By Ken Babal, C.N. Published March 2008
We’ve all heard the message “eat more fruits and vegetables.” The government recently upped its recommendation from five servings a day to nine per day. Unfortunately, surveys show that many people are lucky if they eat two. In addition to vitamins, minerals, and fiber, the recommendation is based on antioxidants and their role in preventing age-related diseases.
Some exotic fruits and their juices have been commanding a great deal of attention lately because they top all other fruits in antioxidant content, and may be protective against certain diseases. Your local natural food store stocks a wide selection of juices and combinations that you won’t find at conventional markets. Here are a few facts on the amazing super fruits.
Noni. A large, oval, yellow fruit and principle medicine in Polynesian culture for 2,000 years, sometimes called the “Polynesian panacea.” Testimonials abound for many diverse conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, allergies, arthritis, Candida, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, and pain. A study confirms that noni has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects in test tubes and animal experiments.
Mangosteen. A tropical fruit called “the queen of fruits.” It has been described as the most delicious fruit in the world. Mangosteen contains a class of antioxidants called xanthones, which might boost immunity and promote joint flexibility and mental health.
Blueberry. One study with blueberry was performed on rats with beta-amyloid plaque, a feature of Alzheimer’s disease. A researcher stated, “Our data indicate that for the first time it may be possible to overcome genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease through diet.”
Pomegranate. Throughout history, this extraordinary fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility, and rebirth. Many scholars believe that it was a pomegranate, not an apple, depicted in the biblical Garden Of Eden. Studies reveal that pomegranate has benefits for the cardiovascular and immune systems as well as joint function. In one study, two ounces of pomegranate juice every day for two weeks reduced high blood pressure.
Goji. A bright orange-red fruit about the size of a raisin when dried. Found in the mountains of China, it has been revered as an anti-aging elixir for thousands of years. Goji was consumed daily by Li Chung Yun, a Chinese herbalist reported to be the oldest man of the twentieth century (256 years, London Times, May 8, 1933).
Acai. Berry of an Amazon palm tree that tastes like berries and chocolate. Boasts the highest ORAC score (a measurement of antioxidant power). Acai (ah-sigh-ee) is packed with nutrients including carbohydrates, protein, essential fats, and a powerful array of age-defying phytonutrients.