Local Treasures – 5 Tropical Fruits With Major Health Benefits
We tend to think of fruits as desserts or sweet treats owing to their taste and flavours, but every fruit on this planet has their own incredible health benefit – which is why experts advise us to have a few servings of fruits a day. The key, of course, is to have different kinds of fruits, and not just one. Apples, oranges, pears and grapes are all fantastic additions to your diet, but did you know that we have just as tasty and nutritious local fruits available for us too, at supermarkets, fresh markets, fruit stalls, etc? Here are a few that you might want to consider adding into your diet, regularly.
Native to Malaysia as well as Indonesia, rambutan is one of our local champions in the fruit scene, not only for its unique flavour, but for its rich Vitamin C content too. It has a red, hairy soft covering with almost milky insides covering a big seed. Rambutans are high in fiber and low in calories, making it a great treat if you’re trying to lose weight.
A beckoning local favourite with a purple exterior, the mangosteen is said to originate from South East Asia and Africa, but they grow well in Sri Lanka and India as well where there is adequate humidity to sustain their growth. It’s a really sweet and addictive fruit, with a slight tangy taste to it. Mangosteens contain decent amounts of potassium, copper, and magnesium, while being rich in vitamin C and B-complex vitamins, which help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Popularly marketed as a vegan meat substitute, the jackfruit supplies a plethora of nutritional perks: For it’s somewhat rich, rubbery texture, it’s quite low in calories and fat, and is sodium-free as well. A serving of jackfruit provides ample vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin C. It also contains blood pressure-lowering potassium and is rich in important fiber, helping you feel more satiated after your fill, and helping you to ‘go’ as well.
Not many think of durians as healthy. It’s not surprising, for our favourite King of Fruits is also the king of calories, with a total of 147 calories for every 100 grams. The good news is, durians are also rich in important, health-beneficial antioxidants that can help mop up free radicals in our cells. So, as long as you don’t overeat it (keep it to three seeds at a time), durians can form part of a healthy diet, and a tasty one too. Remember though, no overindulging!
Langsat is a seasonal fruit that flourishes in Malaysia. The taste of langsat can be described as tangy, sweet and sour – but one thing’s for sure, when they are ripe, there’s nothing quite comparable to its exotic, sweet taste! What’s more, it’s a nutritionally rich fruit containing proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. It is rich in vitamin A, thiamine and riboflavin, which are necessary for many body functions.