Compounds in tangerines benefit everything from vision to heart health.
Tangerines are loaded with compounds called flavonoids, which boast certain anticancer properties. The flavonoids in tangerines have been shown to prevent the growth of cancerous cells and stop the proliferation of tumors. Flavonoids are antioxidants that neutralize free radicals – unstable, disease-causing molecules – and have the potential to also protect against the development of heart disease. Flavonoids may also promote better blood flow in the coronary arteries, prevent arteries from forming blood clots and stop the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol in the body, a risk factor for many dangerous heart conditions.
Vitamin C and Vitamin A
One medium-size tangerine contains 23.5 milligrams of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that also fights free radical damage. Vitamin C is crucial to the synthesis of collagen in the body, which helps heal wounds and hold together tendons, ligaments, bones and blood vessels. Vitamin C also aids absorption of the iron in foods, helping the body retain more of this essential mineral. One tangerine also contains 599 International Units of vitamin A, a group of retinoids linked to immune function, vision, reproductive health and communication between cells.
A medium-size tangerine packs 14 micrograms of folate, a B vitamin with many important functions in the body. Folate helps form and maintain the health of new cells in the body by building DNA and RNA, making folate an especially crucial vitamin during periods of rapid growth, such as pregnancy and infancy. Adequate folate consumption also helps prevent DNA changes that could lead to cancer.