Loquats are said to be distant relatives to apples, and that’s why these fruits have pretty much the same taste. When it comes to the texture, however, loquats are not crunchy like apples. Instead, they are succulent. It’s exactly for this reason why loquats are commonly turned into preserves, jams and jellies, but they can be eaten as they are, too.
It’s from China where loquats originated. Eventually, they spread to Japan and soon other parts of Asia. Loquats are also now being cultivated in various parts of the Mediterranean, Middle East and America.
Unlike most exotic fruits on the face of the planet, loquats are not at all that strange-looking. Actually, they look like pears with bright yellow orange coloration, although they are no bigger than plums. By the way, the skin of loquats is kind of fuzzy, and there are 3 to 5 inedible large seeds situated in the center of every piece of loquat.
If given the opportunity, it’s a wonderful idea for loquats to be added to your diet on a regular basis. That’s because they are amazing sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and free radical-fighting antioxidants. Here are some of the numerous health benefits that you can obtain from the consumption of loquats:
Boosted Eye Health
The bright yellow orange color of loquats is a sure sign that they are phenomenally rich in vitamin A. It only means that eating them on a regular basis is very good for your eyes.
You see, vitamin A is actually an antioxidant that is specifically a great protector of the eyes from those harmful free radicals. Eye specialists say that a diet that’s rich in vitamin A is very helpful in the prevention of eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts that can eventually cause loss of vision.
Lowered Risk of Infections
Another vitamin that is present copiously in loquats is vitamin C which, as everybody knows, is important for making the immune system strong. Most especially if the flu or cold season is about to strike, it’s a good idea for you to start increasing your intake of foods that are rich in vitamin C, and loquats are some of them.
Slowed Down Skin Aging
Vitamin C is also a nutrient that’s perfect for beauty-conscious individuals. That’s because it is an antioxidant that’s very effective against free radicals that cause the acceleration of the skin’s aging. Consuming loquats and other vitamin C-packed foods is like having access to the fountain of youth.
There is another reason why vitamin C can help maintain young-looking skin, and it’s the fact that it is essential for the synthesis of collagen. A type of protein, collagen helps maintain the structure of your skin. As a result, your skin becomes firm, making it less susceptible to developing wrinkles and becoming saggy.
Loquats are also loaded with fiber, which is why their regular intake can help in improving digestion — fiber encourages the production of more digestive juices and enzymes for better breakdown of food.
Because they contain impressive amounts of fiber, loquats also help in keeping the movement of the bowels regular. This is a good thing as it only means that toxins and waste products in the gut are flushed out of the body effectively. According to doctors, by the way, a diet that’s rich in fiber may lower your risk of developing colon cancer.
Strengthened Teeth and Bones
Last but not least, loquats also help make your pearly whites and bones very strong. It’s for the fact that they are good sources of calcium. Potassium and phosphorus also present help calcium do its task better. So in other words, consuming loquats regularly can help keep your smile intact and your bones free from osteoporosis.