Florida Tangerines: Small But Mighty Nutrition Super Stars

florida tangerinesFlorida Tangerines may be slightly smaller than Florida Oranges, but they shine just as brightly on the nutritional stage. A medium-sized Florida Tangerine has just 50 calories, and packs a huge nutritional punch. Just one of these nutritional super stars (and who can eat just one?) provides half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, a lengthy list of beneficial vitamins and minerals, and several times more disease-fighting antioxidants than an orange.

Once called “Christmas oranges” because they were a handy size to stuff into the toes of children’s Christmas stockings, tangerines didn’t arrive in North America until the mid-1800s. Believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, this sweet, tasty citrus fruit arrived in Europe in the early 19th century through the North African port of Tangier, Morocco; hence its name. Today, Florida is the top U.S. producer of tangerines.

Lunchbox favorites, Florida Tangerines have a thin, bright orange, easy-to-peel skin. When peeled, they break easily into juicy, bite-sized sections; perfect for snacking out of hand or tossing into salads, yogurt, cereal or smoothies. Low-cal and fat, cholesterol and sodium-free, sweet Florida Tangerines make a guilt-free addition to weight-loss menus.

In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin C, Florida Tangerines contain many essential vitamins and minerals important to good health, including vitamins A, B6 and E and thiamin, folate, riboflavin, niacin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and copper. Like all Florida citrus, Florida Tangerines are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber; but they also contain more disease-fighting antioxidant flavonoids than most other citrus fruits. A daily Florida Tangerine promotes healthy skin and strong bones, nourishes the immune system and may reduce the risk of cancer, arthritis, coronary heart disease and obesity.

Choose Florida Tangerines that feel heavy for their size, have a rich orange color, and are free of soft or brown spots. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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