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13 Emerging Benefits and Uses of Yuzu Fruit
Yuzu (Citrus junos) is a hybrid citrus fruit also known as yuja. It originated in China more than 1,000 years ago and now grows in Japan, Korea, and other parts of the world.
The fruit is small, with a diameter of 2–3 inches (5.5–7.5 cm). It has a relatively thick yellow skin and is more aromatic and much sourer than other citrus fruits.
Particularly popular in East Asian cuisine, its juice, peel, and seeds serve as gourmet flavorings for vinegars, seasonings, sauces, and marmalades. Yuzu oil is also commonly used in cosmetics, perfume, and aromatherapy.
Curiously, this fruit may provide several benefits, including reducing inflammation and promoting heart health.
Here are 13 emerging benefits and uses of yuzu.
1. Highly Nutritious
Yuzu is low in calories but highly nutritious. In fact, 3.5 ounces (100 grams) provides (1):
- Calories: 53
- Carbs: 13.3 grams
- Protein: 0.8 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Fiber: 1.8 grams
- Vitamin C: 59% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin A: 31% of the DV
- Thiamine: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 4% of the DV
- Copper: 5% of the DV
It also contains smaller amounts of magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin E.
What's more, it harbors powerful plant compounds like carotenoids, flavonoids, and limonoids.
These all act as antioxidants in the body, and studies show that they may help reduce inflammation, fight cancer cells, and promote heart health.
Yuzu is low in calories and particularly rich in vitamins A and C. It also provides numerous plant compounds.
2. Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals, which are reactive molecules that damage cells and cause oxidative stress when their numbers get too high in the body. This stress is associated with many diseases.
Diets rich in antioxidants are thought to reduce your risk of brain ailments, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Yuzu contains several antioxidants, including vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids.
Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant but also helps regenerate other antioxidants in your body, such as vitamin E.
In addition, a test-tube study noted that limonene, a flavor compound in the peel of yuzu and other citrus fruits, acts as an antioxidant and helps reduce inflammation. It may be particularly useful in treating some types of asthma.
Furthermore, animal and test-tube studies show that yuzu extract's antioxidants may combat obesity and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Though these findings are promising, human studies are needed.
Yuzu contains powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and limonene, which help neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce inflammation in your body.
3. May Improve Blood Flow
Blood clotting ensures that you stop bleeding after a cut or scrape. However, excessive clotting can cause blockages in small and large blood vessels — which may lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Interestingly, test-tube and animal studies reveal that yuzu extract may have anti-clotting effects by inhibiting the grouping of platelets.
These properties are linked to two key flavonoids, hesperidin and naringin, in both the flesh and peel.
By improving blood flow, yuzu extract may reduce your risk of heart disease. However, significantly more research is needed before it can be recommended for this use.
Two flavonoids in yuzu may help reduce blood clotting. This may improve blood flow and reduce your risk of heart disease, though further research is needed.
4. May Have Anticancer Properties
Yuzu packs many substances that may protect against cancer.
Of particular interest are limonoids, which occur in several citrus fruits. Test-tube studies demonstrate that they fight breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
Additionally, yuzu peel contains tangeretin and the flavonoid nobiletin. In test-tube and animal studies, nobiletin suppresses tumor growth, while tangeretin is effective at inhibiting leukemia cell growth.
Despite these promising findings, human research is needed.
Yuzu is rich in compounds with potential anticancer benefits. Nonetheless, studies in people are necessary.
5. May Protect Your Brain
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that yuzu may protect your brain against diseases like Alzheimer's.
In fact, a study in rats with induced brain dysfunction found that long-term intake of Yuzu extract improved brain function and blood sugar control.
Plus, the yuzu flavonoid naringenin has particular brain-protective effects.
In two studies in mice with induced memory loss, naringenin extracted from yuzu improved memory and reduced oxidative stress from brain-damaging proteins.
All the same, research is limited to animal studies.
Yuzu extract may reduce brain dysfunction and improve memory, potentially safeguarding against ailments like Alzheimer's. However, further research is needed.
6. Its Fragrance Has Soothing Effects
Compounds like limonene and linalool are responsible for yuzu oil's distinct aroma, which carries notes of grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, and lime.
Interestingly, several studies note that yuzu oil has soothing effects, potentially helping reduce tension and anxiety.
In one study, 20 women inhaled yuzu scent for 10 minutes. They experienced a decrease in stress markers, mood disturbance, tension, depression, anger, and confusion for 30 minutes.
Another two studies in small groups of young women determined that 10-minute inhalation likewise decreased heart rate and improved nerve system activity.
Additionally, inhaling diffused yuzu essential oil decreased tension, anger, and fatigue better than inhaling hot steam and similar to lavender oil.
Finally, a study in 60 mothers who were at the hospital with their sick child found that an aromatherapy room diffused with yuzu oil significantly reduced anxiety levels in the mothers.
As such, yuzu's scent may offer emotional relief akin to other pleasing aromas.
Inhaling yuzu's aroma may reduce your heart rate and help relieve stress, anxiety, and other tensions.
7–12. Other Potential Benefits and Uses
Although research is limited, yuzu may offer several other benefits, including:
- May provide antidiabetes effects. In a study in mice fed a high-fat diet, yuzu peel extract helped regulate blood sugar levels.
- May help reduce cholesterol. A study in mice fed a high-cholesterol diet revealed that yuzu peel extract reduced body weight and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Possible uses for heart failure. Animal studies indicate that yuzu extract may reduce some of the damage to heart muscle caused by a heart attack, which may help prevent future heart failure.
- May improve bone health. An animal study found that giving rats yuzu peel extract helped maintain bone strength.
- May protect against infection. Yuzu seed extract has been shown to have antimicrobial activity against a variety of infectious organisms, including influenza, E. coli, Salmonella, and S. aureus.
- Utilized in anti-aging cosmetics. This citrus fruit is used in cosmetics for skin lightening and collagen synthesis, which may help prevent wrinkles.
Keep in mind that many of these purported benefits are related to concentrated extracts or specific compounds rather than the fruit itself.
Thus, it's unlikely that you would consume enough yuzu to see these effects, as it's primarily used as a flavoring agent — not eaten on its own.
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that yuzu extract may fight infections and support healthy blood sugar, as well as heart and bone health. It's also used in cosmetics. Still, research is limited.
13. Easy to Add to Your Diet
Because of its sourness, yuzu isn't normally eaten on its own. Nonetheless, you can enjoy it in a variety of ways.
Yuzu is traditionally used for making Asian vinegars and seasonings. In Japanese cuisine, it's often added to pastes, powders, marmalades, jellies, sweets, and tea.
Because it has a similar acidity as lemons and limes, it makes a great replacement for either of these fruits in dressings, condiments, desserts, baked goods, and drinks.
It may be difficult to buy the fruit at your local supermarket, but its juice is available at specialty stores and online.
Look for 100% yuzu juice with no additives to get the most benefits. Many yuzu products pack significant amounts of sugar to counterbalance its sourness, so be sure to read the ingredient list.
Finally, you can enjoy its aroma via essential oil — or by zesting the rind and adding it to a small bowl of neutral oil, such as grapeseed.
Keep in mind that essential oils should never be ingested and must be diluted prior to use.
Yuzu can be used as a substitute for lemon or lime in many dishes, and it's particularly suitable for sauces, marmalades, jellies, drinks, and sweets. Be sure to watch for added sugars in products made with this fruit.
The Bottom Line
Yuzu is an aromatic citrus fruit notable for its sour taste, health benefits, and pleasing scent.
Although human studies are limited, its extracts and compounds have been linked to numerous benefits — including brain health, blood flow, and anticancer effects.
Its flesh, juice, and zest can be enjoyed in many dishes, such as dressings, seasonings, teas, and drinks. It proves a great substitute for other citrus fruits.
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By Tom Duszynski
The coronavirus is certainly scary, but despite the constant reporting on total cases and a climbing death toll, the reality is that the vast majority of people who come down with COVID-19 survive it. Just as the number of cases grows, so does another number: those who have recovered.
In mid-March, the number of patients in the U.S. who had officially recovered from the virus was close to zero. That number is now in the tens of thousands and is climbing every day. But recovering from COVID-19 is more complicated than simply feeling better. Recovery involves biology, epidemiology and a little bit of bureaucracy too.
How does your body fight off COVID-19?<p>Once a person is exposed the coronavirus, the body starts producing <a href="https://www.mblintl.com/products/what-are-antibodies-mbli/" target="_blank">proteins called antibodies to fight the infection</a>. As these <a href="https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/27/serological-tests-reveal-immune-coronavirus/" target="_blank">antibodies start to successfully contain the virus</a> and keep it from replicating in the body, symptoms usually begin to lessen and you start to feel better. Eventually, if all goes well, your immune system will completely destroy all of the virus in your system. A person who was infected with and survived a virus with no long-term health effects or disabilities has "recovered."</p><p>On average, a person who is infected with SARS-CoV-2 will feel ill for about seven days from the onset of symptoms. Even after symptoms disappear, there still may be small amounts of the virus in a patient's system, and they should stay <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html" target="_blank">isolated for an additional three days</a> to ensure they have truly <a href="https://health.usnews.com/conditions/articles/coronavirus-recovery-what-to-know" target="_blank">recovered and are no longer infectious</a>.</p>
What about immunity?<p>In general, once you have recovered from a viral infection, your body will keep cells called lymphocytes in your system. These cells "remember" viruses they've previously seen and can react quickly to fight them off again. If you are exposed to a virus you have already had, your antibodies will likely stop the virus before it starts causing symptoms. <a href="https://dx.doi.org/10.5114%2Fceji.2018.77390" target="_blank">You become immune</a>. This is the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27158/" target="_blank">principle behind many vaccines</a>.</p><p>Unfortunately, immunity isn't perfect. For many viruses, like mumps, immunity can wane over time, leaving you <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160421145747.htm" target="_blank">susceptible to the virus in the future</a>. This is why you need to get revaccinated – those "booster shots" – occasionally: to prompt your immune system to make more antibodies and memory cells.</p><p>Since this coronavirus is so new, scientists still don't know whether people who recover from COVID-19 are <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/faq.html" target="_blank">immune to future infections of the virus</a>. Doctors are finding antibodies in ill and recovered patients, and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html" target="_blank">that indicates the development of immunity</a>. But the question remains how long that immunity will last. Other coronaviruses like <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25685" target="_blank">SARS and MERS produce an immune response</a> that will protect a person at least for a short time. I would suspect the same is true of SARS-CoV-2, but the research simply hasn't been done yet to say so definitively.</p>
Why have so few people officially recovered in the US?<p>This is a dangerous virus, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is being extremely careful when deciding what it means to recover from COVID-19. Both medical and testing criteria must be met before a person is <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html" target="_blank">officially declared recovered</a>.</p><p>Medically, a person must be fever-free without fever-reducing medications for three consecutive days. They must show an improvement in their other symptoms, including reduced coughing and shortness of breath. And it must be at least seven full days <a href="https://health.usnews.com/conditions/articles/coronavirus-recovery-what-to-know" target="_blank">since the symptoms began</a>.</p><p>In addition to those requirements, the CDC guidelines say that a person must test negative for the coronavirus twice, with the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someone.html" target="_blank">tests taken at least 24 hours apart</a>.</p><p>Only then, if both the symptom and testing conditions are met, is a person officially considered recovered by the CDC.</p><p>This second testing requirement is likely why there were so few official recovered cases in the U.S. until late March. Initially, there was a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/health/coronavirus-test-shortages-face-masks-swabs.html" target="_blank">massive shortage of testing in the U.S.</a> So while many people were certainly recovering over the last few weeks, this could not be officially confirmed. As the country enters the height of the pandemic in the coming weeks, focus is still on <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/clinical-criteria.html" target="_blank">testing those who are infected</a>, not those who have likely recovered.</p><p>Many more people are being tested now that states and private companies have begun <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/testing-in-us.html" target="_blank">producing and distributing tests</a>. As <a href="https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200406/coronavirus-in-ohio-from-its-rocky-start-testing-for-covid-19-slowly-ramping-up" target="_blank">the number of available tests increases</a> and the pandemic eventually slows in the country, more testing will be available for those who have appeared to recover. As people who have already recovered are tested, the appearance of any new infections will help researchers learn <a href="https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/24/we-need-smart-coronavirus-testing-not-just-more-testing/" target="_blank">how long immunity can be expected to last</a>.</p>
Once a person has recovered, what can they do?<p>Knowing whether or not people are immune to COVID-19 after they recover is going to determine what individuals, communities and society at large can do going forward. If scientists can show that recovered patients are immune to the coronavirus, then a person who has recovered could in theory <a href="https://www.vox.com/2020/3/30/21186822/immunity-to-covid-19-test-coronavirus-rt-pcr-antibody" target="_blank">help support the health care system</a> by caring for those who are infected.</p><p>Once communities pass the peak of the epidemic, the number of new infections will decline, while the number of <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/china-says-passed-peak-coronavirus-epidemic-covid-19-1491863" target="_blank">recovered people will increase</a>. As these trends continue, the risk of transmission will fall. Once the risk of transmission has fallen enough, community-level isolation and social distancing orders will begin to relax and businesses will start to reopen. Based on what other countries have gone through, it will be <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00154-w" target="_blank">months until the risk of transmission is low</a> in the U.S.</p><p>But before any of this can happen, the U.S. and the world need to make it through the peak of this pandemic. Social distancing works to slow the spread of infectious diseases and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/what-you-can-do.html" target="_blank">is working for COVID-19</a>. Many people will <a href="https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/2019-novel-coronavirus/" target="_blank">need medical help to recover</a>, and social distancing will slow this virus down and give people the best chance to do so.</p>
By Elizabeth Claire Alberts
The future for the world's oceans often looks grim. Fisheries are set to collapse by 2048, according to one study, and 8 million tons of plastic pollute the ocean every year, causing considerable damage to delicate marine ecosystems. Yet a new study in Nature offers an alternative, and more optimistic view on the ocean's future: it asserts that the entire marine environment could be substantially rebuilt by 2050, if humanity is able to step up to the challenge.
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By Zulfikar Abbany
Bread has been a source of basic nutrition for centuries, the holy trinity being wheat, maize and rice. It has also been the reason for a lot of innovation in science and technology, from millstones to microbiological investigations into a family of single-cell fungi called Saccharomyces.
Chemical leavening<p>If you like a little heft in your loaf, you will need a leavening agent.</p><p>For those short on time, you can use baking soda. That's a chemical compound of sodium bicarbonate mixed with potassium bitartrate, or cream of tartar.</p><p>Soda breads have their traditions in parts of eastern and central Europe, and in Ireland and Scotland, with Melrose loaves and "farls."</p><p>They can taste a bit bland, though, and are often considered only as an emergency solution on Sundays. No disrespect intended: They taste just fine fresh from the oven.</p><p>Whether it's chemical or more "natural," leavening relies largely on the production of carbon dioxide.</p><p>When you mix an acid, such as vinegar, buttermilk, yogurt or apple cider, with an alkaline compound like baking soda, you get CO2. That CO2 creates bubbles, which in turn capture steam in the oven and allow a bread to rise.</p><p><span></span>But it's better with yeast. Tastes better, too. It just takes more time. </p>
What is yeast?<p>There are yeasts all around us — on grains, in the air, in biofuels. It even lives inside us, but that's not always a good thing.</p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1090575/pdf/1471-2334-5-22.pdf" target="_blank">Candida yeast</a> can cause infections of the skin, feet, mouth, penis or vagina if it builds up too much in the body.</p><p>One of the most common yeasts, however, is <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em>. That's <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/an-early-beer-archaeologists-tap-ground-at-worlds-oldest-brewery/a-45480731" target="_blank">"brewer's"</a> or "baker's" yeast.</p><p>You can get fresh baker's yeast, often in 42-gram (1.48-ounce) cubes, or as dried yeast (quick action or active, which requires rehydration) in a sachet of 7 grams.</p><p>There's little difference: One is compressed and the other is dehydrated and granulated. But they do the same thing, essentially. </p><p>Some commercial yeast producers add molasses and other nutrients. But natural yeast has plenty of useful nutrients in it anyway, including B group vitamins, so who knows whether it's good or necessary to add them. </p>
How does yeast work?<p>When you mix flour, yeast and water, you set off a veritable chain reaction. Enzymes in the wheat convert starch into sugar. And the yeast creates enzymes of its own to convert those sugars into a form it can absorb.</p><p>The yeast "feeds" on the sugars to create carbon dioxide and alcohol. The yeast burps and farts, releasing gases into the mix, and that creates bubbles to trap CO2. </p><p>It's a vital fermentation process that breaks down the gluten in the flour and helps make your bread more digestible.</p><p>The yeast cells split and reproduce, generating lactic and carbonic acid, raising the temperature and ultimately adding flavor to the mix.</p><p>The longer you leave the yeast to do its thing, the better for your bread. Time is more important than the amount of yeast. </p><p>In fact, that's an enduring question — how much yeast? I'll use 20 grams fresh yeast for 500 grams of flour. Others say that's enough yeast for 1 kilo. If you are converting a dry-yeast recipe to fresh yeast, some bakers advise tripling the weight. So, if a sachet of dried yeast is 7 grams, your fresh yeast is 21 grams.</p><p><span></span>But that also depends on the flours you are using, temperatures in the bowl and the room, and a host of other things. You'll just have to experiment and see. No number of books (and I've read a stack on bread) will help as much as trial and error.</p>
Wild yeast: Sourdough<p>So, good bread needs time. If you have a lot of time, why not move it up a notch and grow wild yeast — a sourdough starter — in your own home?</p><p>A sourdough starter is not to be mistaken (as it often is) for the leaven, or "mother," "sponge," or <em>levain</em>. That's more a second stage, a descendant of the starter. You take a scoop from your starter and add it to another flour and water mixture when you prepare the dough for a new loaf. </p><p>The sourdough process utilizes yeasts naturally present in flour and … yet more time. A longer fermentation process allows a richer lactic acid bacteria <em>lactobacilli</em> or LAB to evolve, and that can be healthy for your gut microbiome.</p><p>It's simple enough to start a sourdough starter. All you need is flour, warm water and time.</p><p>Some suggest equal measures of whole-grain flour and water at 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit), some say room temperature — just don't let the water exceed 40 C or the yeasts will die. Some suggest two parts flour to three parts water. But it's up to you whether you want a drier or wetter starter. You will know only through experimentation. </p><p>Some say you should filter tap water to remove chemicals like fluoride and avoid using water that's boiled and then cooled. Others say that really doesn't matter.</p><p>The main thing is, keep it clean and give it time. Days, weeks, months and years.</p>
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