Discover the 7 shocking health benefits of yuzu.
What is yuzu? A yoga pose? A new fashionable lifestyle? Nothing of that! This is a fruit which, although bearing such an exotic and unknown name, has a very familiar allure: it looks like lemon.
Originally from China, yuzu is now mainly produced in Japan and Korea. This tangy-tasting fruit, located somewhere between tangerine, grapefruit and lime, has only recently appeared in Western cuisine. However, if you are thinking of a chewable fruit, you are wrong. Containing little flesh and many seeds, yuzu is not eaten like other fruits. It is rather used as a condiment, when it is not included in cosmetic products or used as a medicinal plant.
Do you want to know more about this atypical fruit? Here is its history, its benefits, and the ways you can consume it.
After being discovered in China, it is surely in Japan, where it was imported more than a millennium ago, that yuzu is of the greatest importance. In the Land of the Rising Sun, yuzu is not only part of a large number of traditional recipes, but it is also used as a medicinal plant and is even found in some rituals!
Thus, according to Japanese tradition, taking a yuzu bath on the day of the winter solstice would have many benefits. Indeed, it would protect the joints, improve blood circulation and strengthen the body against diseases. As for the date of the tradition, it was not chosen at random: the winter solstice marks the end of the yuzu harvest, but also the renewal due to the days which, after having considerably shortened, finally begin to lengthen.
Yuzu grows on a tree of the same name, which you might have come across if you’ve been to Japan. This usually takes the form of a thorny shrub but can grow up to 4 meters high.
Yuzu cultivation is far from productive. Indeed, it takes 20 years for the yuzu to give its first fruits and a tree will only produce 15 to 20 kilos of fruit per harvest. However, since yuzu contains very little juice, a tree can only produce about 3 liters of juice per harvest. This has a direct influence on its price, which is much higher than other fruits.
But the yuzu doesn’t really look like a first-class fruit. Its thick skin is bumpy and irregular, far from the smooth, perfect shape that fruits typically display. What makes it famous in the eyes of cooks is the scent it contains. Very intense and very appreciated, it only takes a small amount to add flavor to an entire dish.
What are the health benefits of yuzu?
Rich in flavonoids, fibers and vitamins A and C, yuzu notably has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are the 7 main health benefits Of yuzu.
1) It repairs the skin and fights against its aging
Yuzu is found in the composition of a large number of cosmetics, and for good reason: it is very good for the skin.
First of all, thanks to its vitamin C content, yuzu participates in the production of collagen, a protein that plays an essential role in the composition of our skin. This not only repairs the skin, but also strengthens it, moisturizes it and makes it soft and beautiful, while preventing the appearance of wrinkles. Yes, just that!
To fight against skin aging, vitamin C can also take advantage of the help of flavonoids and limonoids, two antioxidants that are also present in yuzu. At three, they fight and eliminate free radicals. This is important because, when these are present in too large a quantity in our body, they attack the cells and cause them to age, which causes wrinkles to appear on our face and our body.
Finally, the yuzu also participates in the healing of the skin and helps to accelerate it.
2) It strengthens the hair
Is your hair thin and brittle? Thanks to the flavonoids it contains, yuzu can help you remedy your hair problems. This is because flavonoids help reduce the permeability of capillaries, which helps strengthen the hair.
For better efficiency, you can apply the yuzu directly to your hair. However, you will then need to mix it with your shampoo because using it alone could irritate your scalp.
3) It gives energy
Thanks to its richness in vitamin C, yuzu helps to replenish energy and fight against fatigue. Vitamin C also works on the muscles, helping you not to feel physically weak.
In addition, yuzu significantly promotes the absorption of iron and calcium by the body. However, these two proteins play an essential role against fatigue. If they are not in sufficient quantity in the body, your energy will take a hit.
4) It strengthens the immune system
Besides increasing our energy level, vitamin C also takes care of our immune system. Indeed, vitamin C participates in the defense of immune cells and acts on their mobility. This makes them stronger and more able to fight against external aggressions.
Yuzu also contains other antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which help protect our bodies against disease.
5) It prevents cardiovascular disease
Polyphenols help prevent the development of cardiovascular disease. Indeed, yuzu is particularly effective against platelet aggregation, which can promote the creation of a clot. However, the clot can end up blocking a blood vessel leading to the brain, which would then cause a TIA (transient ischemic attack).
However, to be effective, yuzu must be consumed regularly and as a supplement to a healthy diet.
6) It reduces the risk of suffering from cancer
Among the long list of diseases that yuzu can help prevent is cancer. According to a study, yuzu could indeed prevent cancer by fighting free radicals that attack cells. This is due to the antioxidants they contain, among which we find vitamin C, flavonoids and fiber.
7) It facilitates intestinal transit
The fibers and vitamins found in yuzu help speed up intestinal transit and thus improve digestion. This helps fight digestive disorders such as constipation.
How to consume yuzu?
As we have said, yuzu and its juice are far from being the cheapest products on the market. Fortunately, it is not a fruit that it is customary to chew or drink.
As a general rule, its juice is used as a seasoning and its zest is collected to make a condiment. You will also have difficulty finding fresh yuzu in its natural form. Rather, it is sold as a juice, dehydrated zest and powder.
Thanks to its particular taste, yuzu goes well with both sweet and savory. Great pastry chefs like to use it in their creations, but you can also use it with your meat and fish, in jam or sauce, or in a large number of Japanese recipes and sweet and savory recipes. There are many possibilities!
Either way, don’t have a heavy hand: a small dose of yuzu is usually enough to flavor an entire dish.
How to use Yuzu?
Yuzu cannot be enjoyed on its own, as such. Rather, it is used as a condiment. It goes well with both savory and sweet dishes. It is traditionally found in marinades and sauces for fish and shellfish, or to accompany a small salad of tofu with herbs.
And you, the yuzu, do you like it? Do you already have some in your cupboards?
We hope the article on the 7 shocking health benefits of yuzu has been of help to you.