A guide to unusual fruit
When you think of fruit, I’m sure you think of your favorites or those that are conveniently accessible at the grocery. Yet, browsing the shelves and experimenting with some of the more uncommon fruits is worthwhile. Or, visit your nearest Whole Foods, delicatessen, or health food shop to see what they carry. Exotic fruits have different nutritional profiles than those you regularly consume, so eating them will be a pleasant change and enhance your health. Also, uncommon fruits are more likely to be organic because they are farmed by independent farmers rather than a bulk manufactured.
Acai is an exotic fruit found in the Amazon rainforest that has grown in popularity worldwide, and with good cause. It is high in important nutrients. Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids are examples of them. The presence of anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants, gives the purple-blue fruit its color. They are also anti-inflammatory and can aid in cholesterol reduction. Acai berries’ anti-inflammatory characteristics can benefit human health in various ways, including brain protection and memory enhancement. Acai berries might be difficult to locate in traditional grocery shops. Still, internet merchants sell them in freeze-dried or powder form, which can be added to dishes or used in baking and beverages!
Ackee is a unique tropical fruit that is native to West Africa. It is currently produced in Jamaica, where it, along with salt fish, has become a mainstay of the national diet. Ackee is high in vitamins and minerals including magnesium, copper, and vitamin C. Fruit has 15g of fat per 100g, which is rare for fruit. The peach-colored fruit has three lobes that open to show three lustrous black seeds when mature. These seeds are toxic and should not be consumed. Nevertheless, it is not only nutrient-dense; it is also flavorful! The silky texture and somewhat chewy pulp are both sweet and mildly salty. Because the seeds are harmful, buying canned ackee that has already been cooked is best. Just drain it and add it to your favorite Jamaican dishes.
The black sapote, also known as the chocolate pudding fruit, is a pleasantly exotic fruit that is high in nutrients. It tastes the finest when the skin is dark and bruised. It is a soft fruit, which is what the Spanish word sapote denotes. Regrettably, it does not taste like chocolate but has a distinctly sweet flavor evocative of honey and caramel. It can be eaten raw, spooned off the skin, or turned into fruit bread or ice cream. That’ll be a refreshing contrast from banana bread and vanilla ice cream! Black sapote has four times the vitamin C content of oranges and fiber, vitamin A, and potassium.
Buddha’s hand is a distinctive citrus fruit with a little spooky, finger-like form. This strange-looking fruit has no fat, protein, or sugar. It is, nevertheless, high in vitamin C and fibre. The zest can be utilized in the same manner as the peel of a lemon in cooking. Buddha’s hand, also known as finger citron, has medical applications such as inflammation reduction due to its antioxidant properties. Because of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics, it may also help with anti-aging and anti-cancer.
Cherimoya (ice cream fruit)
The cherimoya, often known as the custard apple, is also known as the “ice cream fruit.” It is a wonderfully unusual cuisine with a creamy texture and sweet taste that tastes nearly like a mix of pineapple, papaya, coconut, pear, and banana all at once. It is mostly found in Central and South America, although it is also available in regions of the United States and Australia. Cherimoya contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E and a variety of other useful substances.
The seeds, like ackee, can be harmful. They are, nevertheless, utilized to make some head lice treatments. In that situation, it is best to use them sparingly and prevent any contact with the eyes since they can cause significant discomfort.
Dragon fruit (Pitaya)
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a really one-of-a-kind and artistically fascinating fruit. It is easily identified by its brilliant pink or yellow skin with green scales and may be seen growing on cacti all around the world. Dragon fruit has a mild yet sweet flavor that is similar to kiwi fruit. The flesh can be pink or white and is filled with little, black, edible seeds, similar to kiwi fruit. It has a lot of nutritional value! This unexpected superfood is high in Vitamin C and contains antioxidants and flavonoids. It is also low in calories and helps combat oxidation, free radicals, and inflammation in the body. It is high in fiber, which promotes intestinal health. What a tasty way to stay regular!
Jackfruit is a unique tropical fruit with an intriguing flavor. It thrives in many countries of Asia and Africa, and it is gaining popularity elsewhere in the world. Jackfruit is massive, with one of these bumpy-skinned fruits weighing in at an amazing forty pounds. You don’t have to buy whole fruit because it’s already prepared in vegetarian dishes and canned items. Jackfruit is high in nutrients. It is high in B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, fiber, and protein.
Because of the texture of its flesh, which resembles shredded meat, jackfruit is frequently used as a meat replacement. Jackfruit has also been found to be anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial and can help with diabetic control. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, this uncommon fruit is well worth a try for its dietary diversity and health advantages.
The langsat is an odd fruit that is becoming more popular due to its excellent taste and distinct nutritional profile. Langsat has a pleasant flavor that is similar to grapes. It has thin, transparent skin ranging in color from yellow to light brown. The semi-transparent flesh of the langsat fruit has white veins running through it and is best eaten as fresh as possible because it becomes sour rapidly. Langsat includes vitamins A, B, and C and antioxidants, which support immune system health and energy generation.
Rambutan is an egg-shaped fruit with a brilliant red prickly shell and delicious and juicy meat on the interior. This fruit offers several nutritional advantages, including high levels of vitamin C and dietary fiber. It also has copper, zinc, manganese, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium, in addition to a high quantity of potassium, which is important for maintaining good blood pressure. Rambutan has a delicious flavor in addition to its nutritional content. The flesh of the fruit is mildly sweet and creamy when mature, comparable to that of the lychee. Rambutan is said to provide a variety of health advantages, including aiding digestion and weight reduction, improving the immune system, and lowering insulin resistance.
Soursop, also known as Graviola, is an odd and distinctive fruit that is becoming increasingly popular because of its astonishing spectrum of nutrients. Soursop is a long, pear-shaped fruit with short green spines and white, fibrous flesh containing black seeds. Soursop’s most prominent feature is its flavor, which is characterized as a cross between strawberry and pineapple. Due to its nutritional richness, eating soursop can help decrease inflammation, improve digestion, promote healthy weight reduction, and even eliminate bacterial and malignant cells.
Despite their name, some fruits are more visually appealing. The strange and pleasant hybrid citrus, ugli fruit, was found in Jamaica in 1924. Ugli fruit is a hybrid of tangerine, grapefruit, and orange, with a zesty skin like an orange, a tangy flavor like a grapefruit, and the sweetness of tangerines. Its nutritional profile is similar to that of citrus fruits, which are high in vitamin C and fiber. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked into jams, sauces, and sorbets. But, if you take any drugs that are impacted by grapefruit, such as statins, you should avoid eating these fruits as well because they contain the same components that interact with the prescription.
There are many more uncommon fruits to try besides the ones mentioned here, such as durian, guava, kiwano (horned melon), kumquat, loquat, lychee, mangosteen, physalis, Sharron fruit (persimmon), starfruit (carambola), and passion fruit. Therefore, instead of bananas, apples, oranges, and berries, why not try something fresh for a change? You never know if you’ll like them.
- Characterization of the acai or manaca (Euterpe oleracea Mart.): a fruit of the Amazon https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17824205/
- Antioxidant and Hypolipidemic Activity of Açai Fruit Makes It a Valuable Functional Food https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7824079/
- 5 Impressive Health Benefits of Acai Berries https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-acai-berries
- Ackee – Blighia sapita https://www.growables.org/information/TropicalFruit/Ackee.htm
- Nutritional value of ackee https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Nutritional-value-of-ackee-Content-of-a-100g-serving-of-Ackee_tbl4_236154238
- What the Heck Is an Ackee and How Do You Eat It? https://parade.com/59516/lindsaylowe/what-the-heck-is-an-ackee-and-how-do-you-eat-it/
- Not quite chocolate pudding fruit: why black sapote is ‘utterly unexpected and delightful’ https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/oct/10/not-quite-chocolate-pudding-fruit-why-black-sapote-is-utterly-unexpected-and-delightful
- Health Benefits of Black Sapote or Black Persimmon https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/health-benefits-of-black-sapote-or-black-persimmon.htm
- Identification of Flavoanoids From Finger Citron and Evaluation on Their Antioxidative and Antiaging Activities https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2020.584900/full
- Profiling of lipophilic and phenolic phytochemicals of four cultivars from cherimoya (Annona cherimola Mill.) https://digituma.uma.pt/bitstream/10400.13/3337/1/Profiling%20of%20lipophilic%20and%20phenolic%20phytochemicals%20of%20four%20cultivars%20from%20cherimoya%20%28Annona%20cherimola%20Mill.%29.pdf
- Ocular toxicity by seeds of Annona squamosa (custard apple) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5056555/
- Dragon Fruit https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/benefits-dragon-fruit
- What Is Jackfruit — and Is it Healthy? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-is-jackfruit-and-is-it-healthy/
- Nutritional and Health Benefits of Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.): A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6339770/
- Health Benefits of Langsat Fruit https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/top-9-health-benefits-of-langsat-fruit.htm
- Rambutan: A Tasty Fruit With Health Benefits https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rambutan
- Soursop (Graviola): Health Benefits and Uses https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/soursop-benefits
- What Is Ugli Fruit? Everything You Need to Know https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ugli-fruit