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  • Aliza Beer

Exotic Fruits That Can Change Your Life

Many people love the taste of tropical fruits, but aside from their sweet taste, they contain numerous health benefits that can help save or prolong your life! I’ve compiled a list of fruits and plants that have some of the highest medicinal qualities. Some can be found in your local supermarket, while others need to be sourced as supplements online.

• Elderberry - It is a favorite flu season plant. The herb contains anti-viral compounds, which research has shown can help the body fight off illness. Take elderberry extracts during flu season as a preventative measure, or right when you feel the flu coming on to relieve symptoms.

• Logan Berry - The Chinese Miracle Fruit: Native to China, this yellowish-brown berry with a leathery protective shell is closely related to the lychee fruit, and is touted for its ability to neutralize poisons. In Vietnam, where it’s known as “dragon’s eye”, it’s been used as an antidote for snake bites for centuries.

• Coconut -The Tree of Life: Coconut is referred to as the tree of life in the Philippines, because they use literally every part of the plant. Virgin unrefined coconut oil has none of the problems associated with hydrogenated oils, and is linked to a number of health benefits. Most vegetable oils, like soy, corn and canola, are genetically modified. Also, cooking your food in omega-6 vegetable oils produces a variety of very toxic chemicals, as well as forming trans fats. Frying will also destroy the antioxidants in oil. Coconut oil is the only oil stable enough to withstand the heat of cooking. Additionally, coconut water is a better sports hydration drink than any of the commercially available sugary sports drinks, and is both sterile and an isotonic beverage, meaning it has the same electrolyte consistency of human blood. Medics in World War II were able to use this as an emergency substitute for blood plasma. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, an immune-boosting fat, that has also been shown to be helpful in improving metabolic rates to facilitate weight loss.

• Camu Camu: Hailing from the Andes, Peru, the camu camu berry is one of the highest sources of vitamin C in the plant kingdom. It’s been used as a cure-all remedy, and is said to be anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral, but no long-term studies have confirmed these claims. Research does show it has great antioxidant powers. You can buy it as a powder and mix into smoothies.

• Papaya: This orange fruit from Central America not only tastes good, but is a powerful aid in digestion and healing. Papain, the main enzyme found in papaya, boosts the level of digestive enzymes in the gut to help break down foods more quickly and easily. In addition, papaya can be used to heal cuts, burns, or sores by simply rubbing it on the affected area.

• Mangosteen: Not related to our popular mango, mangosteen, also known as “queen of the fruits”, is from Southeast Asia. It has been used for centuries by the people of Southeast Asia to treat a variety of health concerns. Benefits include being high in fiber but low in calories. More importantly, it contains the highest amount of xanthones, powerful phytonutrients, from all the tropical fruit. Numerous studies have shown that the xanthones from mangosteen have the ability to prevent or slow the progress of certain cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, and skin. The extracts of mangosteen have been shown to have both anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been proven to be a potent and successful inhibitor of the release of histamine and prostaglandin, which are both associated with inflammation as well as allergies. It also helps control and maintain normal blood sugar levels, by inhibiting enzymes that help break down starches into glucose. It can be an effective remedy for acne as well. One study determined that it possessed the most significant antioxidant activity from other plants in the study, and reduced the production of reactive oxygen species, two factors that effect the growth of acne. It’s basically a superfruit and deserving of its title as Queen!!

As with any type of vitamin or medication, please consult with your physician before incorporating any kind of supplement into your diet. Many plants have medicinal qualities to them and that could be contraindicated with your current medications or health issues. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to maintain good health and promote longevity. But sometimes a supplement can be an added benefit to an already healthy and balanced lifestyle. Whenever possible, vitamins and minerals are best eaten directly from its source, since mother nature typically provides them in a food composed of other nutrients that help enable the successful absorption into our systems.

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