UNCOMMON FRUIT FACTS
Fruits are indispensable. Its fiber, water, minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants keep us well.
But did you know these uncommon facts?
Watermelon beats the scorching summer heat with 95% water and its electrolytes. It wards off unwanted pesticides with its thick rind and harbours enormous vitamin A, lycopene and an antioxidant - glutathione preroxidase present at the red pulpy area close to the rind. The white rind which we commonly discard as tasteless contains citrulline, an amino acid that produces the vasodilator - nitric oxide. The ability of citrulline to convert to L-arginine promotes heart health. It is worthy to note the edible watermelon seeds hide tryptophan, B vitamins and are relatively rich in proteins and lipids. And do not fail to attempt cooking the rind as a vegetable !
Cantaloupe/muskmelon is an excellent source of phytochemicals – vitamin A and C. Lesser known is it being rich in an enzymatic antioxidant known as superoxide dismutase (SOD) which is essential for maintaining strong defence with enhanced reactive oxygen species scavenging capacity to combat stress in the human body.
Kiwi fruit with vitamin C, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids from its numerous edible seeds have potential properties of a natural blood thinner. It also has a protein-dissolving enzyme actinidin that digests proteins. Skip Kiwi in desserts containing milk or dairy as it will dissolve milk.
Pomegranate an exotic fruit is an antidote for heart ailments due to its polyphenolic anti-oxidant compound - punicalagin. Pomegranate seeds are high in inflammatory fighting elagitannins, quercetin and anthocyanins. Pomegranate tea is known to lower cholesterol and reduce LDL oxidation. What you may have not known is Pomegranate rind or peel extract which is a decoction, is packed with phenolics, flavonoids and proanthocyanidines that is traditionally used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery or intestinal parasites.
Citrus fruits are synonymous to vitamin C and vitality. Well if you are allured to orange juice it will be disappointing to learn that ascorbic acid on exposure to light and air gets oxidized to dehydroascorbic acid which is highly unstable and further breaks down to 2,3-diketo-L-gulonic acid. Simply chomp the whole fruit down.
Rope in raw Papaya as meat tenderizer, as it has a powerful digestive enzyme papain/papinase that breaks down tough meat fibres. Marinating meat with chunks of raw papaya, especially the deeply pared skin yields a sumptuous and soft texture to the meat. Papain is also anti-inflammatory. Unripe papaya in large amounts can be an effective abortant.
Amla is a powerhouse of vitamin C, harbouring 20 times more of an Orange. Many are averse to the pungent - astringent taste of Amla. The vitamin C in Amla is present in a complex form. What is intriguing is Amla retains substantial vitamin C, unlike other sources in spite of drying, powdering or even when boiled for a few minutes. Traditionally, Amla murabba ( Amla soaked in honey) was used early morning for its health benefits.
Avocado, the only fruit with high fat content of 25% is high in mono-unsaturated fats. It is an antioxidant that increases the good cholesterol - HDL. The seed or pit of the Avocado is rich in nutrition and has a long history of medicinal use in traditional culture. The ground Avocado seed can be used in smoothies and other foods. The aqueous extract of the seed is known to control hyperglycemia(high blood sugar).
Pineapple, an excellent source of vitamin C is a natural digestive aid and a meat tenderizer as it contains a proteolytic enzyme - bromelain. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties and significantly alleviates symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, sinusitis, gout, sore throat or inflammation due to surgery or physical injury. It also helps in fat burning and weight loss due to its thermic effect.
Guava protects from cold and flu with its powerhouse of vitamin C, 4-10 times more than citrus fruits. Some are dissuaded from consuming this marvellous fruit due to its seedy core. Those may seek solace in the rind that contains exceptionally higher levels of vitamin C than the seedy central pulp.
Grapes have garnered attention due to its polyphenol - resveratrol that promotes longevity and several antioxidants shielding cardiovascular system. Grapes contain ellagic acid. Anthocyanins, found abundantly in red grapes and Catechins, a type of flavonoid found in green varieties also have health promoting effects. Grapes seeds also offer essential fatty acids and tocopherol.
Apples contain quercetin an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It also has considerable amounts of pectin, a soluble dietary fibre, known to reduce blood cholesterol level, help burn body fat, improve gut flora and help bind loose stools, typically therefore used in diarrhoea.
Some fruits like apple, banana, when cut turn brown on exposure to air. This unappealing browning can be avoided by coating the sliced fruit with a layer of sugar, salt or lime juice.
Fruits in rainbow colors synergistically boost immunity, revive and rejuvenate health and well-being.