Clementines, the smallest members of the mandarin orange family, have been enjoyed in the United States since 1909. These small, sweetly flavored citrus fruits are a cross between a mandarin and a sweet orange and are grown domestically as well as imported from Spain, Chile, Morocco and Africa. Clementines possess numerous nutritional benefits. Clementines are easy to peel, readily available, help relieve stress and are beneficial for skin.
Clementines have a high vitamin C content. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, consuming two clementines fulfills the daily recommendation for vitamin C. Vitamin C supports the immune system and assists the body in forming collagen in the muscles, bones and cartilage. Additionally, Today's Women & Health points out that clementines contain ascorbic acid and beta carotene, which promote healthy vision and minimize age-related vision loss.
According to Paramount Citrus Growers, there are only 40 calories in each clementine. Clementines have no sodium or cholesterol; however, clementines do contain nutrients such as potassium, fiber, vitamin A, calcium, thiamine, folate, magnesium and copper.
Clementines usually are seedless and have thin, easily peeled skin, which makes them easy to eat for a snack or with a meal. According to Paramount Citrus Growers, clementines are often called "zipper oranges" because peeling one is so quick and easy. This makes clementines a viable healthy alternative to convenience snacks such as chips, cookies or candy bars.
According to Today's Women & Health, the clementine's scent causes the brain to release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood. Serotonin also helps to regulate blood pressure, sleep and body temperature. The calming effect can help to alleviate stress or anxiety and elevate mood.
Clementines are grown domestically in Florida and California, with a growing season which extends from November until May. Clementines are readily available throughout the year due to supermarkets importing them from other countries. Spain produces clementines during the months of November until February. South Africa grows clementines from June until August, and Chile produces the small citrus fruits from August until October.
Benefits to the Skin
Clementines contain citric acid, which is an antibacterial agent. Using clementine juice topically can eliminate the bacteria that cause pimples. Additionally, the vitamin C in clementines can stimulate collagen production in the skin; thus, minimizing fine lines and improving skin's texture.
- Photo Credit clementine image by laurent gehant from Fotolia.com
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