CHINESE New Year is the most important of the 24 festivals in the lunar calendar. It is a time for heavy feasting and drinking for 15 days.
There is always a worry about putting on weight after Chap Goh Meh, the 15th day of the Chinese New Year, when celebrants indulge heavily in food.
There are good reasons for consuming mandarin oranges.
If you are worried about putting on weight during the heavy feasting, the good news is that the golden yellow fruit contains only 37 to 40 calories.
A normal person takes up to 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day. Taking more oranges means taking less of other food and helps to keep the calories in check.
Mandarin oranges are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
When fresh, the fruit is not only thirst-quenching, its peels – dried or fresh – are also consumed.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried peel is used to regulate the body’s inner energy or ‘qi’. It also helps in treating abdominal distension, digestion and reduces phlegm.
The fruit is rich in antioxidants, dietary fibres and flavonoids.
It promotes bone and skin health, and helps in problems like high blood pressure.
It also helps in regulating cholesterol, boosting immune system, healing wounds and preventing cancer.
How to select mandarin orange:
• Always look for unblemished fruits. These are good in quality
• Look for glossy fruits and not those dull looking
• Weigh the fruit down with your hand. Pick the heavier one. This means it has more juice
• Never pick soft ones
• Watch out for rotten fruits and those with cuts.
How to store mandarin oranges:
• Never wash mandarin oranges before storing
• If wet, it can encourage growth of fungus and spoil the fruit.
• If not consumed within a week, refrigerate it for some more days.