Archive for the ‘Exotic Products’ Category

Lychee

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Lychee

Lychee is a tropical tree fruit that is native to southern China and Southeast Asia. Its history of cultivation can be traced back as far as 2000 BC according to records in Chinese history. The translucent glossy white flesh of lychee is covered by a roughly textured rind, similar to the flesh texture of grape; about 1 to 2 inches in size. It is sweet and succulent with “perfume” flavor. There are over 40 varieties of lychee worldwide, about 10 of them are available in Canada. Among all the different varieties, “Fei Zi Xiao” is one of the premium kinds of lychee, which gets its name from an interesting story. “Fei Zi Xiao” is also known as “The Concubine Smiles”. It is so-called because the emperor of Tang Dynasty, Tang Ming Huang ordered relay house to transport this perishable fruit fresh from the south of China to the palace in the north for the enjoyment of his beloved concubine, Yang Gui Fei. Therefore, this particular kind of lychee, favored by Yang Gui Fei, is named as “Fei Zi Xiao” because it makes the concubine smiles.

Nutritional Facts

Lychee is low in calorie, it contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but it is an excellent source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber. The fiber content in every 100g of fresh lychee equals to 119% of daily-recommended value. Lychee contains an anti-oxidant, oligonol, which have several anti-oxidant and anti-influenza virus actions; it also helps in improving blood flow in organs, body weight maintenance, and skin protection from harmful UV rays. Lychee is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins, such as thiamin, niacin and folates; and minerals, such as potassium and copper.

Reference

Tourney, A. (2011 March 28) Nutrition in Lychee Nuts. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/408600-nutrition-in-lychee-nuts/

Guava

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Guava

Guava belongs to the myrtle family; it is cultivated in many tropical areas, such as Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. Guava fruit that is available in Vancouver are mostly imported from Taiwan or Mexico. Its fruit ranges from 4 to 12cm in diameter, usually round or oval, similar to the shape of a pear. Its skin is green when it is immature, and it will turn into light green or light yellow when it is ripe. The flesh of the fruit is white, with numerous small and hard seeds located in the central pulp of the fruit. Some countries cultivate a difference species of guava, which has deep pink flesh under the green skin. Guava has a pronounced and typical fragrance; it tastes like a mix of kiwi, pear and strawberry. It can be used in different dishes, dessert, and beverage, or simply eaten raw in most countries. In Asia, guava is usually sliced and dipped in preserved prune powder for better tasting, because the salt in the prune powder brings out the sweetness of the guava.

Nutritional Facts

Guava is a rich source of soluble fibre, which can protect and reduce the exposure time of colon membrane to toxin; greatly reduces the risk of colon cancer. Its fiber can help to sustain blood glucose level, which makes guava a very beneficial fruit to diabetic patients. It has high level of Vitamin A and C, which help in immune system development and maintenance of the blood vessels, skin, organs and bones. It also contains potassium, which helps to control heart rate and blood pressure. Its high concentration of antioxidant also helps to protect against cell damage and cancer development.

Reference

Nelson, D. (2011, October 12) Guava “the Ultimate super food”. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8822303/Guava-the-ultimate-superfood.html

Cespedes, A. ( 2011, March 28) Is Guava Healthy?. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/409166-is-guava-healthy/

Mangosteen

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Mangosteen

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit, which ranges from 2 to 3 inches in diameter; it is rougly the size of a tennis ball. Mangosteen has a round dark purple rind and a cap like stem, with cloves of soft white flesh in the center. A ripe mangosteen has a mild sweet and tart taste. Mangosteen has been used as a medicine in many Southeast Asia countries since centuries ago due to its exceptional anti-inflammatory properties; and it is greatly appreciated by many western societies nowadays. Due to its various benefits to human’s health, it is also called the “Queen of Fruits”.

Nutritional Facts

In the past, the rind of mangosteen has been used to made tea for curing different body infections; such as dyscentery, diarrhea, bladder and urinary tract infection, eczema and skin rashes. It is now found to contain a compound called xanthones, which is a compound that contains a collective of nutrients; including alpha-mangostin, beta-mangostin, garcinone B, and garcinone E. Xanthones are scientifically proven to help in reducing the risk of cancer and body inflammation; and it also has antimicrobial, antifungal and antiseptic effect.

Reference

Ashton, M. ( 2011, March 15) Facts About Mangosteen Juice. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/403094-facts-about-mangosteen-juice/

Durian

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Durian

Durian is a popular fruit in Southeast Asia; it is also called the “King of Fruits”. It has a spiky greenish-brown outer shell with rich custard like pale yellow flesh in the center. A typical durian weighs from 2 to 9 pounds. Durian is well known for its distinctive odor, which some people find it fragrant, and some find it unpleasant and overpowering. Its smell has been described variously from almonds, gasoline to rotten onion and dirty gym shoes. Therefore, in some Southeast Asia countries, durian is banned in many public areas; such as malls, hotels and public transportation.

Nutritional Facts

Durian is high in calories, fat and carbohydrates; but it contains a range of nutrients, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin A and C, thiamin, folate, pantothenic, potassium, sodium, copper and zinc. Its high level of tryptophan acts as a natural antidepressant and helps in people’s sleep cycle. It is also a key factor in epilepsy treatment and Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

Reference

Nutrtion Helath Articles (n.d.) Durian Nutrition Facts, Calories and Health Benefits. Retrieved from http://www.nutrition-health-articles.org/durian-nutrition.php

Rosa Apple

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Rosa Apple

Rosa apple is a bell shaped fruit, which is cultivated in many tropic areas; such as Thailand, India, Malaysia and Philippines. Due to its glossy and smooth skin texture, it is also called “wax apple”. Rosa apple is 2 to 4 inches in length; its flesh is white and contains a few seeds in the core. The color of the fruit ranges from white or pale green, to red or dark purple. The rosa apple that we can normally find in Canada is red in color, which is a species imported from Thailand.

Nutritional Facts

Rosa apple contains thiamin, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and dietary fiber. It is low in fat and calories. It is found to be exceptionally beneficial to people who have diabetes, piles, diarrhea, and liver problems. Rosa apple can act as a block against the conversion of starch into sugar in human’s pancreas; and its seeds can also help to reduce sugar in urine.

Reference

Kent, L.T. (2011, June 14) What Are The Benefits Of Rosa Apple Fruit. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/281496-what-are-the-benefits-of-rose-apple-fruit/

Dragon Fruit

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is also known as pitaya or pitahaya. It is the fruit of the dragon fruit cactus plant. These cactus plants bloom only at night and only a few times each year. Due to the night blooming, the pollination of these cactus plants is done by nocturnal creatures, such as moths and bats. A ripe dragon fruit should have a firm but yielding body with bright and even skin color. Its flesh can be white or pink, with black seeds scattered in the flesh; it has a mild taste with a blend of kiwi fruit and pear.

Nutritional Facts

The flesh of dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, a variety of Vitamin B and phosphorus. It can help to prevent cancer, lower inflammation and cholesterol levels, strengthen the immune system, and remove excess heavy metal toxins in the body. Dragon fruit is also effective in controlling type 2 diabetic patient’s blood glucose levels. Moreover, the seed in the fruit is also beneficial to human’s health; it contains high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are required in maintaining health.

Reference

Fruit Health Benefits. (2011). Dragon Fruit Nutrition. Retrieved from http://www.fruithealthbenefits.com/dragon-fruit-nutrition.shtml

Foodlywise. (2007) Dragon Fruit, Pitaya. Retrieved from http://dragonfruitpitaya.com/

Jackfruit

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Jackfruit

Jackfruit is a common fruit in Southeast Asia; it can be eaten raw as a fruit, or cooked into curries, soups, stew, or dessert. Jackfruit is enormous and prickly; it weighs about 35 pounds in average, and contains up to 500 seeds. Flesh in the fruit is grown into bulbs, and the seeds are wrapped inside each bulb. One interesting fact about jackfruit is the production of latex in the centre of its stem; this sticky fluid makes preparation of the fruit a challenge. In 2010, a 144 pounds jackfruit, the largest jackfruit in record was featured at a jackfruit festival in Kerala, India. Jackfruit smells like a blend of grapefruit, banana and cheese; and it is sweet like a bubble gum.

Nutritional Facts

Jackfruit is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and it is a good source of Vitamin C, Manganese and dietary fiber. One cup of sliced jackfruit contains 155 calories, provides 11 percent of the required daily amount of fiber.

Reference

Love, K. & Paull, R.E. (2011). Jack Fruit. Retrieved from http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/F_N-19.pdf

Nutrient Health Articles (n.d.) Jackfruit Nutrition Facts and Information. Retrieved from http://www.nutrition-health-articles.org/jackfruit-nutrition.php