Kitchen Tips

Lucky Fruit – Mandarin Orange

The Lunar New Year or better known as Spring Festival in China has a rich history behind it. Celebrated yearly, China goes on holiday, unlike the rest of the world, for five days. Flowers and fruits hold special significance during the Chinese New Year festivities. This includes other neighboring countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysian, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The Mandarin orange is an important symbol of Spring Festival, as it looks like the sun and which is aligned with the yang (positive) principle, thus being an auspicious symbol of abundance and happiness. When visiting friends and family during this period, the Chinese will bring two mandarin oranges to be exchanged with their host as a symbol of sharing abundance with the hosts.

Mandarin Orange

Image Courtesy: liz west used under the Creative Commons Licence

This fruit is primarily eaten out-of-hand, but it is also suitable as a tasty addition to salads, main dishes and desserts. The essential oil of mandarin orange, extracted from its peel, is very fragrant and rich in flavour, and therefore used in candies, ice cream and beverages, liqueurs and bakery goods.

Lucky Fruit Mandarin Orange

Image Courtesy: Steel Wool used under the Creative Commons Licence

In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried peel of this fruit is used to regulate the flow of life-energy, or Chi, which is an active principle of all living beings. Old Chinese natural philosophers used the peel to stimulate healthy digestion, treat abdominal problems and reduce phlegm. In Ayurveda, mandarin oranges are used to stimulate appetite, relieve thirst, help to discharge phlegm, and prevent gastro-intestinal disorders.

Mandarin Oranges

Image Courtesy: Susan used under the Creative Commons Licence

Mandarin oranges are also a good source of dietary fibre to help naturally aid digestion. There are also many nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, antioxidants and phytonutrients in these golden fruit that will help you stay healthy and fresh.

So enjoy this lucky fruit for some great health benefits too.

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