It used to be that fruits were simply refreshing natural foods picked from trees. These days even fruits can gain superstar status and become the object of media attention. Names like mangosteen, noni, and goji berry used to sound so alien but have now become familiar. These fruits are made into revitalizing drinks, energy bars and even nouveau cuisine.
You may be wondering just what it is about these exotic fruits that all of a sudden made them the talk of the town. Now collectively called “superfruits”, they are all part of a select family of fruits known for being rich in nutrients and producing powerful antioxidant effects. Loaded with phytonutrients, these fruits provide health benefits that set them apart from other fruits.
Phytonutrients are naturally occurring compounds found in plant foods. They give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors and they have potent antioxidant properties that support the immune system thereby boosting the body’s natural ability to fight disease. These plant compounds also work to neutralize free radicals which are unstable compounds that cause premature aging and disease by damaging healthy cells in the body.
Below is a list of five of the most popular superfruits which includes a brief description of each as well as the benefits they offer.
Acai: This is the fruit of a tropical palm tree that grows in the Amazon rainforest. It is celebrated for being rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein, fatty acids, and Vitamin E. It has been used by the natives to promote healthy cholesterol levels, boost immunity, prevent disease, increase energy, and reduce inflammation.
Goji: The Goji berry comes from the Himalayan region near China, India and Tibet. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for nearly 2,000 years to lower stress levels, increase metabolism and strengthen the immune system. Goji berries contain Vitamin C, nutrients, amino acids, polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates discovered in the Himalayan region around China, Tibet and India, they are packed with Vitamin C, fiber, nutrients, amino acids, antioxidants and beneficial polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates) and antioxidants.
Mangosteen: Another fruit rich in antioxidants, the mangosteen comes from a tropical evergreen tree. It originates from the Malay Archipelago northwest of Australia. The mangosteen is called the “Queen of Fruits” by its fans and has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes such as to support healthy cholesterol levels, boost immunity, increase energy, and promote digestive and urinary tract health.
Noni: This fruit comes from a small shrub-like tree. It originated in the South Pacific Islands and is now found in India, French Polynesia, Tahiti and parts of the West Indies. This fruit is packed with antioxidants, essential fatty acids and amino acids. The noni fruit has been used in traditional medicine to prevent disease, enhance metabolism, support the digestive and circulatory system and strengthen the immune system.
Pomegranate: The fruit of a small shrub found all over the Himalayan region, the pomegranate is loaded with vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and polyphenols which are rich in antioxidants. It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to promote digestive and cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, and prevent disease. The pomegranate is considered a sacred fruit by the Greeks and Egyptians and it is referred to several times in the Bible and many Asian texts. The pomegranate has been used traditionally to reduce inflammation, promote digestive and cardiovascular health and prevent disease.