Shikuwasa: Flavonoids Rich Green Citrus Fruit Of Okinawa
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
Shikuwasa is the green citrus fruit par excellence of Okinawa, rich in flavonoids. It is extremely acidic, and very sour, so often used like lemon or lime to garnish dishes and drinking juice diluting with water. It is also used to make jam, or a yellow juice, which can be thinned or sweetened. Its taste is somewhere between that of a lime and a Mandarin orange, to which it bears a family resemblance.
Native to East Asia this fruit is primarily produced in southwest Japan, in the northern region of the main Okinawa island, along with another indigenous Japanese citrus, Tachibana. Other names for shikuwasa are: citrus depressa, shequasar, Taiwan tangerine, Okinawa lime, flat lemon, and hirami lemon.
Shikuwasa is often used as a fruit juice and has been used for alternative health practices frequently. Most health-benefitting compounds present are:
Synephrine: A compound known to enhance lipid metabolism and increase metabolic rate.
Nobiletin (NBL), tangeretin and sinensetin, where nobiletin is predominate. Shikuwasa have forty times as much as oranges. consuming nobiletin has been proven to protect us from arteriosclerosis, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity in general.
NBL in Citrus depressa is also linked to hepatoprotective activities in liver-injuries induced by acetaminophen.
Vitamin C and B1, beta carotene, and minerals
Dried shikuwasa, however, is often mixed with teas for its therapeutic benefits, and can be mixed into a fruit paste with chili pepper as a garnish on grilled meats. Shikuwasa paste has also been demonstrated to decrease plasma glucose levels in lab rats and human volunteers. Shikuwasa fruits are also a significant source of anti-oxidants. An in vitro study used antioxidant assays to determine that in 100 g (3.5 oz) of unripened Shikuwasha peels, there is either, approximately, 225.4 mg to 294.2 mg of total phenolic compounds – composed of β‐Carotene and DPPH – which varied due to differing extraction methods.
Information Source are book 'Ikigai' and Link 1
Image Source: Google Images