The name might suggest one thing, but the ugli fruit benefits suggest otherwise. That’s why I like to think of the fruit as the uncut diamond of citrus fruits. When people look for diamonds, they look for polished and cut diamonds that look stunningly beautiful. And the same thing happens with citrus. I bet you consume grapefruits, oranges, tangerine, or even lemons. But people rarely think of ugli fruit as a great citrus fruit.
But unlike many other citrus fruits like grapefruit, ugli fruit has a sweet flavor. As such, you can eat it on its own. But you can also combine it in certain recipes.
Before we get to the ugli fruit benefits, let’s take a look at its nutritional value. One serving of fruit (which is actually one fruit) contains just 45 calories. In one fruit, you get the following nutrients:
- 2g of dietary fiber
- 11g of carbs
- 1g of protein
- 70% of the daily value of vitamin C
- 2% of the daily value of calcium
Helps with weight loss
One of the main reasons citrus fruits are great for weight loss is their calorie-to-nutrients ratio. With just 45 calories per serving, ugli fruit is an excellent source of fiber while keeping the calories at bay. There is no fat and almost zero carbs. For people trying to lose weight, ugli fruit is a no-brainer.
In addition to having almost no calories, the fiber in ugli fruit helps you maintain a healthy weight by providing a feeling of fullness. You feel full for a longer period of time, meaning there are no sugar and hunger cravings.
Boosts immune system
Every citrus fruit is a great way to boost your immune system. The richness in vitamin C is the key, but ugli fruit also contains other antioxidants. Just one fruit provides you with 70% of the daily value, which is close to that provided by lemons and grapefruit. Antioxidants are also important, as they fight off the nasty free radicals.
Eliminates the risk of heart disease
Since there is zero fat in ugli fruit, the citrus fruit helps with regulating cholesterol and blood sugar. By doing so, the fruit eliminates the risk of heart disease. Keeping your blood sugar and cholesterol at bay is crucial for preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Improves bone health
Ugli fruit might not contain high doses of calcium, but it is still something. We all know calcium is crucial for healthy bones and teeth. As we grow older, we need more and more calcium to keep our bones fresh and healthy and prevent conditions like osteoporosis.
With just 1g of protein per serving, you cannot expect ugli fruit to help you build muscles. But you can expect the fruit to help with muscle repair. Since it contains a low amount of sugar, no fat, and a low amount of carbs, ugli fruit is excellent for refreshing and rejuvenating your muscles after exercise.
I discussed how the ugli’s low calorie value helps with blood sugar and cholesterol. But being cholesterol- and fat-free also helps with diabetes. People with diabetes can consume this healthy fruit without any problems. But you can also consume it as a precautionary measure to prevent diabetes.
Reduces the risk of cancer
Let’s be honest. So far, no fruit nor vegetable has been confirmed as something that will cure cancer. However, as we know, every little bit helps. And in terms of preventing cancer and reducing the risk of disease, ugli fruit helps by providing a steady dose of antioxidants. And that is not all: ugli fruit is rich in many other positive nutrients that increase your body’s ability to fight the disease.
Protects against kidney stones
The same nutrients that help fight cancer help to dissolve kidney stones as well. Consuming the fruit on a daily basis will prevent kidney stones from forming in your body. One of the compounds in ugli fruit, limonene, has been used in Japan for that purpose for a while.
How to eat it
Before we get to the part about how to eat ugli fruit, let’s talk about where to find it. For starters, this is a seasonal fruit, and you can only find it at certain times. The season for ugli fruit starts in December and lasts through April. You can find the fruit in specialty food stores. Bear in mind, though, that since the fruit is imported, the price is high, and it can cost two times more than grapefruit.
To select the best ugli fruit, you have to know how to select ripe fruit. The trick is to look for fruit that feels heavy for its size. Don’t pay attention to the color.
There are two ways to eat it. The first way is to cut the fruit in half, loosen the segments, and eat it with a spoon. Once you cut the fruit in half, the inside will look similar to orange. But the ugli fruit is a bit fresher than an orange. The fruit is sweet on its own, unlike grapefruit.
Another way to eat ugli fruit is to peel the skin off and then separate the fruit into sections. Do the same thing you do with a tangerine – eat the segments one by one.
Speaking of grapefruit and oranges, you can use ugli fruit as an alternative to both. I recommend adding it to fruit salads or salads with mixed dark greens.