I most recently got back from a trip to Boracay island in the Philippines with my girlfriend. We had an absolute blast exploring the island, laying out on the beach, and, most importantly, eating to our heart’s desire. One thing we noticed as soon as we got to Boracay were number of stores, restaurants, and even bars offering calamansi as part of their menu. You’d see it everywhere from calamansi juice to even calamansi muffins!
But what is calamansi? Once we discovered this magical little fruit and the health benefits that come with it, nothing was stopping us. We ended up drinking calamansi juice or squeezing it on our food almost everyday! This is the reason why I wanted to share with you all the wonderful world of calamansi and its impressive health benefits.
What is Calamansi?
For those that are unfamiliar with calamansi, also known as calamondin or golden lime, these fruits are native to Southeast Asia. However, they are more prominently grown and used throughout the year in the Philippines. At first glance, you might think that someone just shrunk a lime to the size of a gumball, but believe me, these are no gumballs.
The taste of calamansi is a unique mix of lemon, lime, and a hint of orange. But the thing that got us about this fruit was its off the charts sourness. Let’s just say they make lemons taste like candy in comparison. This makes calamansi perfect as a garnish for grilled meats or seafood or enjoyed as a refreshing drink. Personally, I loved calamansi juice the most, which kind of reminded me of freshly squeezed lemonade (Filipino style). Great way to start your day before heading to the beach!
Once my girlfriend and I got back from our trip, we started researching a bit more about calamansi and learned about its many health benefits (some of which shocked us both). This inspired me to write a quick post to help bring calamansi to the limelight (no pun intended hehe), as well as share with you all some of the incredible health benefits of eating this fruit.
Health Benefits of Calamansi Juice
I just want to start off with a word of caution. I do NOT recommend eating the calamansi fruit straight up. It is simply too tart and sour to even come close to being enjoyable. Therefore, it’s best consumed as either a drink or squeezed on top of food.
Now to get back to what we were saying, here’s a list of the most shocking health benefits of drinking calamansi juice. After learning about these benefits, I wish I drank a lot more fresh calamansi when I had the chance. I guess there’s always next time!
1. Fights Cold & Flu
Calamansi, much like many citrus fruits, is full of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps fight many cold and flu symptoms with its ability to help the body boost white blood cell response. This protects you against the harmful effects of free radicals and common viruses that can be lingering around winter time. People in the Philippines swear by this and almost exclusively use calamansi fruit as a cure all tonic.
Here’s a rundown of how much Vitamin C is found in calamansi fruit. Whenever we think of citrus fruits, I’m sure 99% of us would picture an orange as the model citrus fruit. Oranges are widely regarded as Vitamin C powerhouses and are used in many home remedies to help fight against disease. However, calamansi is known to have even more Vitamin C than oranges and supplies more than 88% of your daily value of Vitamin C per serving.
2. Aids Weight Loss
Calamansi is a legend within the diet community due to its natural cleansing properties. This fruit is known to also detoxify your body and is especially good for your kidneys. One of the big reasons why its a weight loss superstar is due to a very low glycemic index, which helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates in our bodies. This can be a life saver for those that are super carb conscious (we all know what happens when you overeat on carbs).
There are even diets, such as the 28 Calamansi diet, that guarantees to help you lose weight. This involves making a daily calamansi juice according to potency and the number of whole calamansi fruits. You essentially start off with a low number and gradually make your way up to drinking 28 pieces of calamansi in a day. If you want to learn more about the 28 Calamansi diet, you can check out a step-by-step guide here.
For more helpful ways to aid weight loss, be sure to also read about how acupressure can stimuate weight loss naturally.
3. Works as a Hangover Cure
The unripened form of calamansi fruit (when it’s green) is filled with electrolytes. I remember back in college when I would chug a bottle of Gatorade after a hard night of partying to help rehydrate my body and replenish my electrolytes. Turns out, calamansi juice achieves the same effect, without all of the unnecessary added sugar and food coloring.
In addition to being high in Vitamin C, this fruit is also packed with many other vitamins and minerals, such as phosphorus, Vitamin B, calcium, iron, and potassium. The potassium, most importantly, allows you to achieve a stronger balance between the acid and water found in your body, which can ultimately help with curing hangovers.
So, the next time you knock back a few drinks, be sure to stock up on some calamansi fruit to help you out in the morning!
4. Used as a Skin Bleaching Agent
This next benefit is up for debate, but people in the Philippines swear by this. The super high Vitamin C content found in calamansi is believed to help with an assortment of skin related issues, such as acne or rashes. Furthermore, it has shown the ability to whiten the skin in and around the face.
For more information and a tutorial guide for applying calamansi to your face, check out the video above.
5. Prevents Tooth Decay
Again, going back to point #1, the extremely high Vitamin C levels found in calamansi juice can help prevent against tooth decay. The Vitamin C breaks down plaque buildup found in the mouth, as well as help add some sparkle or whitening power to your teeth.
You can either drink calamansi juice regularly or gargle the concentrate in your mouth. Some additional bonus benefits are protecting against gingivitis, soothing tooth pain, and even reducing bad breath. Sure beats spending tons of money on Listerine!
6. Lowers Cholesterol
Pectin, a natural water-soluble fiber, is found in a variety of citrus fruits including calamansi. This nutrient is usually found in the rind of the fruit, but some can be found in the pulp as well.
Now, what does pectin actually do? It has a variety of medicinal purposes, but the most important purpose it serves is to help lower blood cholesterol levels. It can also have some influence on blood glucose levels as well. Calamansi is very high in pectin, which allows you to slowly regulate cholesterol levels by incorporating the rind as a garnish or simply drinking the juice from the pulp.
7. Overcomes Body Odor
Much like lemon or lime, the citric acid found in calamansi helps kill off any odor causing bacteria on the body. This can be especially helpful in frequent trouble areas, such as the underarms.
Persistent and overwhelming body odor could be either be a natural occurrence or a direct byproduct of your diet. In either case, it’s always a good idea to maintain a healthy diet to build your body from the inside out. As the saying goes, you are what you eat!
8. Eliminates Dandruff
Not only is dandruff causing bacteria super itchy, but it can also be pretty unsightly to see white flakes constantly in your hair or on your shoulders. There are many reasons why people get dandruff, such as dry skin, fungal infections, sensitivity to certain products, etc. However, it’s best to treat dandruff with home made remedies.
Calamansi juice can be a great solution to help with dandruff due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Not only that, the acid found in the fruit can help balance out overall pH levels on your scalp for better dandruff control. Be sure to try this great home remedy of calamansi mixed with baking soda (used to stop bacteria growth) on your scalp for a cheap and easy fix.
My trip to Boracay changed my life in a number of ways. I certainly appreciate warm weather a lot more now that I’m back in frigid Seoul, but also, I have more of a newfound appreciation for calamansi fruit. Just having it be so accessible in the Philippines was great. Not to mention, it tastes delicous and provides many incredible health benefits!
For those that are too lazy or just can’t get a hold of fresh calamansi, there are some small ways to get your fix. For instance, I hear a TON of hype about the Calamansi Cooler from Trader Joe’s (about $2.99 a can). I’m a huge Trader Joe’s fan and love their health conscious and organic products, so when I heard they began selling calamansi juice in a can, I knew it’d be a hit. If you’re lucky enough to have a branch near you, definitely pick up a few cans of their Calamansi Cooler!
For those that want a more authentic taste, I would suggest ordering calamansi concentrate or puree online. Take a look at Sun Tropic’s Calamansi Puree, which claims to be 100% natural and is pure undiluted calamansi. Just be sure to add water and some honey or other sweeteners to make the perfect calamansi juice.
Overall, calamansi is a great way to add more flavor and nutrients to any meal. But much like any healthy food, it must be consumed on a daily basis. Remember, no food will be an automatic cure all formula after a single use. Be sure to find fun and taaty ways to incorporate calamansi into your diet and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time. Hope you all enjoy!