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Tangerine, the gift of winter for our health

December 19, 2021
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Tangerine, the gift of winter for our health

Antioxidant, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties, protects the liver, brain and heart, fights diabetes and the oxidation of bad cholesterol, also useful in combating wrinkles

Tangerines are the gift that winter gives us. In fact, these fruits are not only cheerful, colorful and pleasantly scented, but they are also a precious source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances, which work to protect our health. And the strength is that nothing is thrown away from the mandarin since every part of it is a concentrate of beneficial properties, even the peel. But let's understand better.

Slices of health

One slice and then another, juicy, refreshing and fragrant, mandarin is the fruit of the colder months and is also a precious ally for health. In fact, this fruit is characterized by important antioxidant properties, capable of counteracting free radicals and cellular degeneration (Duzzioni et al, Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2009 - Celano et al, Nutr Cancer, 2015). Mandarin also contains vitamins, such as A and C, with a supportive action on the immune system, and mineral salts, such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, but also fiber, useful for intestinal health, and water, an aid to stay hydrated (Food Data Central USDA).

Mandarin peels for brain health and with an antitumor action

Mandarin peel contains valuable antioxidants of the flavonoid class, such as hesperidin, tangeretin and nobiletin. Well, it has been shown that the synergy of these three active ingredients is able to counteract neuroinflammation (Ho et al, Food Chem Toxicol, 2014). This fact is noteworthy since the most recent scientific research has made it possible to understand that, behind degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, there must be two processes at the same time, namely the formation of aggregates of beta amyloid and tau proteins and the inflammation of the brain. Countering neuroinflammation therefore is equivalent to reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer's (Pascoal et al, Nature Medicine, 2021). Furthermore, thanks to the precious flavonoids hesperidin, tageretin and nobiletin, mandarin peels have also been shown to be anticancer and able to counteract the formation of diseased cells (Koolaji et al, Curr Dev Nutr, 2020).

Mandarin peels and black tea, the perfect combination to protect liver and skin

Scientific studies have focused on a very special synergy given by mandarin peels and black tea. Well, what has emerged is that this combination is a powerful antioxidant, even capable of protecting the liver from cellular degeneration, inducing apoptosis of cancer cells and blocking their proliferation (Wen et al, Mol Biol Rep, 2020). You can make this drink by bringing a cup of water to a boil, remove from heat and add a teaspoon of black tea and a few dried tangerine peels. Leave to infuse for five minutes, then filter and drink when lukewarm. Another way to take advantage of this synergy is, for example, to add a few strips of fresh tangerine peel to the morning yogurt and drink a cup of strong black tea. In fact, a scientific study has observed that drinking black tea and consuming mandarin peels is a way to maximize the antioxidant action of tea and mandarin peels taken individually. In particular, this synergy has been shown to protect the skin from the development of tumors (Hakim et al, BMC Dermatol, 2001).

Mandarin peels against diabetes and hypercholesterolemia

Mandarin peels also have other very interesting and important properties. In fact, thanks to the hesperidin and quercetin content, they increase insulin sensitivity and fight diabetes. Not only that, thanks to the antioxidant action of its active ingredients, mandarin peel reduces the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol, which is considered a process capable of paving the way for arteriosclerosis (Ali et al, Oxid Med Cell Longev, 2020).

Mandarin peels as a beauty treatment

Mandarin peels are also a valuable beauty treatment. In fact, including mandarin peels in cosmetics has been shown to counteract wrinkles since the peels are able to inhibit the action of collagenase and elastase enzymes, responsible for the degradation of collagen and elastin and skin aging (Apraj et al, Pharmacognosy Res., 2016). In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of very thick Greek yogurt, the grated rind of one tangerine and a teaspoon of argan oil. Apply to cleansed face for ten minutes, then rinse and continue with your daily beauty routine. Perform this treatment in the evening as the peel of the mandarin, like the peel of all citrus fruits, contains phototoxic substances that can cause reactions such as irritation and allergies once they come in contact with light.

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