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Lemon vs Kumquat - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 21, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Lemon
vs
Kumquat

Summary

Kumquat contains more minerals, more Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, and a lower GI. On the other hand, lemon has more Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, less sodium, and sugars.

Introduction

Kumquats and lemons are prevalent fruits and are used worldwide. We will discuss their similarities and differences, focusing on nutrition and health impact.

What's The Actual Difference?

Both lemon and kumquat have distinctly citrus flavors. However, kumquat is slightly sweeter, and lemon is more bitter or sour.

On the outside, lemons and kumquat are easy to differentiate; lemons look yellow and oval, and kumquat appears in shades of orange and round forms. Kumquat is smaller than lemons; it is about the size of an olive.

Varieties

Lemons are members of the Citrus genus. Lemons originated in South Asia, but they are now a popular citrus fruit used worldwide. Lisbon lemons and Eureka lemons are the most popular lemon varieties. Kumquats, also known as cumquats, are a genus of small fruit-bearing trees in the Rutaceae family and Citrus genus. Kumquat means "golden orange" in Chinese. A kumquat isn't much bigger than a grape, but this bite-sized fruit packs a punch of sweet-tart citrus flavor. Nagami Kumquats are the most popular variety in the USA.

Uses

Both kumquat and lemon also can be eaten raw or used in different ways: in marmalade, liqueur, and cocktails, as a garnish, and also as a flavor for different dishes.

Lemon leaves are used to make a tee and prepare meats and seafood. Kumquat also can be baked into bread.

Nutrition

Both kumquats and lemons have rich nutrition content. You can find the visual infographics at the bottom of this page.

Calories

Kumquat has two times more calories than lemons. It contains 71 calories per 100g, while lemons contain only 29 calories per 100g.

Vitamins

Kumquat is richer in Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, and Folate.

Vitamin A is 12 times higher in kumquat than in lemon.

On the other hand, lemon has higher Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. Lemon falls in the range of the top 12% of foods as a source of Vitamin C. The amounts of Vitamin B5, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin E are equal in these fruits. Both fruits have no Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B12.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Lemon
3
:
Contains more Vitamin C +20.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +122.2%
Contains more Vitamin A +1218.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +350%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +329%
Contains more Folate +54.5%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.15
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.037
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.208
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 3% 0% 177% 10% 5% 2% 12% 19% 9% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 18% 3% 0% 147% 10% 21% 9% 13% 9% 13% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin C +20.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +122.2%
Contains more Vitamin A +1218.2%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +350%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +329%
Contains more Folate +54.5%
Equal in Vitamin E - 0.15
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.037
Equal in Vitamin B5 - 0.208

Minerals

In comparison, kumquat has a relatively higher amount of minerals—more copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, and phosphorus.

Kumquat falls in the range of the top 30% of foods as a source of calcium.

On the other hand, lemon has less sodium than a kumquat.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Lemon
1
:
Contains less Sodium -80%
Contains more Calcium +138.5%
Contains more Iron +43.3%
Contains more Magnesium +150%
Contains more Phosphorus +18.8%
Contains more Potassium +34.8%
Contains more Zinc +183.3%
Contains more Copper +156.8%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 8% 23% 6% 7% 13% 1% 2% 13%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 19% 33% 15% 9% 17% 2% 5% 32%
Contains less Sodium -80%
Contains more Calcium +138.5%
Contains more Iron +43.3%
Contains more Magnesium +150%
Contains more Phosphorus +18.8%
Contains more Potassium +34.8%
Contains more Zinc +183.3%
Contains more Copper +156.8%

Glycemic Index

The GI of lemon has not yet been measured. The glycemic index of kumquats is 0.

Fats

Both carrots and apples have fats less than 1g. Kumquat contains 0.86g of fat, and lemon has 0.3g of fat.

Carbs

Kumquat contains almost two times more carbs than lemon. It has 16g per 100g, whereas lemon has 9.32g per 100g. The central part of kumquat carbs is net carbs: 9.4 g. However, kumquat also has more fiber: 6.5g per 100g. It falls in the range of the top 15% of foods as a source of fiber.

Cholesterol

Both fruits have no cholesterol.

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Citrus fruits are high in flavonoids and linked to lower cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Lemons and kumquats are high in flavonoids, Vitamin C, and fiber, linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. One study [1] shows that eating 24 grams of citrus fiber per day for a month reduced total blood cholesterol levels.

According to studies [2], citrus fruits contain phytochemicals with potent antioxidant and hypolipidemic properties. These compounds may help to lower blood pressure and fight against oxidative stress.

Diabetes

Research shows that lemon juice can slow the digestion of carbohydrates to sugar. This effect is caused by the acidity of lemon juice, which slows starch digestion.

According to the findings, adding a drink to diabetics' meals can help level out blood sugar spikes.

In one study [3], patients were given a three-day lemon diet. The study concluded that this treatment alleviates specific symptoms, such as glucose levels associated with diabetes.

One animal study [4] shows that kumquat extract may reduce fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides. However, more research is needed.

Immune System

Many studies have shown that Vitamin C helps with common cold recovery. Furthermore, a lack of Vitamin C can harm your immune system, especially if you are elderly [5]. Both lemons and kumquat are high in Vitamin C and contain enough Vitamin A and minerals to strengthen your immune system. Animal and test-tube studies [6] indicate that kumquat plant compounds may aid in the activation of immune cells known as natural killer cells. In addition, Vitamin C can help boost immunity in people who engage in strenuous physical activity. More research is needed.

Side Effects

Allergy

People who are allergic to citrus may also be allergic to raw lemons and kumquat. People allergic to citrus fruit peels are frequently allergic to limonene, a chemical found in citrus fruit peels. These people may be able to drink fresh juice despite having contact dermatitis from simply touching the outside of citrus fruit. Intense tingling and itching of the lips, tongue, and throat are common symptoms [7].

Heartburn

Due to their acidic nature, lemons can cause heartburn and worsen the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is especially likely if raw lemons are consumed on an empty stomach. However, watered lemon juice may help to alleviate heartburn [8].

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0271531705801757
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17344514/
  3. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/654086
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24705395/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17636648/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25849817/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23308273/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25831042/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 21, 2022

Infographic

Lemon vs Kumquat infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Lemon Kumquat
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Lemon Kumquat Opinion
Net carbs 6.52g 9.4g Kumquat
Protein 1.1g 1.88g Kumquat
Fats 0.3g 0.86g Kumquat
Carbs 9.32g 15.9g Kumquat
Calories 29kcal 71kcal Kumquat
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 2.5g 9.36g Lemon
Fiber 2.8g 6.5g Kumquat
Calcium 26mg 62mg Kumquat
Iron 0.6mg 0.86mg Kumquat
Magnesium 8mg 20mg Kumquat
Phosphorus 16mg 19mg Kumquat
Potassium 138mg 186mg Kumquat
Sodium 2mg 10mg Lemon
Zinc 0.06mg 0.17mg Kumquat
Copper 0.037mg 0.095mg Kumquat
Vitamin A 22IU 290IU Kumquat
Vitamin E 0.15mg 0.15mg
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 53mg 43.9mg Lemon
Vitamin B1 0.04mg 0.037mg Lemon
Vitamin B2 0.02mg 0.09mg Kumquat
Vitamin B3 0.1mg 0.429mg Kumquat
Vitamin B5 0.19mg 0.208mg Kumquat
Vitamin B6 0.08mg 0.036mg Lemon
Folate 11µg 17µg Kumquat
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 0µg 0µg
Tryptophan mg mg
Threonine mg mg
Isoleucine mg mg
Leucine mg mg
Lysine mg mg
Methionine mg mg
Phenylalanine mg mg
Valine mg mg
Histidine mg mg
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.039g 0.103g Lemon
Monounsaturated Fat 0.011g 0.154g Kumquat
Polyunsaturated fat 0.089g 0.171g Kumquat

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Lemon Kumquat
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
20
Lemon
20
Kumquat
Mineral Summary Score
9
Lemon
16
Kumquat

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
7%
Lemon
11%
Kumquat
Carbohydrates
9%
Lemon
16%
Kumquat
Fats
1%
Lemon
4%
Kumquat

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Lemon
Lemon is lower in Sugar (difference - 6.86g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Lemon
Lemon contains less Sodium (difference - 8mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Lemon
Lemon is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.064g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Kumquat
Kumquat is lower in glycemic index (difference - 0)
Which food is cheaper?
Kumquat
Kumquat is cheaper (difference - $0.5)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Kumquat
Kumquat is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Lemon - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167746/nutrients
  2. Kumquat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168154/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.