by Valeria Ghitti
CHOOSE IT SO
The of the country is the world's leading producer of bergamot, whose cultivation (95%) is concentrated in Calabria: the bergamot of Reggio Calabria it also boasts the Protected Designation of Origin. It is largely used to obtain essential oil, but fresh fruit can also be found from October-November until March.
"Like all citrus fruits, prefer it with leaves, to guarantee greater freshness, and free from black dots on the skin, a sign of an attack by parasites », remembers Lorenzo Bazzana, manager of Fruit and Vegetables at Coldiretti. “And keep it in bottom drawer of the refrigerator».
«Bergamot has a high concentration of flavonoids, particularly valuable for heart health: naringenin and hesperetin, among the most studied, in fact reduce the formation of lipoproteins LDL (the so-called "bad" cholesterol) and increase the activity of some antioxidant enzymes»Explains Dr. Anna D'Eugenio, nutritionist doctor.
«In addition, they also work by improving the entry of glucose into the muscles and cells of the liver. This also allows a hypoglycemic action (lowers the absorption of sugars), to the benefit of body weight».
A good way to consume it by enhancing its qualities, despite the rather bitter taste, is enjoy it in salads, with olive oil. You can also get the same benefits by giving yourself a glass of juice.
"The juice of this citrus fruit, taken before meals, also has an important positive action on digestion: stimulates the appetite and improves the functionality of the gallbladder », explains the nutritionist. And also disinfectant, therefore useful against sore throats, stomatitis, gingivitis, as well as having a pesticide effect in the intestine.
TO TASTE OR TO SMELL?
Fruit - Similar to orange but green in color, it has sour and bitter greenish-yellow pulp and juice. Must try freshly squeezed, in wedges instead of lemon, or in salads.
Essential oil - Cold extracted from the peel, it is greenish yellow, with a pleasant and fresh smell. It is mainly used in perfumery, but also as a food flavor and in the pharmaceutical field.
Per 100 g: 82% water, 10 g of sugar, 50 mg of vitamin C for 35 calories.