Moringa: The Hot New Superfood

We’ve seen many new superfood crazes over the years, but the moringa is proving to be one of the biggest and hottest new superfood ever.  New superfruits all turned out to have even more impressive health benefits and previous ones.  For example, the dragonfruit introduced an appealing looking peel and flesh, packed with antioxidants and vitamins.  The acai berry, another superfruit, became known to benefit the immune system and even promote weight loss.  Now, the moringa is being known as an amazing new powerfruit.

moringa

Packed with nutrients–no wonder the moringa is the world’s new superpower fruit.

It’s considered one of the richest fruits in nutritional value.  This fruit has been consumed by people for years as a nutrient-filled food good for the whole body.  The moringa’s bright green leaves, which are part of what makes it a superpower food, contain an impressive amount of  vitamins A, B, and C, as well as protein and numerous minerals and antioxidants.  If you’ve never eaten the leaves of the moringa, you might be surprised at their taste and how well they go with your food.  You can chop the leaves up and sprinkle them on salads and add them to omelets, or stir-fry with other veggies.  No matter what dish its put into, moringa leaves will turn it into a healthy food.

Moringa leaves are often ground up and sold as moringa leaf powder.  This powder can be stirred into drinks or used to make tea, and provides just as many health benefits as leaves that are not ground up.  Buy a can of powder and add some to your daily morning shake–it’s incredibly easy, and incredibly good for your body.  Most people who eat this product use between one teaspoon and one tablespoon of powder every day.

It’s not only the leaves of the amazing fruit that are valued–the seeds are also very healthy.  The seeds of this extraordinary superfruit contain about 40% oil that is high in a fatty acid called oleic acid.  The defatted meal contains more than 60% protein and is even used in water purification to clean out unwanted sediments.

These incredible health benefits of the moringa makes it one of best new superfruits. One great product I recommend is the 100% Pure Organic Moringa Oleifera Leaf Powder Superfood.  This product provides a great amount of antioxidants, minerals and various other nutrients.

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Cherimoya: Numerous Tastes

The unique cherimoya, or chirimoya, is a fruit thought to be native to the Andes.  It was cultivated in Spain, from where it spread through Italy and Portugal.  Cherimoya fruits can now be found in Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Taiwan Australia, and other places. Numerous  places in the Americas, such as California, have also produced these exotic fruits.

You’ve probably never seen or heard of this fruit, with its oval shape and slightly bumpy texture.  The cherimoya is around 10-20 cm. long and 7-10 cm in diameter around the size of a grapefruit.  Inside the yellow-green skin, the flesh is smooth and white with several dark-colored seeds.  The cherimoya has another name, the custard apple, which comes from the creamy, sherbet-like texture of the fruit.

cherimoya

Have you ever known a fruit that tastes like bubblegum?

It’s the delightful taste of the cherimoya that gives most of its uniqueness.  Mark Twain called this “the most delicious fruit known to man.” The tastes that people commonly describe the cherimoya to possess are a mixture of pineapple, banana, strawberry, and peach.  Many say that it has a similarity to bubblegum!  Like the name “custard apple”, the nickname “ice cream fruit” comes from the taste of the fruit; people often eat the flesh of cherimoyas chilled.  But beware–the seeds are poisonous when crushed.

Cherimoya trees can live through cool periods (so it does not become dormant) but does not like much snow.  They can thrive from altitudes of 4,300 ft. to 8,500 ft.  The fresh fruits provides an impressive amount of antioxidants, vitamins, an minerals.

 

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Dead Man’s Fingers: an Eerie Fruit

You might have heard of the starfruit, dragonfruit, or blood orange, but have you ever heard of dead man’s fingers?  It has a very strange name, but it is a fruit and can be eaten.  The shape and color of dead man’s fingers are also quite unique; the fruit is a bluish-black to greenish pod, which hangs with other pods from the branches. Soft, with a skin-like peel, these clumps of fruits hang eerily like a human hand.

dead man's fingers

Since these creepy fruits ripen near Halloween…

Originated from China, the fruit is around 4-10 cm long and 3 cm in diameter, containing small, black 1 cm wide seeds.  The flesh is translucent and glutinous, sweet with a taste similar to watermelon, which ranges from bland to very sweet.  It’s often described to have a gelatinous taste, perhaps like jelly.  To add to the eerie fun of this fruit, it ripens in the fall, near Halloween.

Dead man’s fingers are also grown as an ornamental plant; it has eye-catching blue fruits and attractive drooping flowers.  The type of dead man’s fingers that come from China are the most commonly cultivated.  They grow well in cooler temperatures and fertile soil.

Don’t confuse the fruit called dead man’s fingers with the others.  There are 3 types of dead man’s fingers– one is the fruit shrub (what this article is about), another is a mushroom, and the last a type of coral or seaweed.

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Snowberry: the Poison Berry

The unique snowberry,  often called the waxberry, Ice Apple or ghostberry, is a fruit native to North and Central America. These 1-2 cm berries are soft, ranging from white to pinkish red in color (one species, however, is purple).  Inside, the flesh of this fruit looks just like  sparkling, fine snow.

snoberries

Soft, white, conspicuous snowberries–unfortunately they’re poisonous.

Snowberry shrubs are considered good dwelling places for animals; for example, birds can easily make nests in the branches.  Snowberries are an important food source for pheasants, quails, and grouse in the wintertime, and for mammals such as bears.  Snowberry bush stems are food for mice and rabbits as well as deer and elk which feed on its vegetation.  Various insects such as types of butterflies and moths eat from its leaves.

Though these conspicuous berries can be ingested by numerous animals, unfortunately they are toxic to humans.  If they are eaten, the person will probably feel dizziness and vomiting.  These berries, when smashed into water, foam up.  Strangely, however, Native Americans used the snowberry to settle the stomach after meals, and to kill fish in streams.

The snowberry bush is quite attractive.  In the spring, or perhaps the summer, sunlight shines through the round green leaves, speckled with white and pink berries.  Many berries stay on the bush during winter, and provide animals with food in case its scarce.  Otherwise, they drop to the ground.  Seeds are spread by birds to regrow into more bushes.

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Abiu: Tastes like Caramel Candy!

The abiu is a delicious creamy fruit native to the headwaters of the Amazon.  This unique fruit grows on a medium height tree in hot and humid tropics and subtropics.  With an elliptical, round, or pointed shape, the yellow colored abiu has a taste that is different from most other fruits.

abiu

Ever heard of a fruit that tastes like creme caramel?

The fruits have pearly white translucent pulp that is usually soft, like custard, though some types are firmer.  It can contain 1-4 oval-shaped and dark-colored seeds.  Unripe fruits have a gummy latex within them that hardens in air.  The gel-like flesh is described as having a mild sweet with a distinct flavor resembling creme caramel candy and sometimes even a bit of pineapple! This delicious fruit with jelly flesh is can be eaten just by itself and tastes best as a chilled treat.

People in Columbia who want to eat the abiu are often recommended to grease their lips beforehand so that the latex in the fruit will not stick.  Abiu can be sliced in half and the pulp easily scooped out with a spoon.  However, you should try to avoid the unpalatable latex near the bright yellow-green skin.  It’s usually eaten by itself, but sometimes is used in juices and sorbets, and added to ice cream.

The abiu provides many things of nutritional value, such as vitamin A and C, phosphorus and calcium.  If you want to have healthy eyes, vitamin A will help you.  Abiu also has a high amount of fiber, which is essential to the digestive system.  In Brazil, the fruit is eaten to treat coughs, bronchitis and other related irritations.  The latex inside abiu fruits are put on abscesses and used as a vermifuge or purge.

 

 

 

 

 

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