We approach exotic fruits and vegetables with less and less distance. The not-so-known taste and origin give way to curiosity related to the use of the product and its properties. Below is a list of foodstuffs with an exotic origin whose consumption brings a lot of pro-health benefits to our body. Check which of them should be included in your daily diet.
Our list will start with a popular pineapple, belonging to the Bromeliaceae family, whose home is South America. The most fruit comes from Brazil, the Philippines, Hawaii, and Mexico. The name of the family from which it derives refers to the main substance of this plant, i.e. bromelain. This compound is well known to athletes because it is effective in the treatment of post-traumatic edema with inflammation. This is done by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins that cause these symptoms. Bromelain is also used as a painkiller in the case of diseases of the musculoskeletal system – for example, degenerative diseases or rheumatoid arthritis may be used.
However, this is not the end of the beneficial effects that result from bromelain supplementation. This compound also affects the absorption of proteins, accelerates the metabolism, which results in a more efficient cleansing of the body of toxins and soothes the development of infection in the respiratory system. Pineapple substance accelerates and facilitates the process of protein degradation in the stomach, which significantly improves digestion, and also improves the healing process of wounds – ordinary and those resulting from burns or surgical procedures.
In the context of the pathology of the motor system, it is worth mentioning the high content of such elements as manganese, copper or iron. The first of these leads to easier absorption of calcium and its absorption by bone tissue. The second participates in collagen synthesis processes, and the latter increases bone strength and prevents them from breaking. In addition, a significant amount of vitamin C makes pineapples are recommended for people struggling with osteoporosis problems.
Sweet potato also known as potato vodka or sweet potato is a perennial belonging to the great family of the clematis family. Sweet potato comes from the areas of South and Central America, where it is grown. These vegetables are hosted on Polish tables much less frequently than popular potatoes. Sweet potatoes have a significant amount of carotenes and carotenoids, including lutein showing a very beneficial effect on the functioning of our eyes.
The potato wolf also has a low glycemic index (54) due to the presence of slowly digestible carbohydrates. This means that sweet potatoes can be used by diabetics without the risk of a significant increase in blood glucose levels. In addition, sweet potatoes have a high content of micronutrients, such as chlorine, iodine, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, calcium or iron. Of the vitamins, we find here mainly vitamin B6, C, and folic acid or vitamin E.
Fennel is another perennial belonging, however, to the group of celery plants that occurs in areas of the Mediterranean zone and areas of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. His medical application was already known in ancient times. Italian fennel is used in phytotherapy, where it is used to treat pulmonary problems. By increasing the volume of bronchial secretion, lowering its density and normalizing the movement of the epithelial ciliate it is especially recommended as an expectorant. The essential oil produced from the plant can be successfully used as a means of inhalation and fight against colds. What’s more, the sweet variety of fennel stimulates the secretion of gastric juice and bile and also reduces the tension of the abdominal muscles.
Certainly, fennel is a very good product for problems of gastric nature, such as abdominal pain, lack of appetite, digestive disorders or bloating.
Kaki is a common name for the fruits of the type of tropical tree that occurs in areas of America and Asia. Very often called hurma or persimmons. In addition to the high content of fiber and vitamins A and C, persimmons have numerous antioxidants, which include, among others, epicatechin, gallic and p-coumaric acid as well as proanthocyanidin. These compounds are used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of numerous ailments – from ordinary ailments and inflammations, through lowering of pressure and ending with skin injuries resulting from injuries or snake bites. Studies have reported that the extract of hurma suppresses the process of cancer and intensifies apoptosis or the planned death of diseased cells.
Starfruit is a tropical tree found primarily in the areas of Indonesia and Malaysia. Its yellow fruit, called star-shaped fruit, owes its name to its shape. The taste of the juicy pulp is sweet and sour. The main advantages of carambola are primarily the effective lowering of LDL cholesterol and blood glucose levels, which is a significant advantage for people suffering from diabetes and for people with cardiovascular problems. Carambola has only 30 calories, and the fiber it contains not only keeps you feeling full but improves the digestive system. Starry fruits will, therefore, be very good for people during weight loss. In addition, they contain some other ingredients such as β-carotene, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron or vitamins (A, B and C).
Actinidia fruits come from the Yangtze River in North China, where it was initially referred to as Chinese gooseberry. However, only after 1974, thanks to the American importer, this fruit gained its current name or kiwi. Chinese gooseberry due to the high content of zinc, magnesium, and potassium has a beneficial effect in the treatment of cardiovascular disease by normalizing excessive blood pressure, inhibiting platelet aggregation and lowering triglyceride levels in the blood. Kiwi, thanks to a large amount of dietary fiber, is also used in excessive overeating and constipation.
What’s more, this fruit can be easily used in slimming diets and diabetics due to the low glycemic index (50) and a small number of calories (61 kcal). A high content of vitamin C determines the beneficial effect in the case of immune problems resulting in colds. It is also worth mentioning the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin, which prevent the pathology of the organ of sight.
Tropical trees of the soapstone family have among their representatives a species originating from the Philippines, Cambodia or Vietnam. I am talking about Chinese lychee – a plant with small and spherical fruits that resemble blueberries in their appearance. Chinese plum is characterized by a rich content of polyphenols, which are some of them from basic antioxidant compounds. This means that the consumption of this plant contributes to delaying the aging process and prevents the development of many disease entities, including cancer.
Tasty twinning also has a large amount of potassium, which helps maintain normal blood pressure. What’s more, a large dose of vitamin C is an effective element of the prevention of diseases resulting from the reduced immunity of the body. It is worth remembering, however, that lychees are not recommended for people on slimming diets and those who fight diabetes. This is due to the high content of simple sugars.
The above name includes over 45 species of fruit trees that occur mainly in India and Indochina. In the local culture, it is referred to as the fruit of the gods. Over time, the cultivation of this plant has also spread to other areas including Africa, America, and Europe. The health benefits of mango are confirmed by numerous scientific studies. Researchers confirm that systematic consumption of this fruit can significantly reduce insulin resistance, improve glucose tolerance in our body and normalize blood lipids. These studies confirm the effectiveness of mango in the treatment of such conditions as diabetes, excessive cholesterol, hypertension or metabolic syndrome.
Mango also has a large number of polyphenols, mainly referred to herein as gallotanins. This may explain the use of this fruit for the production of supplements that reduce the risk of developing cancer. In addition, a significant dose of fiber in the seeds of this plant is a very good way to correct intestinal peristalsis, which promotes weight loss and fight against excessive fat. Mango juice is recommended to increase the body’s resistance. In contrast, oil produced from the fruit is a very good means to improve the condition of our skin and its regeneration.
Melon is a species of cucumber whose edible fruit belongs to the family of cucurbits. It occurs all over the world, although its origin is attributed to African, Australian, Asian and some Pacific islands. A cantaloupe variety is characterized by an orange color that proves a rich content of provitamin A, or β-carotene. This compound is a strong antioxidant that effectively sweeps free radicals from our body, which protects against the development of many serious diseases. A large amount of B vitamins positively affects the functioning of the nervous system, which leads to improved mood and concentration and better falling asleep.
Melons in their composition also have a significant amount of potassium, which is well known, has a positive effect on the heart and normalizes blood pressure. The fruits of this cucumber species are also characterized by low calorific value because most of them consist of water. Besides, the presence of a compound called citrulline (also present in watermelons) accelerates the slimming process. What’s more, this substance is involved in the synthesis of growth hormone.
This plant is now practically practiced all over the world, but its origin is attributed to the areas of South America. Peruvian maschunka very often occurs under other names – Brazilian raisin or Peruvian cherry. The fruits of this plant have a small, round shape reminiscent of cocktail tomatoes popular in our country. Physalis is eaten both raw as an addition to desserts and salads and dried, which is a very good alternative to unhealthy snacks.
What, however, testifies to the health impact of this exotic fruit? Above all, the high content of vitamin A, which determines the proper condition of our skin and eyesight, is a very effective antioxidant. Peruvian cherry also has large deposits of vitamin C and vitamins from group B. It is also worth mentioning a significant amount of calcium and phosphorus, which have a very good effect on the condition of our bones and teeth. In turn, the seeds can be used as a good remedy for digestive problems and defecation disorders.
Papaya, or papaya, is another plant originating from South America but also found in the Central and Northern parts of this continent. This fruit is grown mainly in tropical climates and subtropical regions. The papain contained in fruit is an enzyme whose action is similar to another compound produced by our body, or pepsin. Papain has a very good effect on the digestive system after excessive protein intake. In addition, it does not increase the acidity of the digestive system due to the activity of this enzyme in any environment. Due to the huge amounts of antioxidants, papaya also has a strong cleansing and detoxifying effect.
Giant orange is the largest of citrus fruits. Pomelo weight can reach up to 2 kg, while the diameter up to 25 cm. The place of occurrence is primarily the areas of Southeast Asia, and above all the central areas of Indonesia and Malaysia. Pomelo is characterized (like other fruits in this group) high content of vitamin C. The content of ascorbic acid significantly exceeds popular grapefruits or oranges – here we refer to almost 61 mg in 100 g of the product. Assuming that the average fruit weight is from 600 to 700 g, only 1/6 pomelos will be able to cover the entire daily demand.
A large dose of vitamin C leads to improved elasticity of blood vessels, which significantly regulates its pressure and the work of the entire myocardium. In the subject of the circulatory system, it is also worth adding the same high potassium content, which, as has been mentioned many times before, works very well on the whole circulatory system. The glycemic index of this fruit is just 30, so without any problems, it can be consumed by people with diabetes. On the other hand, fiber regulates the digestive system and bioflavonoids act as destroyers of harmful oxidizing compounds.
Lentil is an annual plant belonging to the family of Fabaceae, and this name includes as many as seven different species with a different color. The place of its occurrence is quite extensive (from Asia through Africa to the Canary Islands), but it was first domesticated by the inhabitants of the Middle East. Lentil is very popular among lovers of vegan cuisine, due to its high protein content (9 / 100g). It is also worth mentioning that proteins contained in this plant are, immediately after soy protein, the best absorbable form of vegetable protein.
Very low sodium content and a large amount of potassium explain the frequent use of lentils in the diet of people with circulatory problems. This plant normalizes the level of cholesterol and blood pressure in a significant way, which is an element of atherosclerosis prevention, and thus reduces the risk of strokes or myocardial infarction. Due to a large amount of iron and folic acid, lentils are used to treat anemia or anemia. Both mentioned components have a very good effect on the synthesis of new erythrocytes and increase the level of hemoglobin.
Lentil is also a very good solution for people struggling with overweight or during weight loss. In addition to low-calorie products, it is worth noting that it contains a large amount of dietary fiber. What’s more, a significant amount of B vitamins allows for the more efficient functioning of the nervous system. This, however, is very important in the course of weight loss when the moments of crisis come – lentils can contribute to maintaining a good mood and well-being.
Topinambur is an aster plant occurring primarily in North America, where it comes from. The tuber, also known as tuberous sunflower, has gained special recognition among diabetics. The content of almost 17% of inulin determines the possibility of safe consumption by diabetics, and also promotes the normalization of very common glycemia. Inulin is also responsible for the normalization of cholesterol levels, and the occurring potassium fights hypertension.
Inulin with pectins and fiber present in topinambour is a very good way to fight excessive kilograms and digestive problems. Jerusalem artichoke can be successfully consumed by people struggling with gastric hyperacidity, irregular defecation or colon syndrome. In the case of this last disease, Jerusalem artichoke is responsible for the destruction of harmful bacteria that contribute to stomach pain or diarrhea.