By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness
Fruits and veggies are obvious choices for anyone who wants to eat healthy, because they come naturally from the earth and provide the nutrition the body needs.
The artificial, processed ‘food’ sold by corrupt food companies has hardly any nutritional benefits, which can make you wonder why they’re allowed to be sold in the first place. However, just because we’re inundated with so much bad food doesn’t mean all hope is lost for those who want to be healthy.
Depending on where you live, you can probably find organic fruits and veggies that have the proper nutrition. While they aren’t all as tasty as the unhealthy food so many of us are used to, they make up for it in the energy, vitality and mental clarity they give us.
The mind is clearer when we give the body the proper nutrition, and you’ll notice that you have more energy and you’re generally more willing to take on the day if you eat healthier. This isn’t the only benefit of healthy eating, but it’s the most appealing for a lot of people.
While there’s plenty to be written about all fruits and veggies, I’d like to focus on tropical fruit. I learned through research that there are all kinds of tropical fruits, most of which I’d never heard of, and they’re all beneficial for the reasons we’ll explore here.
Fruits and veggies are obviously healthier than processed food, but what specific advantages do tropical fruits pose?
Leah Berkman at eHow tells us that eating tropical fruits can reduce the risk of chronic disease.
“Tropical fruits are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals (non-nutritive but biologically necessary plant chemicals such as beta carotene). Most tropical fruits contain vitamin C and vitamin A, both shown to reduce risk of cancer and heart disease.
“According a peer-reviewed study conducted at Cornell University, consumption of fruits is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.” (1)
Many tropical fruits contain pectin, a dietary fiber that helps with cholesterol.
“Pectin, a soluble dietary fiber shown to reduced cholesterol levels, is found in the rinds of many tropical fruits, including kiwi, guava and passion fruit.
“Fiber is important to help maintain the health of your digestive tract and proper bowel function. Additionally, fiber helps sate appetite, creates a ‘full’ feeling when consumed and is recognized as a tool in controlling weight.” (2)
Tropical fruits are also high in antioxidants that neutralize harmful free radicals.
“Tropical fruits, like most fruits, are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to neutralize the free radicals that form during the normal process of oxidation that takes place continuously as your body metabolizes oxygen.
“Free radicals can damage healthy cells and have been shown to promote cancerous growths, asthma attacks, heart disease, and hardening and plaque build-up in the arteries. Free radicals also contribute to joint pain and arthritis inflammation.” (3)
Since most fruit contains antioxidants, like Leah mentioned, we don’t necessarily need to get them from tropical fruit. Any fruit is good in my book, and if you don’t prefer tropical, there are plenty of other kinds available.
Hosbeg.com explains what makes a fruit tropical.
“Tropical fruits are extremely beneficial to the body. Tropical fruits are fruits that are grown in the tropics (warm climates). Tropical fruits include pomegranates, papaya, bananas, mangoes, avocados, pineapples, etc.
Tropical fruits are loaded with so much nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Some tropical fruits even have medicinal benefits.” (4)
Two popular fruits, mango and pineapple, are extremely beneficial. Mango leaves have important anti-inflammatory properties, and pineapple can reduce inflammation.
“The mango is a great tropical fruit which is succulent and very tasty. But in addition to this, the leaves of the mango plant are very good for healing bruises because of their great anti-inflammatory properties.
“Fresh pineapple is very good for the body because it helps in reducing inflammation in the body. This is possible because of an enzyme in pineapple called bromelain.” (5)
Bananas can improve mood thanks to their high levels of Vitamin B6, and their electrolyte potassium is good for blood pressure.
“Banana is a tropical fruit that can enhance your mood and make you feel happier. This sounds strange. But believe it or not studies have shown that eating cereal along with a banana can enhance a person’s mood and make them feel happier.
“Experts say that this is possible because of the fact that bananas contain a great deal of vitamin B6, which plays a crucial role in regulating a person’s mood.
“Bananas are also extremely good for regulating a person’s blood pressure because of the fact that they are very rich in electrolyte potassium.” (6)
The carotenoids in mangos and papayas help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
“Mangoes and Papayas are very good sources of carotenoids, and as a result of that they are very good for women as they help in reducing their risks of developing breast cancer.
“According to a study that was published in the International Journal of Cancer in 2009, women who still menstruate who ate substantial amounts of carotenoid-rich foods on a daily basis reduced their risk of suffering from breast cancer by an amazing 17 percent.” (7)
Not to mention that every tropical fruit is good for the heart.
“Another great health benefit of tropical fruits is the fact that some of them can help in protecting your heart. Papaya for instance is one tropical fruit that protects the heart. It is a powerful antioxidant and very heart-friendly.” (8)
Bananas and other tropical fruits can even reduce the chance of kidney cancer, as evidenced by a study on women in Sweden.
“Tropical fruits can also take care of your kidneys. A fruit like banana has been proven by studies to help lower a person’s risk of developing kidney cancer.
“Recently in the Scandinavian country of Sweden, researchers found out that women who ate a banana more often reduced their risks of kidney cancer by about 50 percent as compared to women who did not.” (9)
J.D. Chi at Garden Guides lists some of the nutrients that can be found in tropical fruits.
“Calcium, folate, iron and potassium are all found in tropical fruits, though calcium, which aids in the clotting of blood and bone growth, and iron, which is involved in the production of hemoglobin and enzymes and helps prevent anemia, are found only in small amounts.
“Tropical fruits are good sources of folate and potassiums. Folate, which helps regulate metabolism and may prevent anemia, is found in high concentrations in some tropical fruits, including avocado and guava, while potassium, which helps to regulate the balance of fluid in cells, is available in high concentrations in avocados, bananas, guava and passionfruit.” (10)
Among the many vitamins that can be found in tropical fruit is vitamin A, which is important for eye health but only in the fruit in trace amounts.
“Vitamins A and C are found in many tropical fruits, though the levels of vitamin A, which is key to eye health, is found in only small amounts.
“Vitamin C, which many Americans get from drinking citrus juices, is found in high concentrations in several tropical fruits, including acerola cherries, guava, longan, lychee and passionfruit. Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, is also important to metabolic function.” (11)
I think it’s better to eat the fruit directly than drink juice, because most conventional fruit juices contain added chemicals and artificial flavors.
The pesticides sprayed on the fruits used for the juices give us more incentive to just eat the fruit, but if that isn’t enough, juice makers feel the need to add unnecessary levels of sugar to make the juices more appealing.
Organic fruit juice with no added sugar is sweet enough on its own, and if you’re going to drink juice, I’d recommend an organic kind that you’re somewhat sure was grown respectfully and responsibly. Otherwise, I’d recommend just eating the fruit that the earth gives us in abundance.
Tropical fruits are tasty and filled with important nutrients, so consider adding them to your diet if you want to improve your health. Even if you aren’t looking to be healthier, the taste of most of these fruits is enough of a reason to include them.
Since the natural health movement is gaining more and more momentum, greater numbers of people are turning to fruits and veggies for the nutrition they never got from pizza or burgers and fries.
They’re discovering the great taste and various health benefits of tropical fruit, and the taste helps them to eat healthy and feel good about it.
Before we know it, we could collectively return to a wholesome diet that reflects the need for real, nutritional foods that come from the earth. When we do, tropical fruit will be there to make the transition easy and worthwhile.
- “What Are the Benefits of Tropical Fruits?” by Leah Berkman, eHow – http://www.ehow.com/list_6517324_benefits-tropical-fruits_.html
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- “Health Benefits of Tropical Fruits” from Hosbeg.com, June 21, 2013 – http://hosbeg.com/health-benefits-of-tropical-fruits/
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- “What Are the Benefits of Tropical Fruits?” by J.D. Chi, Garden Guides – http://www.gardenguides.com/108555-benefits-tropical-fruits.html
- Loc. cit.