Healthiest Tropical Fruits to Include in Your Diet

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Tropical fruits are some of the most interesting treats from Mother Nature. Their unique looks can definitely make a lot of heads turn towards their direction. Many of them can really excite the taste buds too.

Did you know that a lot of tropical fruits can impress with their nutritional content? With their fascinating tastes and loads of health-giving nutrients, it’s no wonder why a lot of them make for wonderful ingredients for your smoothies. Whether served as they are or in the form of creamy and refreshing beverages, adding them to your diet is certainly a must!

Continue reading to know some of the healthiest tropical fruits you should start serving on the table. Adults will appreciate them for the vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidant they bring, and kids will love them for their colors and tastes.

Avocados

Serve them sliced or add them to smoothies. No matter what you do, the fact remains that avocados are some of the most impressive fruits on the planet. These tropical beauties are excellent sources of healthy fats. Experts say that they contain more potassium than bananas, making them very good for your heart. Avocados are also known to ward off inflammation.

The health benefits of avocado include weight management, protection from heart diseases and diabetes, treating osteoarthritis, and enhancing the absorption of nutrients for the body. It also reduces the risk of cancer, liver damage, and vitamin K deficiency-related bleeding. Avocado helps in keeping the eyes healthy and protecting the skin from signs of aging and the harmful effects of UV rays. It also helps in maintaining blood sugar levels and has antioxidant properties. It even increases circulation, boosts cognitive abilities, and builds stronger bones!

According to a recent research study, avocado seeds are used for the treatment of diabetes, inflammatory conditions, and hypertension, as well as for improving hypercholesterolemia. Another research study shows that consumption of avocado leads to improved diet quality and nutrient intake, including a lowered risk of metabolic syndrome.

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Prickly Pears

Also known as cactus pears, these avocado-shaped fruits will definitely grab your attention because of their appearance. Those who have already tasted prickly pears say that they’re like a cross between lemons and watermelons. These tropical goodies are loaded with magnesium, a mineral necessary for healthy nerves, bones and teeth.

The health benefits of prickly pear include its ability to lower cholesterol levels, improve digestive process, decrease the risk of diabetes, boost the immune system, stimulate bone growth, strengthen blood vessels, prevent certain cancers, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, aid in weight loss, and eliminate inflammation throughout the body.

‘Prickly pear’ is the common name of the fruit that grows on top of the leaves of Nopales cacti. Spread throughout North and South America, about 200 different species of Nopales (scientific name Opuntia) cacti are found, all of which have some form of this prickly pear fruit, although not all varieties are edible. The most commonly used species in terms of eating and cooking are O. ficus-indica, also known as the Indian Fig Opuntia.

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Plantains

Because they’re members of the banana family, it’s no wonder why plantains look so familiar. What makes these elongated tropical treasures different from bananas is the amount of health-giving nutrients they pack. According to the experts, plantains contain more potassium and vitamins A and C than those good old bananas.

Bearing the scientific name Musa paradisiaca, plantains are a member of the banana family but are typically prepared in different ways and have a slightly different nutritional makeup. Native to India, these fruits are now widely cultivated in other tropical climates, particularly the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Africa. When you see plantains in a store, they typically look like large green bananas, but they aren’t considered fully ripe until the skin is almost fully black.

Used more often as a vegetable than a fruit, the high starch content makes plantains an important staple food in many cultures around the world, as they can provide concentrated bursts of energy and a number of other health benefits.

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Mangosteen

Don’t let its name fool you because a mangosteen doesn’t look and taste anything like a mango. This tropical fruit with very thick reddish-brown skin and white and juicy segmented flesh will surely delight your taste buds and the health-conscious in you. Certain compounds in mangosteen are said to be very good at killing off cancer cells.

The pericarps of mangosteen contain xanthones which exhibit anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial effects. The xanthones inhibit the cell growth in human colon cancer and as per a research conducted by Akao Y et al., they exhibit the potential to be developed as agents to prevent cancer or can be used in combination with anti-cancer drugs for beneficial effects.

It has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent for many years in Southeast Asian countries. Scientific research also showed that the extracts of mangosteen have anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties and they inhibit the release of histamine and prostaglandin which are associated with inflammation in the body.

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Mangoes

You may serve mangoes sliced. You may also turn them into smoothies. Regardless of your pick, mangoes provide you with lots of vitamin C. Their golden-yellow color is a clear sign that they also contain vitamin A necessary for healthy eyes and sharp vision. Experts say that these sweet gems also contain some B-vitamins and even omega-3 fatty acids.

Some of the most notable health benefits of mango juice include lowering blood pressure, boosting circulation, improving vision health, supporting the immune system, preventing cancer and chronic disease, increasing skin health, reducing cholesterol levels, maintaining acidity levels, stimulating digestion and managing diabetic symptoms.

Prevents Cancer: Aside from the mineral and vitamin contents in mangoes, this juice also possesses a range of antioxidants, including quercetin, gallic acid and astragalin, unique antioxidants that can help curb oxidative stress and free radical activity, which can lower your risk of cancer, specifically for prostate, colon and breast cancers.

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Star Fruits

Cut them crosswise and the reason why these tropical treats are called that way becomes so apparent. It’s easy to love the unique flavor of star fruits because they resemble the combined tastes of apples and plums. Also known as “carambola” in some parts of the planet, these beautifully-shaped fruits are packed with vitamin C and fiber.

Armed with quercetin, gallic acid, and other polyphenolic flavonoids, star fruit is packed with antioxidants that can counter the effects of oxidative stress and neutralize free radicals before they can damage the skin. This includes preventing or minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, while also keeping the skin moisturized and blemish-free as you age.

With a tiny amount of calories per fruit (28 calories on average), this tropical treat won’t compromise your calorie goals, if you are trying to lose weight. Furthermore, it is full of fiber and other nutrients that can speed the metabolism and improve inflammation, all of which can help support your effort to shed those extra pounds. Fiber will also help you to feel full faster, lowering your chances of overeating or snacking between meals.

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Longans

Many fanatics of tropical fruits consider longans as little versions of lychees. So if you adore the unmistakable taste of lychees, you will also certainly love the unique flavor of these fruits native to southern China. Longans contain good amounts of vitamin C necessary for healthier and younger-looking skin, as well as stronger immune system.

Coconuts

 

You may consider them as fruits, seeds or nuts — all are certainly correct. Coconuts contain electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and magnesium. It’s for this reason why coconut water is regarded by many fitness experts as way better than any sports or energy drink. You may add dried and shredded coconut meat to a variety of baked treats.

Papayas

If you find the taste of papayas heavenly, you are certainly not alone. The fact is Christopher Columbus dubbed them as “fruits of the angels” the moment he ran into these tropical fruits. Papayas are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. Experts say that these yellow-orange beauties are also very good at fighting off inflammation and deadly cancer.

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