List of Tropical Fruits
Banana | Date | Dragon Fruit | Fig | Guava | Jackfruit | Longan | Mango | Mangosteen | Noni | Papaya | Passion Fruit | Persimmon | Pineapple | Pomegranate | Sapodilla | Soursop | Starfruit | Sugar Apple | Tamarind | Breadfruit | Avocado
Natures snack in a pack… the banana consists of the sugars, glucose, fructose and sucrose and fiber making them an ideal as a source of prolonged energy. Bananas are sweet with a creamy flesh and packed with essential minerals and vitamins.
Bananas are one of nature best sources of potassium but are also low in sodium and due to this, have the ability for preventing high blood pressure. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration has allowed the banana industry to officially make this claim.
For those women who suffer the effects of morning sickness, snacking on bananas helps keep the blood-sugar levels elevated thereby avoiding morning sickness. They also have a natural antacid effect on the body and eating a banana brings soothing relief.
With their high fiber content, bananas help in restoring a normal bowel function but their high potassium levels also help in restoring important electrolytes which are depleted when one suffers from diarrhea. They also contain a soluble fiber or hydrocolloid called pectin that helps normalize movement through the digestive tract.
The B vitamins in bananas improve nerve function whilst the tryptophan, an amino acid, is converted to serotonin which leads to an improved mood. The high potassium in bananas aids in the normalization of the heartbeat and regulation of the body’s water balance. During periods of high stress, potassium levels are depleted rapidly and the ingestion of bananas helps in replenishing the lost nutrients.
For those who suffer from ulcers, bananas are the only raw fruit that can be eaten that helps in reducing acidity and irritation. Bananas stimulate the internal lining of the stomach to produce thicker mucus thus protecting against acids. They contain protease inhibitors which help eliminate the bacteria which are the primary cause of ulcers in the stomach.
With the ever-increasing number of cases of kidney cancer annually, it has been found that the daily consumption of fruit and vegetables, especially bananas aids in the protection of the kidneys. Studies have shown that the banana contains high levels of antioxidant phenolic compounds which help reduce the risk of kidney cancer. Women who ate bananas four to six times a week halved their risk of developing the disease when compared to those who did not eat bananas.
Fructooligosaccharides are a compound that nourishes probiotic bacteria in the colon, by producing enzymes that increase the digestive ability and protects against unhealthy bacterial infections. Bananas contain large amounts of Fructooligosaccharides which help in increasing the number and functionality thereby allowing the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Green bananas contain indigestible short chain fatty acids that are nutritious to the cells of the mucosa of the stomach. These cells aid in the absorption of calcium thus aiding in the formation of healthy bones.
Research carried out and published in the Archives of Ophthalmology has shown that 3 servings of banana per day for adults help reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. ARMD is the primary cause of vision loss in the elderly.
Bananas which contain high levels of iron aids the body’s hemoglobin function thus helping curb anemia.
The B6, B12 vitamins, potassium and magnesium found in bananas assist the body to recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal for those wanting to give up smoking.
These power-packed, nutritious pre-packaged fruits are also linked to studies which show that eating bananas as part of a regular diet help reduce the risk of death by strokes by almost 40%.
Adding bananas to your diet not only promotes good health but a wonderfully sweet creamy taste too. So, blend them into your smoothie, make a sandwich or add them to a salad.
This is a fruit that is said to be the “almost perfect food” and has had mention in the Koran and Bible. The date; palm which is said to have originated on the banks of the Nile and Euphrates rivers and belongs to the family Arecaceae of the genus: Phoenix and is known as Phoenix dactylifera.
The date, an oval or cylindrical has a hard pit with a seed inside which is surrounded by an outer fleshy part and is a “drupe.” When unripe the fruit is 3 to 7 cm long and 2 to 3 cm in diameter and there are many varieties cultivated, with the most popular varieties being Amir Hajj, Khadrawy, Medjool, and Saidy.
Not only is the date fruit delicious but, they contain an impressive list of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins which are necessary for normal growth and development.
Rich in dietary fiber, both, soluble and insoluble and each has a valuable function. Insoluble fiber allows food to move through the digestive tract. The fiber content assists in protecting the mucous membrane in the colon as it binds with cancer-causing chemicals decreasing exposure to them. The soluble fiber helps those with diabetes as it decreases elevated blood glucose levels and is also said to lower serum cholesterol levels, especially those LDL, in the bloodstream. The fiber also acts as a laxative as it bulks up food and aid with constipation.
Dates have been found to have the highest concentration of polyphenols among dried fruits. The flavonoid, polyphenols antioxidants are mostly tannins which are known as anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties. Other antioxidant flavonoids are beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which protect cells from oxygen free radicals. These provide protection against colon, pancreatic, endometrial, lung, prostate and breast cancers. Zeaxanthin is absorbed into the retinal macular lutea, offering protection against age-related macular degeneration.
100 grams of dates provides 149 IU of Vitamin A which acts as an antioxidant and is essential for vision. Vitamin A also helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and skin. Studies have also found that Vitamin A protects the lung and oral cavity from cancers.
One cup of chopped dates provides 4.4 mcg of selenium, 63 mg magnesium, 0.3 mg copper and 57 mg calcium. Potassium helps the body lower high blood pressure that can lead to heart disease and also assists kidney function by encourages sodium excretion which also lowers blood pressure. Selenium helps to build the immune system and fight cancer. Calcium is important in the constitution of teeth and bones and is used by the body for muscle coordination and nerve impulse conduction. Magnesium is essential for bone growth together with calcium.
An excellent source of iron, dates, contain 0.90 mg per 100 gram of fruit, which as a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells, aids in carrying oxygen in the blood. B-complex vitamins like niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin act as cofactors to help the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Vitamin K also found in the date fruit is essential for the clotting of blood and in bone metabolism.
Dates are nature’s candy with a nutritional punch!
The Pitaya or Pitahaya is more commonly called Dragon fruit which has a unique oblong shape with a pink or red rind with green tipped scales. Dragon fruit originated in Central America and is said to date back to the 13th century. Today it is grown widely for commercial purposes in Asian countries like Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. In Vietnam, it is called thong loy. There are three varieties of Dragon fruit, Hylocereus with a red skin and white flesh, Hylocereus polyrhizus with a red rind and red flesh and Selinecereus megalanthus with a yellow rind and white flesh. An interesting fact about the flowers of the Dragon fruit tree is that they bloom at night and are called Moonflowers.
A good source of antioxidants, the dragon fruit helps prevent damage caused by free radicals. It contains a rich array of antioxidants that is unmatched in any food or drug. Antioxidants block free radicals which cause heart disease and cancers.
The dragon fruit is low in cholesterol, sodium and has little fat and is a boon for those with high cholesterol problems and for those who are on a weight loss program. The fats are found in the many seeds found in the fruit and as they are mono-unsaturated.
Important to both, the young and the old, dietary fiber are important in preventing constipation and irregular bowel movement. Fibre also helps in preventing colon cancer as it binds with the chemicals that cause cancer. It is also said to benefit the liver by preventing urinary tract infection. The red variety of dragon fruit has a higher fiber content than the yellow variety and the rind is also a great source of fiber too. The high protein levels boost metabolism which leads to weight reduction. It is also vital in the production of hormones, enzymes and other chemicals required in the body.
The fruit has a very high Vitamin C content which helps to heal wounds and bruises fast as well as strengthens the immune system. The dragon fruit provides more than 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Other vitamins include Thiamine or B1 which helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and generate energy, Niacin or B3 which is important for diabetic patients, Vitamin B3 which helps to moisturize the skin, Vitamin B12 which stimulates the appetite.
The fruit is also a source of phosphorus and calcium which help to reinforce bones, make teeth healthier, help in cell development and tissue formation. The high mineral content helps neutralize the effects of toxic, heavy metals like mercury, lead, and arsenic.
The consumption of dragon fruit has been linked to a reduction in the insulin usage in a patient with Type 1 diabetes whilst also reducing blood sugar levels for those with Type 2 diabetes. It is also said to be effective in helping the body in releasing uric acid which is a great help to those suffering from gout. The regular consumption of this fruit is also said to alleviate coughs and asthma in children and adults.
Figs or Ficus carica grow on the Ficus tree which belongs to the Moraceae or Mulberry family. They originated in Arabia and can be traced back to ancient times and have been mentioned in the Bible and other holy books but have been known to have been first cultivated in Egypt. The Romans and Greeks saw the fig as a sacred fruit. The fig is, in fact, an inverted flower and the seeds are the fruit.
A fantastic source of soluble dietary fiber, the fig is perfect to add to a weight loss diet as fiber adds bulk which in turn gives a feeling of being full. This reduces hunger pangs and cravings. Being low in calories, 100 grams of figs provide 74 calories; the fig starts to look really good for those on a diet. The soluble fiber also helps in reducing the risk of colon and rectal cancer as it binds with the chemicals that cause cancer and decreases the length of time of the food in the colon. Pectin, a soluble fiber found in figs mops up cholesterol and carries it out of the body, thereby lowering the cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Figs are known as a gentle laxative due to the rich fiber content.
Chlorogenic acid is found in the berries which research shows helps in lowering blood glucose levels in Type 2 Diabetes mellitus. Chlorogenic acid together with polyphenolic anti-oxidants like tannins, lutein, and carotenes, are shown to protect against cancers and fight free radicals which are the cause of strokes and heart disease as they damage and destroy cells.
Figs help lower high blood pressure as they contain potassium which regulates blood pressure in the body. Potassium also maintains fluid and sodium balance which aids in maintaining blood pressure. It also has the added benefit of regulating muscle function and helps prevent cramping. For those with diabetes, potassium controls blood sugar levels, which in turn, lowers the amount of insulin required by the body. This also helps increase energy for those not affected by diabetes. The fig leaf has the same anti-diabetic properties as the fruit if not higher.
Calcium, a mineral that promotes bone density is found in abundance in figs. Potassium helps to reduce the loss of calcium caused by high salt diets and thus, prevents bones from thinning out at a rapid rate.
Figs also prevent coronary heart disease as they contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 which reduce fatty acids and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
The fig has been known to be useful in respiratory disorders including asthma, whooping cough as well as being good for fevers, earaches, boils and abscesses, venereal disease and is excellent for the liver. As a highly alkaline food, the fig helps regulate the pH of the body.
Adam and Eve may have used the fig leaves to cover up but it is the fruit that provides more benefit, it seems!
The Guava, or Psidium Guajava, as it is scientifically known belongs to the Myrtaceae family of the genus: Psidium. It originated in Middle America and is today, the “superfood” is cultivated mainly in Asian countries.
Rich in astringents, the guava helps bind loose bowels for those inflicted with diarrhea. They help cure dysentery as they inhibit microbial growth and remove the extra mucus from the intestine. The high Vitamin C in guavas, together with carotenoids and potassium, help to strengthen and tone the digestive system.
Guavas have high dietary fiber content. The seeds, eaten whole or chewed, are an excellent laxative. These properties help in retaining water, cleaning the intestine and excretory system and helps in forming the feces for easy removal from the bowel. Proper digestion and excretion are cures to many ailments and guavas are instrumental in ensuring that this is done.
Guavas help in reducing cholesterol in the bloodstream and prevent the blood from thickening. This reduces blood pressure and maintains the fluidity of the blood. Foods with low fiber content increase blood pressure as they convert the carbohydrate into sugar too quickly. They also increase blood sugar and guavas being rich in fiber and hypoglycemic in lowering both.
An excellent source of Vitamin C, the guava provides three times the amount of the daily recommended allowance. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps the body build resistance to infections, they destroy scavenger free radicals that cause cancers and help in collagen formation which allows the proper structural functioning of blood vessels, organs, bones, and skins.
The fruit also contains Vitamin A and flavonoids such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and cryptoxanthin. These compounds with their antioxidant properties are required to maintain optimal health. Vitamin A also helps to maintain the mucous membranes and the skin. Carotenes found in the fruit also help to protect the body against lung and oral cancers. Vitamin A is also known for preserving and improving eyesight.
Being low in calories and fats, the guava is perfect as a weight loss food and can make for a delicious snack with many health benefits.
Potassium packed in guavas play an important role in regulating blood pressure and reverses the role of sodium which causes an increase in blood pressure. The guava also contains folate which is known for its fertility promoting properties. With a good source of copper, guavas help with thyroid metabolism especially in the production and the absorption of hormones.
Magnesium is an essential mineral which is required by the body to help relax nerves and muscles and guavas are a good source. The vitamin B group are important in brain function and guavas are rich in vitamins B3 and B6. Niacin or B3 stimulates brain function, promotes blood flow whilst Pyridoxine or B6 is important for brain and nerve function. The skin also benefits from the consumption of guavas as they provide Vitamin E which has antioxidant properties.
It is said that “a few guavas in a season keeps the doctor away for the whole year”.
The Jackfruit belongs to the Mulberry family that is native to parts of Southern and Southeast Asia. It can also be found in East African and Brazil. The fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world.
The Jackfruit has an abundance of vitamin C which helps to protect against viral and bacterial infection. It helps in strengthening the immune system as it supports white blood cell function. Vitamin C is widely known for its ability to prevent colds and flu.
Being rich in phytonutrients like Lignans, Isoflavones, and Saponins that are all known for their anti-cancer and anti-aging properties, the Jackfruit helps in destroying cancer-causing free radicals and slows down the degeneration of cells that lead to degenerative diseases. These phytonutrients protect the skin and help to keep it supple and smooth.
The potassium in the Jackfruit is found to help in lowering blood pressure and reverses the effects of sodium that causes a rise in blood pressure that affects the heart and blood vessels. This helps in preventing heart disease and strokes. Potassium also helps in preventing bone loss and improves muscle and nerve function. Another heart friendly property found in the Jackfruit is due to vitamin B6 that helps reduce homocysteine levels in the blood thus lowering the risk of heart disease.
The high fiber content of jackfruit prevents constipation as it bulks up food consumed which then passes more easily through the gut. The fiber also offers protection against colon mucous membrane by mopping up carcinogenic chemicals in the large intestine and preventing colon cancer. The anti-ulcer properties help cure ulcers and other digestive disorders. Certain extracts from the root of the Jackfruit plant are said to help cure diarrhea and found to be beneficial for those suffering from asthma.
With a small amount of Vitamin A available, it helps maintain good vision and smooth skin. Vitamin A is instrumental in preventing age-related macular degeneration and night blindness.
The Jackfruit contains iron that helps prevent anemia and aids in proper circulation, magnesium that is important in the absorption of calcium. Calcium is important in the development of strong teeth and bones and helps prevent bone related disorders like osteoporosis.
It has copper that helps maintain a healthy thyroid and plays an important part in hormone production and absorption. The calcium contained in the fruit also helps in the clotting of blood.
With a large number of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose, it boosts energy and as it contains no fat or cholesterol, it is perfect as a diet food.
This exotic fruit is a great fruit and can be served raw or cooked but, either way, it has many health benefits.
Indigenous to India and China, the Longan fruit or Dragon’s eye is botanically known as Dimocarpus longan. It is from the family of Rambutan and is a cousin to the Lychee.
The fruit contains a range of vitamins and minerals that include iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium as well as vitamins A and C.
With a high vitamin C content, the fruit is helpful in protecting the body from colds and flu and helps to boost the immune system. Vitamin C helps the body in absorbing iron and it plays a part in maintaining healthy skin and enabling the body to heal wounds. Vitamin C helps in improving wound healing and increases longevity as it fights the free radicals that damage cells.
Together with polyphenols, it helps in fighting off free radicals that are damaging to cells and cause cancer and damage to arteries thus increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes. Studies are ongoing regarding the effectiveness and safety of antioxidants in the longan.
The fruit is low in fats and calories and makes a healthy addition to the diet of those wanting to lose weight. Longans contain complex carbohydrates (sucrose) and glucose that increases energy improves stamina and reduces hunger.
Logans are recommended as anti-depressants as they have a relaxing effect on the nervous system, they enhance nerve function, lower irritability and reduce fatigue. All of this is due to the essential minerals contained in the fruit.
They are said to contain iron that is required for red blood cell formation and therefore helps reduce the risk of anemia.
The vitamins contained in the fruit help in enhancing complexion of skin minimizes the cracking and peeling of skin as well as helping in keeping the teeth and gums in good health. It also has a positive impact on vision and is helpful in reducing cataract formation and reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration and night blindness.
The seed of the fruit is administered as it helps counteract heavy sweating and the pulverized kernel is said to contain Saponins, tannin, and fats that serve a styptic or a substance that draws tissue together thereby constricting the tissue and effectively stopping blood and other secretions.
Longans are also used to treat insomnia, to overcome anxiety and a difficulty in concentration as it contains fitokimianya that serve to relax the nerves and provides a calming effect.
The scientific name of the mango is Mangifera indica and originated about 4000 years ago in the sub-Himalayan plains. There are over 1000 different varieties of mangoes and are related to the cashew and pistachio.
With their high antioxidant content, mangoes help fight cancer and heart disease. Antioxidant compounds like Quercetin, Isoquercitrin, Astragalin, Fisetin, Gallic, and Methygallat protect against colon, breast, prostate cancer and leukemia. Pectin, found in the mango, is a soluble dietary fiber that is shown to lower blood cholesterol levels as it binds to and inhibits galectin 3, a protein that plays a role in cancer progression. Fibre protects the gastrointestinal tract by mopping up cancer-causing chemicals. Beta-carotenes, astragalin, and Quercetin neutralize free radicals that damage cells that lead to cancer, heart disease, and premature aging.
Mangoes have a low glycemic index that does not spike sugar levels if consumed in moderation. Being low in calories and fats but high in fiber, mangoes help to keep insulin levels stable.
One cup of mango provides you with 25 percent of the daily-recommended allowance and vitamin A helps to maintain healthy vision and prevents night blindness and dry eyes. For older people, Vitamin A helps in preventing age-related macular degeneration.
These fruits contain digestive enzymes that help in breaking down protein to help digestion, enzymes that soothe the stomach by preventing acidity and poor digestion. Bioactive elements such as esters, terpenes, and aldehydes aid in easy digestion.
Tartaric, malic and citric acid found in mangoes help maintain the alkali reserve in the body. Glutamine acid helps to boost memory and keep cells alive and this is useful for children who lack concentration.
Mangoes help to boost the sex drive as the Vitamin E it contains regulates the sex hormones in the body. Most varieties of mangoes provide about 2.3 to 3 mg of Vitamin E.
Iron-rich, mangoes are a boon to those suffering from anemia, as the regular consumption of mangoes; provide this much-needed component for menopausal and pregnant women. However, too many mangoes during pregnancy should be avoided.
Mangos help to in clearing clogged pores that cause acne. Slices of mango applied to the face for 10 to 15 minutes and then washed help in cleansing the skin of oils and impurities.
The juice from green mangoes, mixed with water and sugar helps to cool down the body for those who suffer from heat stroke. This also helps the kidneys as they are overloaded with toxins and this concoction helps to detoxify and cleanse the kidneys.
It is no wonder that the mango is known as the “king of fruit.”
The Mangosteen or Garcinia Mangostana L. is native to Indonesia and has been hailed for centuries as a traditional medicine and for its innumerable health benefits. The fruit tastes like a cross between an orange and a peach and is classed as a “Superfruit” although it is not as high ranking as most.
Xanthones are the primary active component of Mangosteens and recently been discovered to be of the polyphenolic group and similar in structure to bioflavonoids. About two hundred Xanthones have been identified and of these, forty are to be found in the mangosteen. Xanthones have been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anticonvulsant properties. Other antioxidants contained in the mangosteen are polysaccharides sterols, proanthocyanidins, and catechins but they have less medicinal benefit than xanthones.
These compounds with their antioxidant properties are useful in fighting the oxidation by peroxides and oxygen that causes free radicals that damage and destroy cells. The cellular damage caused by free radicals cause cancer and other diseases. Antioxidants protect the body from strokes; heart disease, neurological conditions, and different cancers as they repair, damaged cells, capture, and destroy free radicals.
The three main xanthones in the mangosteen are alpha mangostin, a potent antioxidant, gamma mangostin, a powerful anti-inflammatory and Garcinone E, a strong anti-tumor agent. These have been found to be effective in preventing arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, kidney stones, glaucoma, neuralgia, Alzheimer’s and in treating aging, depression, skin diseases, allergies, ulcers, diarrhea, obesity, fever, and pain.
The Xanthones are also responsible for lowering cholesterol in the bloodstream, which brings about a decrease in the risk of strokes and heart disease. Xanthones prevent LDL from being oxidized thus inhibiting it from clogging the arteries and causing blockages.
Alpha mangostin is effective in treating bacterial infections, especially methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci. Research shows that Alpha mangostin improves the effect of antibiotics such as Ampicillin and Minocycline and it inhibits the actions of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Catechins are five times more potent as antioxidants than Vitamin C, Polysaccharides have highly prized for their anti-cancer and antibacterial abilities as they inhibit mutated cells from sticking to healthy cells that help in stopping the spread of cancer. They also are effective against intracellular bacteria.
Quinones have anti-bacterial properties as well as being strong oxidants while Stilbenes help plants provide a defense against fungi. They are known to retain this property once they have been ingested. Stilbenes are also good antioxidants.
Studies have also revealed that the mangosteen is a weapon against gum disease or periodontitis and a gel containing mangosteen juice has shown a marked improvement in a control group of patients.
A paste made from the skin of the mangosteen has shown to relieve the symptoms of eczema without the harmful effects of cortisone used to treat the condition.
This is a fruit with many health benefits that the medical fraternity is finding to be more beneficial than some drugs, as these come with several side effects.
The Noni is indigenous to Southeast Asia and Australasia and is also known as Great Morinda, cheese fruit, Indian Mulberry or Beach Mulberry. The Latin name for the Noni is the Morinda Citrifolia.
The Noni fruit is a good source of carbohydrate, fiber, and proteins whilst being fat-free. The juice is high in Vitamin A, niacin and iron.
The fruit is said to be good for the skin and people with acne use the juice from the fruit to cure skin problems. The juice of the Noni fruit is also said to prevent hair loss and a few, limited studies have shown the lost hair can be regenerated by using products containing the Noni fruit.
It is also believed that the Noni fruit has cancer-fighting abilities. Testing carried out in mice in labs have indicated that the juice prevents cancer cells from spreading and also slows down the growth of tumors over a period of time. As research is not yet complete, this information cannot be validated just yet. Medical research has proven that Noni juice decreases the cholesterol levels in humans.
The Noni fruit is very much a part of the Polynesian culture and medicine and it has been used for many centuries as:
An immune booster, many of its nutrients are known as stimulants to the immune system.
A digestive stimulant, as it is useful as a laxative.
Analgesic, as it has been found that the fruit is almost 75 percent as effective as morphine sulfate in relieving pain and has no side effects. The tree is known as the “Painkiller or Headache” tree.
The antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic effects of the fruit are due to the active compounds like anthraquinones, scopoletin, and terpenes, making the Noni extremely effective against bacteria and fungus.
The Noni juice has shown similar effects as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Some research has shown that extracts of the Noni fruit contain a component that activates serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter plays a significant role in temperature regulation, sleep, hunger and sexual behavior. A deficiency of serotonin gives rise to a number of pathological conditions including migraine headaches, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. To counter these conditions, synthetic drugs are used but these also have adverse effects whereas the Noni fruit provides the same benefit with no side effects.
For those affected by diabetes, studies carried out on animals have shown the Noni fruit to treat diabetes normalizing blood sugar levels similar to the drugs prescribed for the condition. The research also concluded that there was less damage to the liver and fatty deposits in the liver were also significantly low.
More health benefits are being discovered about the Noni fruit and despite the many claims regarding the Noni fruit and juice being a care for almost all diseases, scientific evidence is still pending and until the research is complete and the findings verified, the fruit can at least be enjoyed for its known health benefits.
The Papaya, once considered exotic, was called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Colombus. Carica Papaya is native to Central America and is known as Paw-paw, Paw paw, Pawpaw, Papaw, or Tree Melon.
The Papaya is rich in an enzyme called papain and chymopapain. Both help in the breakdown of proteins, during the process of digestion, into amino acids. Amino acids are responsible for the chemical reactions responsible for mental and physical health. This is especially important as we age due to the digestive enzymes decreasing in the stomach and pancreas leading to ineffective digestion of proteins. Undigested proteins lead to the overgrowth of the bad bacteria in the gut and thus the decrease in amino acids to perform the all-important chemical reactions. Eating papaya after a meal helps with digestion and prevents bloating and chronic indigestion.
An excellent source of Vitamin C, E, and A, its high antioxidant content makes the papaya an excellent preventative against atherosclerosis, strokes, heart attacks and diabetic heart disease. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in lowering inflammation in the body, alleviates pain and edema caused by injuries. It also helps relieve the severity of Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Papayas are a good source of fiber which also helps lower cholesterol levels. The folic acid it contains also helps in protecting blood vessel walls as it converts homocysteine into amino acids like cysteine or methionine. On its own, homocysteine can damage blood vessel walls and high levels in the blood make for a significant risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
With its rich source of beta-carotene, papayas help the body produce Vitamin C and A, both of which are needed for a healthy immune system. These vitamins also provide protection against age-related macular degeneration. A study also showed that those who consumed vitamin C-rich foods were less likely to develop arthritis.
Smokers or those frequently exposed to second-hand smoke should make papaya a part of their diet as the vitamin A in the fruit may help prevent cancer. In a study of the relation between vitamin A, lung inflammations, and emphysema it was found that benzo (a) pyrene, a common carcinogen in cigarette smoke, induces vitamin A deficiency. Papaya is also rich in lycopene; therefore, greatly reduce the risk of Prostate cancer.
Papaya is low in calories and high in nutrients making it an excellent food for those on a diet. For pregnant women, papaya is said to help relieve morning sickness and nausea. It is also known for treating skin wounds that do not heal quickly.
So, savor the taste of the papaya whilst also ingesting its nutritional and medicinal benefits.
The exotic Passion fruit belongs to the family if Passifloraceae and is known scientifically as Passiflora edulis. It is also known as a Granadilla and is native to the subtropical regions of South America. Together with its pleasant taste, smell, and appearance, the Passion fruit is known for its various health benefits.
Damage caused by free radicals lead to many degenerative and chronic diseases such as immune system problems, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, Dementia, arthritis, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. The seeds of the passion fruit are an excellent source of polyphenols compounds which provide protection against free radicals. Some of these compounds also prevent premature wrinkling of the skin caused by UV radiation.
The passion fruit seeds have been found to have vasorelaxant effects from major polyphenols, piceatannol and scirpusin B. This property helps widen the blood vessels which results in the relaxation of the smooth muscle cells within the blood vessel walls. This, in turn, leads to a decrease in vascular pressure which is important for a healthy cardiovascular system.
Magnesium, an essential mineral plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and is essential for a proper heartbeat and nerve transmission. It also helps genes to function properly and is necessary for the development of strong bones. Passion fruit seeds make a significant contribution to the daily recommended intake of magnesium.
The insoluble fiber found in passion fruit promotes intestinal health. In fact, the seeds of the fruit provide 64.1 grams of fiber per 100g of seeds. The addition of passion fruit seeds to the diet enhances intestinal amylase activity and reduces caecal pH and caecal ammonia content. Amylase is important in converting complex sugars into simple sugars during the digestion process. Caecal pH and ammonia assist in balancing bacteria in the intestine and may also help in reducing the risk of tumors in the colon. Fiber helps transport toxins out of the body, promotes regular bowel movement, helping to prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. The high fiber content also helps in weight loss and makes the fruit an ideal inclusion in a healthy weight loss diet.
The juice of the passion fruit is said to reduce cancer cell growth and research is being carried out further prove this.
Recent studies have shown that the antioxidants found in granadillas help in treating and preventing asthma, wheezing coughs, and other allergic ailments.
These fruits are also said to be helpful in overall relaxation of the body and have somniferous properties which help provide a sound and restful sleep.
The word “Persimmon” is derived from the Algonquian language and means “dry fruit.” The Persimmon belongs to the Diospyros genus of the Ebony family. The fruit is native to China but has today they are cultivated mostly in California. It is the national fruit of Japan and the art of Hoshigaki, hand-dried persimmons, is an important part of the Japanese New Year celebrations.
Persimmons are an excellent source of soluble fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C and the minerals potassium and manganese. There are two varieties, “astringent’ and “non-astringent”. The astringent cultivar is high in tannins and must be fully ripe and jelly soft before it can be eaten. The non-astringent fruit has fewer tannins and can be eaten while it is crispy.
The Persimmon is low in calories, about 70 calories per 100g, and is a rich source of soluble dietary fiber and has no fat. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is divided into two types, water-soluble are water insoluble. Soluble fiber has been shown to protect against heart disease and also helps lower blood sugar levels. They make a perfect healthy snack instead of the regular fast foods which are fattening and unhealthy.
Persimmons contain many phytonutrients, flavonoids, polyphenolic antioxidants like catechins and gallocatechin. It also contains the anti-tumor compound betulinic acid. Catechins are best known for their anti-infective, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties. The disease-fighting ingredients like Vitamin A, beta-carotene and lutein are also present in Persimmons which all contribute to improved eyesight, whilst lycopene, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin assist in neutralizing free radicals that help prevent cancer. These phytochemicals assist in slowing down the aging process too.
Vitamin C plays an important role in regulating body processes and in the prevention of diseases like colds and the common flu. Persimmons are rich in Vitamin C. They also contain an abundance of some exotic and rare-occurring B-complex vitamins, folic acid, thiamine and minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. These vitamins act as co-factors in several metabolic enzymatic functions in the body, whilst the minerals are powerful scavengers of free radicals and also help boost the production of blood cells.
The tannins found in Persimmons calm the intestinal movements and relieve diarrhea too. They are also said to slow down subcutaneous bleeding and therefore, effective in treating bruises. Tannins are also known to protect cells, astringes tissue and suppress the growth of bacteria.
The large amounts of natural simple sugars, glucose, and fructose, found in Persimmons help in keeping the vascular system healthy by strengthening the cardiac muscle.
And last but not least, the Persimmon is said to have an astringent effect on open pores and smoothes wrinkles when used as a facial mask.
Pineapples or Ananas comosus belong to the Bromeliaceae family. The Spanish name for the pineapple is pina and the root of its English name lies in its appearance which is similar to a pinecone. The pineapple is, in fact, not a single fruit but a composite of many flowers that fuse together around a central core. They are said to be native to South America and were first discovered by the Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean island known as Guadalupe. These vibrant and tropical fruits are delicious to eat and are a storehouse for many health-promoting minerals, vitamins, and essential compounds.
Bromelain, a complex substance that is found in the stems and core of pineapples is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Bromelain helps in reduce swelling in inflammatory conditions like arthritis, sore throat, acute sinusitis, and gout. Regular consumption of about one-half cup of fresh pineapple is said to help relieve painful joints of osteoarthritis. It also helps in reducing the recovery time for surgeries and injuries as it speeds up tissue repair. As a proteolytic enzyme, it helps in breaking down proteins allowing the body to digest them more efficiently. It cleans blood by removing toxins and debris from the bloodstream.
Low in calories (50 calories per 100g serving) and with no saturated fats or cholesterol, the pineapple is rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber like pectin. It also contains a group of sulfur that aid digestion. The fruit has anthelmintic effect as it helps get rid of intestinal worms.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that defends the aqueous areas of the body against free radicals that damage cells, promote plaque built up in arteries thus causing atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, cause airways spasms that lead to asthma attacks and damage cells of the colon making them more susceptible to cancer and they contribute to the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Diets, high in vitamin C are useful in preventing or reducing the severity of all of these conditions. Being rich in vitamin C, pineapples are good for oral health as it helps prevent periodontal disease and gingivitis. It is also required for collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of vitamin C helps the immune system to develop resistance to infectious diseases.
Its high manganese content is particularly helpful to older folk whose bones become brittle as manganese assists in the development of strong bones and connective tissue. A single cup of fresh pineapple provides almost 75% of the recommended daily amount. It also helps in healing wounds and keeping skin healthy; regulating blood sugar levels and helps the immune system fight disease.
Pineapples contain Vitamin A and beta-carotene which is vital for maintaining healthy vision and prevents age-related macular degeneration. Thiamine or vitamin B1 is responsible for converting carbohydrates into energy as well as for muscle and nervous system functioning. It is found in Pineapples, egg yolk, and meat.
Pineapples have anti-coagulating properties which discourage blood clot development. Fresh pineapple juice is said to be a remedy for morning sickness too.
Pomegranates or rimmons are one of the oldest cultivated fruit, first grown in Persia. Named by the Romans, the word Pomegranate literally means “seed apple.” The Babylonians chewed the seeds before a battle, believing it would make them invincible; however, today the juice of the Pomegranate is marketed for its beneficial health properties. The fruit contains about 600 seeds which are known as arils.
These fruits contain as much as three times more antioxidants than green tea. Antioxidants fight against free radicals that damage DNA and cell membranes which are linked to diseases like cancer. The Pomegranate is rich in polyphenols such as tannins, Quercetin, and anthocyanins, all having anti-cancer benefits. They are known to improve healthy cell survival, induce cancer cell death and prevent tumor growth. An Israeli study showed that Pomegranate seed oil caused breast cancer cells to self-destruct whilst healthy cells remained unharmed. Anthocyanins are also said to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial properties too.
Ellagic acid, another cancer-fighting compound found in pomegranates may help or prevent several types of cancers. Punicic acid is also said to inhibit cancer of the prostate and inflammatory enzymes in colon cancer cells.
Antioxidants in Pomegranates were found to reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol, preventing atherosclerosis and also help in lowering blood pressure among those with hypertension. The juice of the fruit combats the hardening of arteries thus reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A study found that those patients with coronary heart disease drinking pomegranate juice every day for three months saw an improvement in blood flow to the heart. Pomegranate juice avoids clumping of red blood platelets and the formation of dangerous blood clots.
Unani medicine has been using pomegranate to treat diabetes for centuries and recent studies have shown that an extract of the flower of the pomegranate lowered blood glucose levels. However, diabetics must realize that the juice of the pomegranate is high in sugar and the seeds are better consumed on a full stomach as the fiber helps slow down the absorption of the sugars. This gives the seeds a lower glycemic index compared to the juice.
Pomegranates have shown evidence of estrogenic qualities as many women report relief from hot flushes and other menopausal problems when they ate pomegranate seeds or drunk the juice.
Oil from the seeds of the pomegranate is used in cosmetics products as they add moisture, revitalize dull or mature skin, smooth wrinkles improves skin elasticity and protects the skin against the sun.
Presently research is being carried out to look into the effectiveness of the pomegranate juice to HIV prevention. Experiments have shown that HIV-1 inhibitors from the juice are absorbed into cornstarch resulting in complex blocks virus binding and inhibits infection.
It seems that the Biblical reputation of the Pomegranate is being upheld in the 21st century.
The Sapodilla, Sapota or chikoo is a tropical fruit belongs to the family of Sapotaceae of the genus Manilkara and is known as Manilkara zapota. It is tropical fruit originating in the Central American rainforest. Sapodillas are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like tannins and simple sugars like fructose and sucrose.
A Sapodilla of 100 grams provides 102 calories, 0.5 grams proteins, 1.1 grams fat, 22.4 grams carbohydrates, 0.5 grams of minerals, 25 mg calcium, 12 mg phosphorus, 1 mg iron, 18 mg of retinol and 21 mg ascorbate acid.
The ripe fruit is rich in minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and vitamins like niacin, folate, and pantothenic acid. These all help in maintaining the metabolic processes as cofactors for the enzymes.
The fruit provides 5.6 grams per 100 grams of dietary fiber making it an excellent laxative. The fiber helps protect the mucous membranes in the colon from cancer toxins by binding to them.
The rich antioxidant polyphenol compound, tannin, is found in the fruit and neutralize acids by precipitating proteins. They are known to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-parasitic effects. These properties are helpful as a remedy for hemorrhoid and diarrhea. The anti-inflammatory effect of the tannins, help with conditions like gastritis, reflux esophagitis, enteritis and irritating bowel disorders.
A 100-gram portion of Sapodilla provides 24.5 percent of vitamin C which is an antioxidant and helps the body develop resistance against harmful free radicals and infectious diseases. Vitamin C also plays an important role in the metabolism of copper. Vitamin A is also found in the fruit and is used by the body to improve vision, maintains healthy skin and mucous membranes. It is also known for preventing oral cavities and lung cancer.
The simple sugars like fructose and sucrose rejuvenate the body with energy. Folic acid contained in the fruit is used in the formation of red blood cells and helps prevent the formation of homocysteine which is harmful to health.
Other health benefits of the Sapota fruit can be found in the leaves and seeds. A decoction of the leaves helps cure coughs and colds and the liquid from the crushed seeds aid in the removal of the stones from the kidneys and bladder. The decoction also aids in the treatment of venomous sting and bites.
The young fruit of the Sapodilla are boiled and the decoction can help stop diarrhea whilst the young fruit and flowers can be drunk to help pulmonary problems.
The Annina Muricata or Soursop is from the Annonaceae family and found in Malaysia and Thailand. However, its origins lie in the Caribbean and South America.
The Soursop has many health benefits that make a versatile fruit for eating on its own as pureed into a juice.
The vitamin C in the soursop is found in abundance and stimulates the antioxidants in the body and those found in the fruit itself. 100 grams of soursop provides 20mg of vitamin C that is also required for the formation of collagen. The vitamin helps in reducing UTI or urinary tract infections as it increases the acidity levels in the urine causing harmful bacteria in the urinary tract to be destroyed. As it increases the antioxidant levels in the body, it helps in preventing cancers and damage to cells as it fights against free radicals that cause the damage. Vitamin C also builds up the immune system and fights colds and flu.
The fiber content in the soursop helps in treating ailments like constipation, hemorrhoids and prevents colon cancer. Dietary fiber bulks up food that is then passed easily and quickly through the gut relieving constipation and hemorrhoids. Fiber binds with the cancer-causing chemicals are then eliminated, thus reducing colon cancer. The detox process caused by the fiber helps the kidneys by ensuring that toxins are eliminated. Heart disease, high cholesterol, and strokes are prevented by the increased intake of fiber.
The high potassium content makes the soursop ideal in maintaining the blood pressure and prevents high sodium absorption. A lack of potassium causes cramps and muscle weakness.
Magnesium alleviates premenstrual symptoms like bloating as it helps in the elimination of toxins, sodium, and water from the body.
Calcium is found in large amounts and is instrumental in strong teeth and bone formation. Manganese, zinc, and copper are also important for the same reason, as they boost the effectiveness of Vitamin D that promotes the absorption of calcium.
Niacin aids in reducing cholesterol and is found in the soursop. Folate that a part of the fruit is important for pregnant women. A lack o folate causes birth defects and pregnancy loss.
Riboflavin helps in preventing migraine headaches and is a component of the soursop. Iron is also available in the fruit and prevents anemia.
The juice of the soursop is used to cure leprosy and the pulp helps to moisturize the skin and eliminate skin conditions. The seeds are also good in treating nausea and vomiting.
Another exotic fruit with many health properties.
Native to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Carambola or Starfruit which gets its’ name from its star-shaped look sliced across the middle. It is also known as Belimbing, Bilimbi, Chinese star fruit, star apple and five-angled fruit. The scientific name for the Starfruit is Averrhoa carambola.
Starfruits are a source of beta-carotene which when converted into retinol or Vitamin A help in maintaining good vision and appetite. Other polyphenolic antioxidants contained in the fruit act as antimicrobials against E.coli, Klebsiella sp., Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A single cup of Carambola provides 1 percent each of Vitamin A and E.
The high concentration of water-soluble Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, is found in the Starfruit and helps maintain bones, teeth, skin, and mucous membranes and also boosts the immune systems. Vitamin C also helps aids in lowering the risk of gout and arthritis developing. A single cup of Starfruit provides 37.2 mg of Vitamin C which helps to ward off colds and flu.
The Carambola also has small amounts of B vitamins like B5 or Pantothenic acid which aid in lowering cholesterol and speeds up wound recovery. Folate or vitamin B9 is essential in preventing birth defects and also in reducing the risk of stroke and heart attacks. Folate prevents the build-up of homocysteine which is linked to atherosclerosis, strokes, and heart attacks. There are also trace amounts of Niacin, Thiamine, and Riboflavin.
The soluble dietary fiber found in the fruit helps lower cholesterol and adds bulk and moisture to feces keeping the bowel healthy and preventing constipation.
The small quantities of potassium help regulate blood pressure levels, iron for red blood cell formation and calcium and magnesium help to fortify bones. The fruit is low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
The zinc found in the fruit is said to be a natural remedy for clearing up acne and oily skin and can be eaten or applied to the skin.
The fruit is also said to help with nausea and indigestion and also known to cure hangovers and prickly heat. The fruit is given to nursing mothers as it is believed to stimulate milk flow.
Sore eyes and sunstroke can also be helped by the application or consumption of star fruit. A decoction of the leaves and roots either prepared separately or in combination, help cure headaches, ringworm, and chicken pox.
The Sugar or Custard Apple belongs to the Annonaceae family and is known as the Annona squamosa L. in the botanical world. Its origin is unknown but is commonly cultivated in South America, Mexico, the West Indies, Bahamas, and Bermuda but is enjoyed around the world. Also known as the Cherimoya, it has a minty or custardy flavor with a soft, creamy flesh and knobby skin. It is a close relative of the Soursop but is smaller in size.
The Sugar Apple is packed with the water-soluble antioxidant Vitamin C which helps the risk of developing Asthma. It also combats free radicals in the body which in turn helps in preventing cancer and reduces inflammation.
The fiber found in the Cherimoya has been shown to slow down the absorption of sugar in the body and is said to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The Sugar apple is very heart friendly as it is rich in vitamin B6 which has been found to prevent homocysteine build-up. This amino acid is said to increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. It also contains potassium, a mineral known to regulate blood pressure by controlling the effects of sodium in the body.
Thiamin, a nutrient which converts sugar into energy is also found in this fruit. Riboflavin plays an important role in the body as it regulates all the other B vitamins. The B vitamins are essential for growth, development and other bodily functions.
Magnesium is a mineral which is said to assist in the formation of teeth and bones as they work with calcium in increasing bone density and strength. It is also packed with niacin which is effective in increasing the good cholesterol in the body. Magnesium protects the heart from cardiac disease and helps relax the muscles.
Folate or vitamin B9 is known for its important role in conception, especially in preventing neural tube problems for babies. Trace elements such as copper help in the production of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine.
Other medicinal uses that are attributed to the Sugar apple are:
A paste made from the flesh and used as a balm is said to treat abscesses, boils, and ulcers.
The flesh can be sun-dried and ground into a powder which can be used to treat dysentery and diarrhea.
The fruit is also said to act as s stimulant, coolant, and expectorant and is good for treating anemia.
Indigenous to Africa but popular in many other countries, including India the Tamarind is used known for its health benefits and culinary properties. Tamarindus indica is the only species of the genus Tamarindus in the family Fabaceae.
Eating 10 to 50 grams of tamarind daily can help alleviate acute constipation as it acts as a mild, natural laxative. It is unknown what mechanism causes this effect. Tamarind is also carminative which means it induces the expulsion of gas from the stomach and intestines. It is also effective as a digestive and a remedy for biliousness and bile disorders. With its rich fiber content, it improves bowel movement. Tamarind is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat gastric and digestion problems. The infusion of pulp which is softened in water is a great combination for the loss of appetite. Adding black pepper, cloves, cardamoms, and camphor it is supposed to give better results. Tamarind milk is said to be beneficial in reducing temperature and on dysentery problems.
Tamarind is a rich source of non-starch polysaccharides like gums, hemicelluloses, mucilage, pectin, and tannins. 100 grams of tamarind pulp provides over 13 percent dietary fiber which helps increase its bulk and aids bowel movement and helping with constipation. The fibers also bind with toxins and protect the colon mucous membrane from cancer-causing chemicals. They also bind to the bile salts which are produced by cholesterol and decrease their ability to be re-absorbed into the colon. This helps with the excretion of bad cholesterol.
Like lemons, tamarind is rich in tartaric acid which imparts a sour taste and is a powerful antioxidant which helps the body fight against free-radicals. Other phytochemicals, such as limonene, geraniol, safrole, cinnamic acid, methyl salicylate, pyrazine, and alkyl thiazoles, account for the medicinal attributes of tamarind. Potassium is an important part of the cell structure which helps control the heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is instrumental for red blood cell production and also as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidases enzymes. Both are found in the tamarind together with vitamins like thiamine, vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C all of which are imperative for optimum health.
Some other uses for the tamarind are as follows:
The leaves of the tamarind are used in herbal tea to help reduce malaria fever.
A decoction of the leaves is used to treat jaundice, ulcers and helps in destroying stomach worms in children.
The diluted tamarind pulp is used to treat sore throats.
It is known to be a blood purifier.
The leaves are also used to treat burns. Soft tamarind leaves are kept in a pot, covered and warmed over a fire. The burnt leaves are powdered and sieved. A paste is then made and applied over the burns to provide relief.
A poultice made out of tamarind leaves crushed in water helps in healing inflamed joints like ankles and wrists. It helps in reducing pain and swelling.
The common name for breadfruit is SA-KE and the scientific name is Artocarpus Altilis. The Greek meaning for breadfruit is “artos” means bread and “karpos” means fruit. It was found first in Mexico and the appearance is green in color and when the plant matures little sap will be leaking out which makes the fruit appear more yellow in color when ripe. The fruit itself has a starchy texture and the ripe breadfruit is soft. The fragrance will stay with the breadfruit even when it is cooking. The breadfruit is a tropical tree which is mainly related to the Jackfruit family.
The delicious fruit and the seeds are edible. The breadfruit can be used like a vegetable and it can be baked, boiled, fried, or roasted. The seeds are boiled, steamed, roasted over a fire, and eaten with salt. The dried breadfruit can be made into flour which is richer than wheat flour.
Breadfruit is very high in Vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium. The fiber that is found in breadfruit helps to make the intestines and bowels function properly by cleaning them out. Breadfruit is considered a cholesterol controller because of the rich supply of fiber located in it. It will lower the bad cholesterol “LDL” and raise the good cholesterol “HDL”. The fiber will help the people with diabetics to control the disease by reducing the absorption of glucose from the breadfruit.
Breadfruit is also very rich in the following vitamins and mineral. They are pantothenic acid, Vitamin B1, niacin, Vitamin B6, choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese. It is also a very rich source of healthy Omega fats and it increases the body energy by supplying this three Omegas’. It also supplies high-energy to the person through its carbohydrates. Those carbohydrates are mainly needed for warmth and body’s maintenance during the daily activity of the person. They are Omega 3 and Omega 6, which helps with the normal development of the body and mind.
Here is some little trivia on breadfruit. It can help to prevent colon cancer and to reduce asthma. The leaves of the breadfruit are believed to lower blood pressure and believed to reduce asthma. Toasted flowers of the breadfruit tree can be rubbed on the gums as a cure for a toothache.
The recipe that I found to use breadfruit is for Breadfruit Cheese Soup and it sounds delicious.
Fry one full onion and garlic (as much as you like) in butter for about two minutes. Add two cups of vegetable stock, one breadfruit (peeled and sliced), and one stalk of celery to the mixture of onions and garlic.
Let it boil and simmer for twenty minutes before removing it from the heat. Puree the mixture in a blender in small batches and returned this pureed mixture to medium heat. Add one cup of milk and three ounces of cheese. Re-heat this whole mixture, but do not let it boil.
Garnish it with the more cheese and dig in. Breadfruit Cheese Soup is now hot and yummy soup that is ready to eat.
Avocados belong to the family Lauraceae and include camphor, cinnamon, and the bay laurel trees which are believed to have originated in Mexico. The name of the pear is said to be derived from the Aztec word “ahuacatl” which means “testicle” which the fruit is said to resemble.
These fruits are considered as one of the healthiest foods in the world as they contain an array of nutrients including vitamins A, B, C, E and K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. They are also high in fiber, protein, and phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione, and lutein which assisting in protecting against many diseases and illnesses.
Although the avocado has twenty times more fat than the average fruit, it is mostly monosaturated fat which is of a healthy variety.
A high level of homocysteine has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocados contain vitamin B6 and folic acid which assist in regulating the level of homocysteine levels in the body. The avocado also contains vitamin E, Glutathione and monosaturated fats which all help in maintaining a healthy heart.
Recent studies have shown that patients with mild hypercholesterolemia, who included avocados in their diet for 7 days, had a decrease of LDL, bad cholesterol whilst an increase in HDL, good cholesterol, was noted. The phytochemical known as beta-sitosterol is a found in avocados and has been shown to effectively lower blood cholesterol levels.
These versatile fruits are a rich source of potassium; in fact, they contain more potassium than bananas, helps in controlling blood pressure levels.
The monounsaturated fats in avocados assist in reversing insulin resistance thus helping to regulate the blood sugar levels. The high soluble fiber contained in avocados also helps in keeping blood sugar levels steady.
The phytonutrient compounds such as polyphenols and flavonoids have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. These are known to reduce the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.
Carotenoid lutein is found in abundance in avocados, which protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
The high levels of folate, a B vitamin known as folic acid, in avocados help protect against strokes as has been shown in various studies. A 250ml serving of avocado provides 23 percent of the recommended daily allowance for folate which is ideal for pregnant women as it is essential in preventing birth defects, like spina bifida and neural tube defect.
Avocados are rich in antioxidants which protect against cancers, fight free radicals and have anti-aging properties. Oleic acid found in avocados is effective in preventing breast cancer and the fruit has also been known to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. A powerful antioxidant, Glutathione, helps fight free radicals in the body, boosts the immune system, slows the aging process and even encourages a healthy nervous system.
The oil of the avocado is added to cosmetics due to its ability to nourish and make skin glow. It has been found that the oil aids in treating skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis due to its nourishing properties.
The avocado is great for those wanting to gain weight as it has 200 calories per 100 grams whereas most other fruits have 60-80 calories per 100 grams. It is also a healthy source of calories when compared to other calorie dense foods which contain excess sugar and saturated fats.
Including avocado in the diet has been linked to an increase in nutrient absorption. Studies have shown that those who included avocado in their diet absorbed 5 times more carotenoids than those who did not. These are cancer inhibiting chemicals.
Avocados are also known as one of best natural mouthwash and bad breath remedies. It is known to cleanse the intestine which is the cause of coated tongue.
The humble avocado is not only a cabinet of many medicinal properties but also a tasty and versatile fruit used by many in cuisine all over the world.