Wellness Nutrition Nutrition Basics Health Benefits of Yuzu Yuzu has been described as smelling like pure sunshine—and it comes with antioxidants and vitamin C too. By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's Health's contributing nutrition editor and counsels clients one-on-one through her virtual private practice. Cynthia is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics and has consulted for five professional sports teams, including five seasons with the New York Yankees. She is currently the nutrition consultant for UCLA's Executive Health program. Sass is also a three-time New York Times best-selling author and Certified Plant Based Professional Cook. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook, or visit www.CynthiaSass.com. health's editorial guidelines Updated on March 13, 2023 Medically reviewed by Karina Tolentino, RD, CHWC Medically reviewed by Karina Tolentino, RD, CHWC Karina Tolentino, RD, CHWC is a dietitian and health coach specializing in treating people living with chronic kidney disease. learn more Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Pinterest Email this page Known also as Citrus junos Sieb, yuzu—pronounced yoo-zoo—is a citrus fruit of Northeast Asia. Yuzu is thought to be a hybrid between a sour mandarin orange and another type of citrus called Ichang papeda. Fresh yuzu is about the size of a golf ball, with bumpy green and yellow skin. It's pretty juicy and has a distinct tart, sour taste that's described as more intense than a lemon. It comes with nutrients such as antioxidants and vitamin C. There are many yuzu selections and hybrids in Japan and China. Also, chefs and mixologists love incorporating the fruit into cocktails, slaws, sushi, ramen, rice, and desserts, such as yuzu sorbet and tarts. Getty Images Benefits of Yuzu There is little published research on humans about health outcomes tied to yuzu consumption. However, some of the following are potential benefits. Provides Antioxidants However, one paper said that yuzu is a rich source of bioactive compounds. The compounds include flavonoid, anthocyanin, phenolic acid, and carotenoid antioxidants—which have actions in the body that may promote health. Has Potential Preventative Properties The fruit's juice, peel, and seeds have been shown to contain several preventative properties. Yuzu fruit has pro-anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiplatelet, and antimicrobial properties. Sumo Oranges: Why You Might Want to Try Them May Be Helpful for Mood A notable feature of yuzu is its smell. It is very fragrant, with aromas of lemon, lime, grapefruit, and lemongrass. It's even been described as smelling like pure sunshine. Scientists found that yuzu's aromatic effects could help alleviate negative emotional stress. The fruit's essential oil is thought to affect autonomic nervous system activity, which plays an integral role in the mind-body connection. To see if that was true, 21 individuals in their 20s were exposed to the scent of either yuzu or, as a control, water. Researchers used the volunteers' heart rate variability and a psychological index, the Profile of Mood States (POMS), to measure any changes before and after the aromatic stimulation. For 35 minutes, the participants experienced a significant decrease in heart rate, suggesting the fruit does affect the parasympathetic nervous system activity. In addition, the POMS tests revealed that yuzu resulted in a decrease in total mood disturbance. This included reduced tension, anxiety, and fatigue for as long as 35 minutes. Nutrition of Yuzu Yuzu's nutrition facts do not appear in the US Department of Agriculture database. However, 100 grams—a little over 3 ounces—of yuzu juice contains: Calories: 67 caloriesFat: 0 gramsSodium: 0 gramsCarbohydrates: 20 gramsProtein: 0 grams The juice also has 100 milligrams of vitamin C. Vitamin C is considered to be an antioxidant. However, it also helps the body make collagen, improves iron absorption, and boosts the immune system. Risks of Yuzu If you can find and use yuzu essential oil, ensure that it doesn't interact with any aspects of your health. Essential oils shouldn't be used without the guidance of a healthcare professional. There can be potential risks, side effects, and interactions with medications, though most essential oils are usually safe. Also, as individuals can have any food allergy, eating yuzu might lead to an allergic reaction. However, there have been limited reports of yuzu allergy: it is not considered a common food allergy. Tips for Consuming Yuzu You can incorporate the juice and rind of yuzu into various recipes, and a little goes a long way. Yuzu works well in expertly crafted restaurant dishes, cocktails, and mocktails. Yuzu's sour profile can be balanced with a variety of interesting ingredients, including: Sweet ginger, honey, yams, and grains Salty sea vegetables and soy sauce Bitter matcha and leafy greens Umami-based seafood and mushrooms If you're new to yuzu and like to cook, try yuzu-glazed salmon too. Does Kombucha Have Any Health Benefits? A Quick Review If you haven't had the chance to experience yuzu yet, it's worth seeking out. The fruit offers key nutrients like antioxidants and vitamin C. It can have preventative properties against conditions like inflammation and cancer, though research is ongoing about other benefits for human health. There can be possible issues with eating yuzu or using it in essential oil form. Still, this unique citrus fruit is a feast for your senses and can complement other tastes, from sweet to umami flavors. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit 10 Sources Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Lee BB, Kim YM, Pyeon SM, Jeong HJ, Cho YS, Nam SH. Physiochemical properties and neuroprotective function of Korean major yuzu varieties. Food Sci Technol. 2022;42:e69222. doi:10.1590/fst.69222 Nile SH, Park SW. Bioactive components and health-promoting properties of yuzu(Citrus ichangensis × C. reticulate). Food Reviews International. 2014;30(2):155-167. doi:10.1080/87559129.2014.902958 Assefa AD, Ko EY, Moon SH, Keum YS. Antioxidant and antiplatelet activities of flavonoid-rich fractions of three citrus fruits from Korea. 3 Biotech. 2016;6(1):109. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-016-0424-8 Nam SH, Cho HS, Jeong H, et al. Physiochemical properties, dietary fibers, and functional characterization of three yuzu cultivars at five harvesting times. Food Sci Biotechnol. 2021;30(1):117-127. doi:10.1007/s10068-020-00850-3 Financial Times. Freshly squeezed sunshine: the unquenchable zest of the yuzu fruit. Matsumoto T, Kimura T, Hayashi T. Aromatic effects of a Japanese citrus fruit—yuzu (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka)—on psychoemotional states and autonomic nervous system activity during the menstrual cycle: a single-blind randomized controlled crossover study. Biopsychosoc Med. 2016;10:11. doi:10.1186/s13030-016-0063-7 U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yuzu juice, yuzu. Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin C - fact sheet for consumers. Ramsey JT, Shropshire BC, Nagy TR, Chambers KD, Li Y, Korach KS. Essential oils and health. Yale J Biol Med. 2020;93(2):291-305. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Food allergies: what you need to know.