Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dominican super fruits: 4th edition

Dominican super fruitsContinuing our series on Dominican super fruits you’ll find some pretty amazing facts on two absolutely fantastic tasting fruits as well as another one that has been hailed as a possible cure for cancer but with little proof so far and which should not be used too often as it has been linked to Parkinson’s.



Guava (en) / Guayava (es)
Delicious guavaThis typically tropical fruit is a delicious thirst quencher and depending on the variety has a flavor range from strawberry or lemon to tropical. The guava typically has a light yellow or green skin and a white, pink or dark red flesh. It is four times as rich as an orange in vitamin C and is also full of iron. Guavas are consumed in varying degrees of ripeness. They are also used in cooking as an ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. Guava juice is also a refreshing drink.

Good for your weight
Guava has loads of vitamins, proteins and minerals, but no cholesterol and less sugar than apples, oranges or grapes, making it a very filling snack that satisfies the appetite very easily. Adding a guava to your lunch should stop you feeling hungry again until the evening. At the same time, it can also help with weight gain in lean, thin people, probably due to its wealth of nutrients.

Good for your eyesight
Guavas are a great source of vitamin A, a well-known booster for vision health, which helps slow down the appearance of cataracts, macular degeneration, and improves the general health of the eyes.

Good for your brain
Another fantastic benefit of eating guavas is the presence of B3 and B6 vitamins. B3 (also known as niacin) helps increase blood flow and stimulates cognitive function. B6 is a great nutrient for brain and nerve function.

Other uses
Chew some guava as an excellent home remedy for toothache. They have a potent anti-inflammatory action and a powerful healing and antibacterial ability that fights infection and kills germs. An added benefit is that the astringent qualities are said to also add substance to loose bowels and reduce symptoms of diarrhea. Guava seeds, if ingested whole or chewed, serve as excellent laxatives. Rinsing your skin with a decoction of immature guava fruit and leaves is said to tone up and tighten the area of loosened skin where you apply it.

Starfruit - often used for decoration but very tasty tooStarfruit (en) / Carambola (es)
Starfruit is indigenous to Asia but is also cultivated throughout non-indigenous tropical areas, such as Latin America and the Caribbean. The fruit is called a starfruit because when you look at the fruit in cross-section, it resembles a star.

When ripe, the star fruit is usually bright yellow with tinges of light green and is firm to the touch. The flesh is crunchy, firm, and extremely juicy, having a texture similar in consistency to that of grapes. The taste is difficult to compare, but it has been likened to a mix of apple, pear, and citrus family fruits all at once. Unripe starfruits are firmer and sour, and taste like green apples.

The entire fruit is edible and is usually eaten out of hand. They are also used in cooking and can be made into relishes, preserves, and juice drinks.

The good stuff inside
With only 30 calories per fruit plus lots of fiber, star fruit is a great choice for anyone trying to lose weight. In addition to vitamins A, B and C, that help keep the metabolism of the body steady and strong, star fruit also has thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin in very small concentrations. It’s a good source of vitamin B9 (folic acid), which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and it also contains vitamin C and vitamin B5.

Other uses
Eat a star fruit or use it directly on acne-prone skin or oily skin as a face mask, it benefits the skin both ways. Star fruit also allows other nutrients that are good for the body and hair to circulate more freely. It’s an excellent natural cure for hair loss since it is a good source of antioxidants and vitamin C which can help delay the natural ageing process.

Don’t eat starfruit if you have kidney problems
Carambolas contains caramboxin and oxalic acid, which are harmful to individuals suffering from kidney failure, kidney stones, or those under kidney dialysis treatment.

Also good to know
Like grapefruit, the star fruit may interfere with the medications you take for other illnesses. If on prescription, make sure to consult your doctor first.

Soursop (en) / Guanabana (es)
Sour sop is great in juicesThe name of this fruit in English is not particularly appetizing but the fruit itself is quite likely to surprise you. It grows on a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree native to tropical countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela and a number of others including some in Africa.

The flavor is usually described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple, with some sour citrus notes that are contrasted by an underlying creamy flavor reminiscent of coconut or banana.

How to eat it
The fruit is very large and the sub-acid sweet white pulp is eaten out of hand or, more commonly, used to make fruit drinks and sherbets.

The good stuff inside
The fruit provides carbohydrate as its major nutrient. Soursop also contains abundant vitamin C and several B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, along with calcium, phosphorus and a small amount of iron.

Possible medicinal uses
Herbal medicine practitioners use soursop, also referred to by its Brazilian name graviola, to treat infections caused by bacteria and parasites including leishmaniasis, a disease caused by parasites transmitted through the bite of sand fleas. It is also used to help against herpes, coughs, and cancer. It is also used to cause vomiting and to empty the bowels. Some people use graviola to help them relax. The leaves are sometimes also used topically to help relieve arthritis.

Both the fruit and leaves of the tree contain a neurotoxin called annonacin, which has been linked to atypical Parkinson's disease in cases of chronic fruit consumption. One fruit contains about 15 milligrams of annonacin and one can of commercially prepared soursop nectar provides 36 milligrams. As with so many other things, avoid consuming soursop in excess and do not self-treat with soursop or its extract.

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