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Sharp Health News

Fancy fruits (infographic)

Aug. 4, 2017

The American Heart Association recommends we eat four servings of fresh fruit per day. But why limit yourself to everyday staples like apples and oranges? Kendra Grinde-Busalacchi, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator with Sharp Grossmont Hospital, shares the benefits of these fun and healthy underdogs.

Fancy fruits (infographic). Some are sweet, some are scaly and some are stinky. But these unique fruits are worth a try – and have health benefits to boot. Dragon fruit, which got its name from its dragon-like scales, tastes like a mix between watermelon and kiwi. It is rich in antioxidants for strength and immune health. Lychee has a mild, fruity flavor with a tough scaly skin. It is high in vitamin C to protect against colds and infections. Lychee has become a trendy ingredient for cocktails or mocktails. Kumquat has a mini-orange look with a sweet and tart flavor. It is low in calories but rich in minerals and vitamins. Both the skin and zest of a kumquat are sweet and edible. Guava is extremely fragrant with a soft body and sweet taste. It is high in fiber to help regulate the digestive system and in some parts of the world, guava is made into cheese. Pomegranate is round, red and filled with sweet, crunchy seeds. In fact, each pomegranate has an average of 600 tasty seeds. Pomegranate offers a concentrated amount of antioxidants to help boost immunity. Tomatillo is tart and lemony with a green tomato-like appearance and grows wrapped in a paper-like a shell. It has more fiber, protein and vitamins than a typical tomato. Persimmon is a glossy orange, plum-like fruit that grows on trees. It has vitamin A, which helps with vision, immunity and cell growth. There are two main types of persimmon – the fuyu, which can be eaten fresh, and the hachiya, which are better for cooking. Passion fruit has thick purple skin, mildly sweet juice and crunchy seeds. Low in fat and high in fiber, passion fruit can help you stay regular and puts a new twist on recipes that call for lemon juice. Mangosteen has sweet orange-like segments surrounded by a thick, purple rind. It has potassium, which can help control heart rate and blood pressure. In fact, some health stores sell mangosteen in powder or juice form. Fresh fruit is a wonderful snack or dessert, says Kendra Grinde-Busalacchi, RD, CDE, a registered dietician nutritionist with Sharp Grossmont Hospital. It’s quick, easy and loaded with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. It’s also low in calories and can satisfy your sweet tooth.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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