YUZU [: you-so] Healthy

Yuzu?

Is this like another Snaahhz-berries
Alas, it is not – Sorry, Gene Wilder fans.

However, I’m sure it will be on Dr OZ and Oprah soon – so congrats to fans of them!

Keep your ears and eyes peeled for this new super-fruit.
In fact, keep the peel too.
Allow me to explain.

I know I just wrote an article about the benefits of Vitamin C – so consider this an addendum, as I was just made privy to this incredible little fruit while doing research for a client and wanted to get it at your fingertips right away.
Yuzu.
Pronounced “you –so”, that was for real up top, not just another one of my puns. Sometimes the Universe smiles on me, what can I say.

It is a small citrus fruit native to China that is slowly making its way over to the States and is being used in high-end restaurants [particularly Asian ones] in cocktails, dressings, marinades, syrups, sorbets, and sauces.

Like So..Yuzu Sangria

Like So..Yuzu Sangria

The taste has been called “tart, but not bitter” with an incredible ability to refresh the palate in between courses. Agriculturally speaking, it is a cross between the Mandarin Orange and the Ichang Papeda, an exotic citrus fruit native to the Himalayas.

     mandarin          +       OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     =  yuzu3     [ Smiley face not included]

That all sounds great, but what about its nutritional content?
Rest assured, if it made it onto this website, it is jam-packed with vitamins and phytonutrients.

Let’s look at some of the amazing benefits of this tiny little fruit – the most potent of which is actually found in the peel!

1. Recent studies completed by researchers in South Korea [where the largest crop of Yuzu is cultivated] showed that food fortified with powdered Yuzu extract [simply made from the shavings of the peel zest] protected brain neurons by preventing the buildup of brain plaques associated with dementia.
2. Yuzu extract, found in the flesh, juice, and peel, is rich in the phytonutrient/flavonoid known as Hesperidin and Naringin. Both of these flavonoids are unique in that they contain anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties allowing them to cross the blood-brain barrier and act directly to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Why is this important?

a. Oxidative stress and inflammation of the brain are linked to dementia
                                                         b. Reversing the processes of stress and inflammation of the brain assists in reversing insulin resistance

                                                                                                i. insulin resistance in the brain is thought to cause plaques in the hippocampus region of the brain, which is the part of the brain largely responsible memory and spatial navigation [cognitive decline in this area manifests as dementia]

3. Interestingly, as the Yuzu fruit ripens, the level of antioxidants increases, specifically in the PEEL which has high levels of Pectin to help coat and protect stomach lining and ward of digestive tract ulcers

yuzu2
The peel is edible and should be cleaned first as with any fruit/veggie possibly subject to insecticides
TIPS:

Gently scrub the outer peel with some sea salt and rinse in cold water*
Eat the peel as is
Use as a “zest” garnish in drinks or salads
Grind into powder and use as part of a spice blend to add a tang to anything you feel tastes good Tangy

Unfortunately, the fruit doesn’t travel well so seeing it in your local supermarkets may take a while but the juices are in specialty markets and reasonable priced.yuzu 1

If you wish to try Yuzu as part of a more…familiar beverage, there is always the ever impressive New Belgium beer company that has developed an infused-hops version of “juice”. Although I cannot guarantee if the integrity of the phytochemicals withstands the fermentation process. It couldn’t hurt, though 🙂

yuzu5
Also, if you are of the go-big-or-go-home mentality, you can purchase a Yuzu sapling tree from a local nursery [in larger metropolitan cities] and grow your own for about $45

**this method can be used on any fruit or vegetable you wish to clean before eating. I recommend cleaning all fruits and vegetables before consumption.

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