Fruit can bring so many refreshingly sweet and sour flavors to your meals no matter the time of year. But if you’re looking to mix it up, there’s one to add to your diet that could become increasingly popular in the States. An East Asian fruit called yuzu is getting a ton of buzz for being a delicious, tangy treat full of health benefits. It might be time to throw it in your shopping cart.
What is yuzu and what are its health benefits?
While it’s often associated with Japanese cuisine, yuzu actually originated in China. In addition to being eaten on its own, it’s also mixed into dishes with saltier or more savory flavors, like how its juice is often whisked with soy sauce and poured on noodles. Yuzu may look like a lemon on the outside, but the fruit is a mix of a tart grapefruit with more orange-y overtones once you taste it.
While the complex sour flavor is enough of a reason to give yuzu a chance, scientists believe that it has a number of incredible health benefits, too. Research is still in its early phases given how new the fruit is to larger global markets, but so far, academics believe it has many of the same anti-inflammatory properties as all fruits and contains a whole host of antioxidants. These compounds fight signs of aging and disease on the cellular level, which may protect against a number of conditions like cancer, diabetes, and dementia.
Moreover, the peel and flesh contain two key flavonoids called hesperidin and naringin that regulate blood flow and prevent excessive clotting or blockages, which usually contribute to cardiovascular ailments.
Where can you buy it?
Yuzu is still relatively new to the United States and surrounding countries, so it’s not as widely available as other fruits. However, many Asian grocery stores carry it around the nation; it only takes a quick Google search to find the one closest to you. Additionally, you can order specialty yuzu items online, like yuzu juice, to add to your drinks or cook with (Buy from Amazon, $10.80).
And there’s even more good news: Yuzu is as versatile as it is healthy. You can use it in sauces and vinaigrettes, seltzers, condiments like mayo, and more. That’s all the more reason to start testing it out.
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