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Ugli Fruit Facts and Health Benefits

Ugli Fruit Facts and Health Benefits

If you don't believe that a fruit with rough, wrinkled skin, pot-marks, and small dents can have an attractive interior and a delicious, sweet taste, then read this NutriNeat article to know how the ugli fruit is different from other types of oranges, and what its various health benefits are. The article also presents some interesting facts about this unique fruit.
Leena Palande
Did You Know?
In the United States, per person consumption of oranges is higher than that of any other fruit. Grapefruits are the second highest citrus fruit consumed per capita, followed by lemons, tangerines, and limes.
The ugli fruit is a hybrid of a grapefruit (or pomelo), an orange, and a tangerine. The name is derived from the word 'ugly', as the fruit has a somewhat ugly appearance. In the U.S., it is cultivated mainly in Florida. It was first discovered growing wild near Brown's Town, Jamaica, about 80 years ago. They started cultivating it for its juicy, sweet pulp, and tough aromatic rind. Now, Jamaica is the leading producer of this fruit. Ugli is a bushy tree which grows up to 15 - 20 feet in height. Fresh fruits are available between November and April. UGLI is a registered trademark of Cabel Hall Citrus Limited, under which it markets the species Citrus reticulata x Citrus paradisi.
The name itself is enough to describe the unsightly appearance of the fruit. It somewhat looks like a giant, yellow-green mandarin orange. There exist many varieties of this fruit. The color of the fruit can be green, yellow, greenish-yellow, or orange. The flesh is always orange, sweet, and juicy. The fruit comes in various odd shapes, more often lopsided, tear-shaped, with puckered skin. It is slightly bigger than a grapefruit, and has fewer seeds. The diameter may vary from 4 inches (10 cm) to 6 inches (15 cm). The skin is thick, wrinkled, and quite loose. But you can easily cut it in half like a grapefruit or peel it like an orange.
How to Eat
As the fruit has a tangy, yet sweet flavor, it can be eaten on its own. It doesn't carry the bitterness of a grapefruit or sourness of a tangerine. It carries the sweetness of its parents. But it is more sour than an orange. The flesh is very juicy, ideal for having fresh juice for breakfast. You can carry the sections and enjoy them as an afternoon snack too. You can even add the chunks to salads, pies, smoothies, and certain other recipes. They add a subtle tang to both, sweet and savory dishes.
Nutrition Facts
One serving of ugli fruit, a Jamaican form of tangelo, contains 70 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

One fruit (about 245 g) provides 90 calories.

It is packed with 16 g of sugar.

It contains about 4 g of dietary fiber.

It offers 2 g protein.

About 22 g of carbohydrates are present in one fruit.
Health Benefits
1. Increased Immunity
As ugli fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin which helps strengthen the immune system. Antioxidants like phenols and vitamin C help cancel the damaging effects of free radicals, and minimize the chances of diseases and disorders like cancer, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, muscle-related problems, and cataracts. They help curb inflammation. Vitamin C plays an important role in the formation of collagen, the connective tissue which promotes wound healing. Collagen is also present in the gums, muscles, skin, and various other tissues.

2. Oral Health
The fruit is rich in vitamin B (good source of folate) which promotes oral health. It helps keep the gums healthy.

3. Heart Health
Regular consumption of this fruit can help prevent cardiovascular diseases. It does not contain sodium, cholesterol, and fat. It does not affect heart health. In fact, it helps enhance heart function.

4. Kidney Function
It helps prevent the formation of kidney stones.

5. Bone Health
Ugli contains calcium, which can help strengthen the bones and teeth.

6. Digestive Health
As the fruit is rich in fiber, it helps maintain digestive health. The fiber promotes easy digestion, prevents abnormal fluctuations in blood glucose levels, and helps maintain bowel integrity. It reduces the risk of constipation and colon cancer.

7. Glowing Skin
Vitamin C and other nutrients from the fruit help minimize aging effects. They help prevent wrinkles and fine lines. They keep the skin young and supple. You can add the pulp to homemade skincare products; for example, face masks, facial scrubs, bath soap, face wash, etc. You can even apply the pulp directly onto your skin.

8. Normal Weight
As the fruit is low in calories, it can be included in a low-calorie diet. It would help maintain weight within normal range.
Ugli Fruit Facts
As the name suggests, the fruit has a poor complexion. It has loose, knobby skin, and the color can be uneven.

Ugli fruits are quite large, but those which are relatively smaller are more flavorful and sweeter.

When stored at room temperature, it remains fresh for about 5 days. When refrigerated, it remains fresh for about 2 weeks.

The fruit is likely to become bitter if stored for an extended period of time.

It is one of the most juiciest citrus fruits.

It is also known as uniq fruit or unique fruit.

As the supply is limited, the fruit is relatively expensive.

Grapefruit contains certain elements that interfere with blood pressure medications. But ugli fruit does not have those elements, and therefore can be consumed by those who take those medicines.

It is difficult to judge the quality of the fruit from its skin. Even if the fruit ripens, the skin can be green. Look for the fruit that is heavy for its size. It should not have any sign of drying at the ends.

These fruits are harvested from the trees only when they are fully ripe. So they are always ready to eat (even the green-colored fruits) when they are up for sale.
Usually, people choose fruits that are fresh and aesthetically appealing. But as you know, looks can be deceiving! The 'ugly' fruit may not look attractive, but it is loaded with nutrients, which can significantly improve one's health.