Wendy Hoffman blogs about menopause and women's health—particularly focusing on how diet and nutrition can positively affect a woman's life around the age of menopause.See all posts »
These Three Fruits Are Nutritional All-Stars
In last week’s blogpost, I talked about the downside of eating too much fruit. It’s not so easy to hold back when you’re surrounded by the summer’s bounty of delicious, sweet fruit. But if you have to be selective, consider choosing fruits that pay an extra nutritional dividend at any time of year.
In my search for foods that are fiber-rich and loaded with nutrients, I came across three lesser known fruits that you may want to give a try:
You’re probably familiar with the iconic Baobab tree seen throughout the African continent. But did you know that it’s a fruit tree and a nutritious one at that? Baobab fruit consists of more than 50 percent fiber by weight, the majority of which is soluble. This kind of fiber helps to regulate blood sugar, and promotes healthy digestion. The fruit also offers an abundant supply of antioxidants and nutrients such as iron, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin C. I’ve never seen it in a retail store, but a company called Baobab Foods carries a line of no sugar-added products made from the fruit’s pulp, including a powder that can be used in drinks or food recipes.
This fruit isn’t much to look at, but foodies love its taste which is said to be reminiscent of mango, banana and pineapple. They write of its fragrant, ivory, custard-like flesh; its “sherbet-like texture” and “bubblegum taste.” However you describe it though, it’s loaded with dietary fiber, essential nutrients, vitamin C and B-6, poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and more minerals per weight than many common fruits. Most Cherimoyas we see in stores are grown in California, and even though they are usually available from November through May, this can vary from year to year so keep an eye out for them in the Fall.
Unlike the Cherimoya, the Star Fruit’s five pointed star shape (when cut in cross sections) makes it a pleasing addition to a fruit platter. Food writers describe its flavor as mildly sweet and slightly tart at the same time. But like the Cherimoya, it’s a nutritional star thanks to its abundance of vitamin C (nearly 70 percent of the RDA); copper (8 percent of the RDA) and fiber (16 percent of the RDA). It’s considered a low calorie food, but like all fruits, most of its calories come from sugar.
One caveat - I’ve read warnings that like grapefruits, it can interact with certain medications and those with Kidney disease or who have a history of kidney stones should not consume this fruit.