hepatitis who consumed a beverage containing mandarin juice daily showed no signs of liver cancer. This is in contrast to the 8.9 percent rate of liver cancer found among the participants who did not drink the daily beverage.

A Vitamin C Source

Mandarin oranges provide you with up to 80 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. Vitamin C has many, helping destroy unstable molecules in your body known as free radicals via its antioxidant properties. Free radicals are molecules with odd numbers of electrons that search for an even number by taking an electron from stable compounds your immune system makes to fight infections. This causes a chain reaction, making stable free radicals unstable and potentially damaging protein and DNA. Antioxidants help stop this chain reaction, preventing cellular damage.

Cholesterol Improvements

The antioxidants in mandarin oranges can lower your bad cholesterol levels. They do this by combating the free radicals that oxidize your cholesterol, which makes the cholesterol stick to your artery walls, says FitDay. This causes blood to slow down when moving in the arteries, which can increase your risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. The attachment to the arteries can also cause an increase in liver disease as well, says the site.

Weight Loss

Mandarin oranges are a good source of dietary fiber, with 3 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving. Regularly eating fiber helps you feel fuller longer, reducing your desire or need to eat more food, assisting in weight loss. Women should consume about 25 grams of fiber daily, and men need about 38 grams. Adding mandarin oranges to your meals often can supply you a significant part of this daily requirement.

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