People often say that fruits are loaded with superpowers.
Fruits are not only tasty, they are loaded with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. But what about locally found fruits that are not as well-known?
Bruneian fruits form an essential part of the staple diet of the country. The year-round tropical climate of the country supports the growth of a wide variety of fruits. If you need a reason why you should be eating more of your favourite local fruits, read on!
1. Nangka (Jackfruit)Eating nangka can help lessen the risks of constipation, ulcers, diabetes, high blood pressure and skin problems.
Phytonutrients – found in nangka – are natural compounds that are theorised to have cancer-fighting benefits as it can help prevent the formation of cancer cells within the body.
Additionally, it is considered to have a higher percentage in vitamins than those in apples, bananas, and avocados. For instance, it is rich in vitamin C as well as vitamin B.Nangka is also high in vitamin A due to the pigment ‘carotenoids’ which give the fruit its colour. Like others, this antioxidant is good for protecting the cells from damage and helping the body work right. It could also help prevent diseases such as cancer and heart disease as well as eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration.
Other than carotenoids, it also contains many other antioxidants that could help in delaying or preventing cell damage within the human body.
2. RambutanThe rambutan is considered as a ‘super fruit’. It can help reduce unwanted fat, be a source of iron, as well as help with skin and hair care.
The fruit is also rich in vitamin C. Consuming it can release an abundant amount of this vitamin into the body thus can help cure small ailments such as dry lips and spruce mouth. It can also work against sore throats.
Vitamins A and C in rambutans can also help in keeping the eyes healthy. Consuming rambutans can also help prevent anaemia as it contains a huge amount of iron.
Additionally, the fruit can help in the process of cleaning the kidney of accumulated residues due to the fruit containing Phosphor which detoxifies the toxins left in the kidneys. Furthermore, it can also help reduce bad cholesterol within the body.
According to research conducted by the University of Chiang Mai, Thailand, the rambutan contains effective antioxidants known as ‘flavonoids’ which helps to decrease the levels as well as have anti-cancer properties.
Other benefits of eating the fruit include immunity boosting, normalise blood pressure, curing diarrhoea, strengthen bones, prevent coronary heart disease, antiviral, and preventing constipation.
The pulp contains a high amount of fat. It is also rich in antioxidants especially polyphenols which can help manage blood pressure levels and keep the blood vessels healthy and flexible thus promoting good circulation. Additionally, it can also help in reducing chronic inflammation. Other healthy components of the fruit include lipid, magnesium, calcium, fatty acids, anthocyanin, and phenolic compounds.
4. TarapTarap contains a variety of vitamins such as A, B, C, and niacin as well as important minerals such as zinc, iron, protein, and magnesium. It also contains antibacterial, antiviral, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Additionally, it also contains a lot of antioxidants that could help fight free radicals which could cause harm to the body.
Tarap also has a significant amount of main basic nutrients such as protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Furthermore, it is rich in retinol which is essential for the eyes and skin health.
Due to the Tarap’s properties, it can help in curing as well as preventing a number of ailments from minor to serious such as relieving constipation, reducing cholesterol levels and preventing cancer.
This is also commonly referred to as wild mangoes or ‘asam embang’. Bambangans are highly fibrous and juicy with an aromatic flavour and strong scent.
In recent years, the fruit became more in demand due to its health properties.
The flesh of the fruit contains high nutritional properties, and it is also rich in antioxidant properties such as carotenoids, beta-carotene, and ascorbic acids.
If the flesh were to be dried, it could retain a high content of dietary fibre. In addition, the fruit juice contains a high number of nutraceuticals and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
As a whole – including the seed and peels – are considered to be nutraceutical ingredients that can be used to prevent various diseases as studies have shown that test subjects display improved lipid profiles after consuming the powder form of the fruit extract.
Langsat can help people who wish to go on diets as the fruit contains riboflavin which helps the body release energy from carbohydrates. This indicates that the body will become more efficient as one would be able to get more energy to do work despite the small intake of food. In other words, eating the fruit can also reduce snacking.
The flesh and skin of the Langsat fruit can also help counter cancer and it is very strong in suppressing the reproduction of cancer cells as it contains many nutrients, minerals, fibres, and vitamins that is said to be useful in treating the disease especially the ones associated with the digestive system.
In addition, langsat can help reduce fever due to the nutrients present in the fruit seeds.
Furthermore, it can also counter diabetes mellitus as the fruit contains thiamine which the body uses to lower the level of sugar in the blood.
As the fruit is rich in fibre, it can help cure digestive tract problems. The peel of the fruit can also help cure diarrhoea and its symptoms due to it possessing oleoresin.
Other benefits of langsat include treating inflammation, eliminating skin problems, preventing and protecting from cell damages, and enhancing red blood cell formation.
7. KundongThis fruit is also referred to as Brunei cherry or ‘asam aur aur’. It is also commonly known as ‘asam kandis’ in Sabah, Malaysia.
According to a study conducted in 2013, it is discovered that the fruit of Kundong has potential as a natural source of antioxidant and anti-Alzheimer’s agents due to the high-level effects of free-radical scavenge, reduction of ferric and acetylcholinesterase inhibition within the flesh. The flesh also has a high concentration of phenolic and flavonoid, both are antioxidants that are useful in countering many diseases.
The peel of the fruit also contains high levels of carotenoid. Other benefits point to having antioxidant properties, antibacterial properties, antifungal and anti-inflammation.
8. MangosteenMangosteens are highly nutritious as it is low in calories and yet still provides many essential nutrients including magnesium, manganese, vitamin B and fibre. These vitamins and minerals are vital in maintaining proper body functions including DNA production, muscle contractions, healing wounds, healthy immune system as well as nerve signalling.
In addition, due to its low calories, it can help in diets as according to a study, it is discovered that mice on a high-fat diet received from supplemental doses of mangosteen gained significantly less weight than those in the control group. The mangosteen is also rich in powerful antioxidants.
Other health benefits of the mangosteen include blood sugar control, healthy skin as well as maintaining heart, brain, and digestive health.
9. TampoiThe fruit is also known as ‘Lara’ or ‘Kapul’ in other South East Asia countries. The Tampoi’s flesh provides a high concentration of beneficial antioxidants such as phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids.
The ‘King of Fruits’ is considered to be one of the most nutritious fruits due to its high level of nutrients in comparison to most fruits. It contains nutrients such as vitamin C, thiamine, manganese, riboflavin, magnesium, and niacin.
According to studies, durian can potentially help in reducing the risk of cancer, prevent heart disease, counter infection as well as reducing blood sugar.
Durians can also help in improving digestive health due to its dietary fibre content. Thus, it can also help prevent constipation. It can also improve appetite and general well-being of the elderly due to the presence of thiamine within the fruit.
Additionally, consuming durian can also assist in alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress as well as improving sleep. This is because the fruit contains an essential amino acid called ‘tryptophan’ which is a natural sleep-inducing compound.
This, in essence, can help increase the person’s serotonin and melatonin which are required to manage one’s emotions. Other benefits include maintaining healthy bones, relieving anaemia, anti-aging, as well as encouraging fertility.
Too much of a good thing is bad
There’s one thing you should keep in mind: Too much of anything, including fruits, is bad for health! Like everything in life, it’s all about moderation! Drop a comment below if you’d like to recommend other fruits that should be added to our list.
*Disclaimer: The content presented in this article is purely meant for information and educational purposes only. We encourage you to consult a health profession or dietician before making a drastic change to your diet.