Are you tired of eating the same fruits day in and day out? Want something other than the typical choices of bananas, berries, and apples? Exotic fruits can not only add some excitement and variety to your usual fruit selection, but they also come with an array of health benefits, even more than you might expect. So the next time you're craving fruit salad, consider choosing something out of your comfort zone! Want to target your efforts? Read on to discover the significant health benefits of a variety of exotic fruits, from the fan-favorite choices to ones you may not have heard of before!
Rave About Rambutan
When you first see a rambutan, it resembles a red sea urchin with its outer skin. A native of Indonesia and Malaysia, this exotic fruit is widely available across the globe as well. The inside of the rambutan is full of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, zinc, iron, and a wide range of other vitamins and minerals. It is also high in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against potentially serious diseases like cancer. Reports also show that the rambutan has copper, and though the body only needs a small amount of this each day, sufficient copper consumption reduces the risk of anemia, chronic fatigue, and frequent infections. The copper content in the rambutan also helps prevent premature grays in hair, hair loss, and boosts hair color intensity.
Ready for the next exotic fruit entry? Keep reading!
Enter The Dragon Fruit
The pitaya commonly referred to as the dragon fruit, is an extremely popular exotic fruit often seen with pink skin and overlay ‘leaves’ like an artichoke with a delicious white center with black seeds. This sweet and sometimes crunchy fruit is full of beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamin C, polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3s and omega-6s), protein, calcium, iron, and lycopene. Thanks to these vitamins and other nutrients, dragon fruits are excellent for strengthening bones and teeth, promoting healthy tissue and blood formation, fast wound healing, boosting the strength of the immune system, and even lowering the risk of serious cardiovascular disorders and prostate cancer.
Keep reading; it’s time for a big jump in exotic fruits!
Jump For Jackfruit
The jackfruit can weigh up to one hundred pounds per fruit, taste quite sweet, and have a distinct fragrant that smells ripe. Unripe jackfruits are usually green and turn light brown when they ripen. Although they are a fruit, vegans and vegetarians often use unripe jackfruit as a meat substitute, since after roughly an hour of cooking, they resemble the texture and flavor (with added spices) of pulled pork. Benefits of eating jackfruit include improved digestion, constipation prevention, and even weight loss since this fruit is quite high in dietary fiber. Jackfruits are also rich in vitamins A, B-complex, and C, as well as iron, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients offer boosts to health such as antioxidant benefits, an enhanced ability to fight infections, and healthy blood.
Ready for the next fruit? It could get a little messy.
Mess With The Bull, Get The Horned Melon
Though its name suggests a connection to kiwi, the kiwano (horned melon) is closer to a cucumber and a zucchini. The horned melon is native to Southern Africa, though it is gaining in popularity in other countries, such as Australia. This fruit contains high levels of alpha-tocopherol, an antioxidant from vitamin E, which promotes healthy nerves and blood vessels and helps eliminate free radicals, lowering the risk of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. The kiwano also has a lot of vitamin A, which means it is excellent in promoting vision health, including slowing down or even preventing the formation of cataracts. Its high fiber content aids in digestion, boosts bone strength through calcium and speeds the body’s metabolic rate through zinc. It is also said to help regulate stress hormones.
Keep reading for the next exotic fruit packed with health benefits.
Go Mad For Mangosteen
The mangosteen is red or dark purple and is popular among many Southeast Asian countries, such as India and Vietnam. It is packed full of vitamins and nutrients, including iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and B6, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, carotene, folic acid, fiber, and protein. Due to all of these vitamins and nutrients, the mangosteen is powerful when it comes to health benefits. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties make it excellent for the skin, including preventing eczema, skin inflammation, and slowing skin aging. Some evidence also suggests it may help prevent skin cancer. This fruit also promotes heart health and helps manage diabetes. The root of this fruit is also said to help regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Reach for this next exotic fruit to boost your health.
Reach For The Star Fruit
Carambola gets its common name 'starfruit' from its shape. When you slice it, the slices look like little stars! Starfruit is a crisp and tart yellow fruit, commonly used in desserts, though you can also use it as a vegetable in savory food and as a flavoring for shrimp, chicken, and other forms of protein. Some even candy this fruit! When ripe, star fruit is very nutrient dense. Some of the nutrients include dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, B vitamins, and antioxidants like polyphenolic compounds. The potassium helps balance blood pressure, thus lowering the risk of strokes and heart attacks. The fiber, as you will be aware at this point, aids in digestion and helps manage diabetes. Starfruit also promotes healthy skin, boosts the immune system, and helps build strong bones. Quite the powerful little star!
Continue for the next beneficial exotic fruit for your health.
Drink In Durian
Durian, a large fruit, is usually yellow or red, and its exterior is quite hard and spiky. It also smells terrible to most people, but do not let this dissuade you as durian is an incredibly healthy fruit. This is because of its impressive array of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin A, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, protein, healthy dietary fats, and niacin. It also contains a lot of dietary fiber, which helps relieve constipation, bloating, cramps, heartburn, and improves digestion.
Durian can also regulate blood pressure through its potassium content, treat anemia with copper, iron, and folic acid, and relieve insomnia with tryptophan, the chemical responsible for people feeling tired after eating large amounts of turkey. Some reports even indicate this fruit can help reduce the risk of certain cancers and delay signs of aging (such as wrinkles, hair loss, and arthritis).