These little fruit are often called "Christmas oranges" as they are part of our holiday traditions. I always found a mandarin in my stocking and now my children do, too!
The great news? Not only are they delicious, but they are loaded with nutritional goodness. These little guys are rich in Vitamin C, folate, potassium and Vitamin A. Vitamin C is proven to be an impressive antioxidant, but there are lesser known antioxidants found in mandarins, too.
Many studies have found that certain acids in the mandarin orange contain antioxidants that significantly reduce the biomarkers for oxidative stress in children with high cholesterol. It also enhanced their overall antioxidant status.
Mandarin oranges also raise levels of protective antioxidant enzymes in the liver. Some scientists are now suggesting that regular consumption of these oranges may act as a support against liver cell damage. A Japanese study showed that consuming mandarin juice could keep hepatitis infected patients from developing liver cancer.
If you can get your hands on some organic mandarins, grate some peel and use it in you oatmeal, salad dressings or rice to benefit from cancer fighting compounds. These compounds have the potential to lower cholesterol and blood pressure with no side effects (as you would have to deal with when using prescription drugs). These compounds have also shown the ability to kill cancer cells and inhibit their growth in the breast, lung and colon.
Stored in a cool, dry place they will last for 2-3 weeks - but they are usually eaten in the first few days, right?!
Check out the recipe page for Mandarin and Pecan muffins.