Friday, March 21, 2008

Get Healthy With Tangerines

Tangerines store carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin. That is why they are orange in color. This phytonutrient keeps the body strong by destroying cell damaging free radicals while at the same time, boosting production of the immune systems; defensive white blood cells.

By adding 1 Tbs. of tangerine zest to a recipe can lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 40 percent in just 4 weeks. This is according to research in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. The reason this happens is because the peel’s polymethoxlated flavones, inhibit the release of LDL cholesterol’s structural proteins and this causes the cholestral to degenerate.

Tangerines and other citrus fruits are loaded with Vitamin C. Tangerines can help keep stress levels from climbing. The pleasant scent of a tangerine has been proven to soothe the central nervous system, further reducing stress.

A tangerine is one of nature’s richest sources of citrate. This natural salt keeps the formation of kidney stones by interfering with the crystallization of calcium. Citrate also raises the ph level of urine, diluting oxalate, a waste substance that also contributes to kidney-stone formation.

Here’s two recipes you might enjoy:

Szechuan Stir-Fry (makes 6 servings)

From 2 Tangerines, zest and juice one. Peel and section remaining. In a bowl, combine ½ cup juice, 1 tsp. zest and ¼ cup spicy Szechuan stir-fry sauce. Set aside. In greased skillet over medium heat, cook 1 red and 1 green pepper (seeded and cubed), 1 onion cut into wedges for about 3 minutes. Add 1 flank steak thinly sliced. Cook 3 minutes. Add sauce mixture and tangerine sections. Cook 1 minute. Serve with rice.

Sunshine Souffle (makes 4 servings)

From 2 tangerines, zest and juice 1. Peel and section remaining. In cup combine 1/3 cup tangerine juice and enough water to measure ½ cup. Add 1 tsp. zest. In bowl, combine 1 box (3 oz) lemon flavored gelatin and ½ cup boiling water. Stir 2 minutes. Set in ice bath 2 minutes. Using mixer beat for 2 minutes. Fold in container (8oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed and ¼ cup light sour cream. Divide tangerines and cream mixture among four 6 oz cups. Chill 5 minutes

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