One study shows that Jackfruits help decrease your blood sugar after a meal. Another also suggests that the fruit can help fight off herpies. However, much more research needs to be done here.1,2
The young fruits and seeds can be used as vegetables. The pulp of the ripe fruit is eaten fresh and used in fruit salads. 100 g of ripe fruit pulp contains 500 mg of iron and 540 IU’s of vitamin A and 30 mg of thiamin. Jackfruits also have some strong antioxidants in it, which also makes it a good anti inflammatory food.2
- Jagtap U, Panaskar S, Bapat V. Evaluation of antioxidant capacity and phenol content in jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.) fruit pulp. Plant Foods For Human Nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands) [serial online]. June 2010;65(2):99-104.
- Wetprasit N, Threesangsri W, Klamklai N, Chulavatnatol M. Jackfruit lectin: properties of mitogenicity and the inhibition of herpesvirus infection. Japanese Journal Of Infectious Diseases [serial online]. August 2000;53(4):156-161.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to revitalize the spleen, help restore Qi (Chi) and calm your mind. It has been widely used for the treatment of anorexia, fatigue, and loose stools due to problems with the spleen. It has also been used to help with hysteria in women.
In northern China, Jujube may be a useful remedy for the management and/or control of hepatitis.1
In Ayurveda, it is an effective herbal remedy. It may help you gain weight, improve muscular strength, increases stamina and may possibly help with hair growth.2
The dried fruit is an effective way to fight cancer, and it also serves as a potential sedative. It can help with digestion, loss of appetite and help purify the blood.2
The seeds of Jujube can be used for the treatment of heart palpitations, insomnia, nerve exhaustion, night sweats and excessive perspiration.2
The root of the Jujube tree can help with indigestion, fevers, anemia and nerve diseases.2
As with all applications of traditional medicines, you should seek a professional in the practice for exact doses and how often to take it.
It may also help with lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels making it a great stress fighter and gives you a restful sleep. 250mg 1 hour before bedtime.3
- Shen X, Tang Y, Yang R, Yu L, Fang T, Duan J. The protective effect of Zizyphus jujube fruit on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic injury in mice by anti-oxidative activities. Journal Of Ethnopharmacology [serial online]. April 21, 2009;122(3):555-560.
- Motherherbs.com, Ziziphus Jujuba, located at http://www.motherherbs.com/ziziphus-jujuba.html. Accessed March 14, 2013
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Juniper berry is one of the more versatile berries out there. The berry can be eaten like any other berry and it can be dried and used as a spice. It’s a great antioxidant and anti inflammatory food. The oil is even better.
The oil can be used as an antibacterial and antifungal ointment and can kill certain yeasts, yeast-like fungi and dermatophytes (fungus on the skin). 2,3
The oil can be used as a diuretic, a gastrointestinal irritant (promotes the flushing out of the system) and as an antiseptic. It has been effective in helping with rheumatic pains in the joints or muscles and it can help with bladder, digestive, and kidney conditions.
Traditionally it has been used for cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), flatulence (gas), and colic.2,3
One lab study noted that Juniper berries slowed the growth of breast cancer cells.1
Kiwis have a very wide range of health benefits. Kiwis are a great source of vitamins C and K. Vitamin C helps protect you from the effects of aging and stress. It protects against DNA damage, which also makes it a good protector against cancer and the damage caused by sunburn.2
In combination with Hawthorn (an herb) it was shown to reduce blood lipid levels in mice.1
The fruit can also help protect against cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, which means that it may also help reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Its strongest potential is in the area of digestion where it is used in traditional Chinese medicine. The fruit is used to help with chronic constipation without the side effect of diarrhea and it may also be a good treatment for irritable bowl syndrome. 2,3
In simulation studies it has the potential to help with digestion of a range of nutrients including gluten, which may make it part of a future treatment for celiac disease. 2
Kiwi can act as a probiotic by first acting as a prebiotic, meaning, it gets rid of harmful bacteria while opening the door for healthy bacteria to line your gut.2
- Xu H, Xu H, Ryan D. A study of the comparative effects of hawthorn fruit compound and simvastatin on lowering blood lipid levels. The American Journal Of Chinese Medicine [serial online]. 2009;37(5):903-908.
- Skinner M, Loh J, Hunter D, Zhang J. Gold kiwifruit ( Actinidia chinensis ‘Hort16A’) for immune support. The Proceedings Of The Nutrition Society [serial online]. May 2011;70(2):276-280.
- Chang C, Lin Y, Lu Y, Liu Y, Liu J. Kiwifruit improves bowel function in patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. Asia Pacific Journal Of Clinical Nutrition [serial online]. 2010;19(4):451-457.
In studies, Kumkquats had a strong protective effect against lung cancer, which is the number one cancer killer of women. Eat 2-3 kumquats per day to get the best benefits of the fruit.1
The flavanoids are responsible for the protective effect against cancer. Some of the flavanoids may also help lower blood pressure as well.2
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- Sadek E, Makris D, Kefalas P. Polyphenolic composition and antioxidant characteristics of kumquat (Fortunella margarita) peel fractions. Plant Foods For Human Nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands) [serial online]. December 2009;64(4):297-302.
Lemons, according to one study, were able to keep human liver cancer from growing. In the 7 fruits studied for that experiment, it was second only to Cranberries.1 Lemons are also a great antibacterial both topically and when you eat it because its so acidic, which makes lemons weapons against bacteria in the stomach like H-pylori.2
When added to tea, the acid from lemons keeps the antioxidants in your tea from breaking down keeping more of the antioxidants active and available for your body to use when you drink it.
The smell of lemon helps wake up the senses. The oils inside Lemons can also help calm anxiety. The white area under the skin and the peel itself contain most of Lemon’s healthy oils so use a zester to add the peel to tea or salads. Adding Lemon slices to water may also help fight off fatigue. 2
Lemon juice is a natural whitener because it inhibits the production of melanin, which causes age spots. So you can use lemon juice to help prevent age spots from developing on the skin.2
Meyer Lemons ★★★
This lemon is a cross between a tangerine and lemon. It has the tart and sour taste of lemon but it also tastes sweet. It contains the same antioxidants as regular lemons and it’s less acidic. The peel is thinner and you can eat it as well. The peel is a good source of isoflavanoid antioxidants, the same kind found in regular lemon peels but without much of a bitter taste.
- Sun J, Chu Y, Wu X, Liu R. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common fruits. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. December 4, 2002;50(25):7449-7454.
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One study has found that lime juice (the study used lime juice extracts) inhibited the growth of pancreatic cancer cells and many other types of cancer cells.1 The compound responsible for this is a flavanoid called hesperedin, which is found in the white layer between the skin and the pulp of citrus fruits. A great way to get Limes into your diet is to blend 2 cups of water with 3 peeled Limes and drink ½ cup of it per day.2
- Chidambara Murthy K, Jayaprakasha G, Chetti M, Patil B. Bioactive compounds from Mexican lime ( Citrus aurantifolia ) juice induce apoptosis in human pancreatic cells. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. November 25, 2009;57(22):10933-10942.
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Lingonberry (Cowberry) ★
Lingonberries contain some of the highest concentration of antioxidants compared to most other fruits.1 Lingonberries have a high number of polyphenols and which makes it a very powerful anti inflammatory food. It also helps the body replace other important antioxidants, like glutathione, which is a major antioxidant that your body produces. The antioxidants in lingonberries can help protect against infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph infections).
The berry helps protect the lining of blood vessels, which may reduce the risk for heart attacks, stroke or atherosclerosis. The effect that the Lingonberry had on the lining of blood vessels was stronger than Blueberries and Cranberries, which are cousins to the Lingonberry. Studies are beginning to show that Lingonberries have the ability to treat diabetes by helping to remove AGE molecules, which may contribute to several health problems such as damaging the lining of your blood vessels. This may lead to kidney disease, eye diseases, and or other circulation issues in the body like erectile dysfunction.
Traditionally, Lingonberries have been used by Native Americans to help treat diabetes and heart illnesses.
Lingonberry is available in mainly juice form in the U.S in health food stores. They can also be found as jams, and the berries can be bought dried, frozen or in powders.
- Wang S, Feng R, Bowman L, Penhallegon R, Ding M, Lu Y. Antioxidant activity in lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) and its inhibitory effect on activator protein-1, nuclear factor-kappaB, and mitogen-activated protein kinases activation. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry. April 20, 2005;53(8):3156-3166.
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Longan is a sweet small fruit from Thailand. Traditionally, Longan fruit was used for relieving stomach pains1. According to traditional Chinese medicine, Longan fruit may also help with forgetfulness, help boost your learning ability and reduce palpitations brought on by stress and fear2.
The seeds are packed with antioxidants, especially ellagic acid, which is a very good cancer fighter that’s also found in Pomaganates.1 One study done on mice showed that the fruit may help fight off fatigue, while another study showed that it may also have antifungal properties also.3,4
- Sudjaroen Y, Hull W, Owen R, et al. Isolation and characterization of ellagitannins as the major polyphenolic components of Longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour) seeds. Phytochemistry. May 2012;77:226-237
- Park S, Park D, Ryu J, et al. The memory-enhancing effects of Euphoria longan fruit extract in mice. Journal Of Ethnopharmacology. March 2, 2010;128(1):160-165.
- Zheng S, Jiang F, Gao H, Zheng J. Preliminary observations on the antifatigue effects of longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) seed polysaccharides. Phytotherapy Research: PTR [serial online]. April 2010;24(4):622-624
- Rangkadilok N, Tongchusak S, Satayavivad J, et al. In vitro antifungal activities of longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) seed extract. Fitoterapia [serial online]. April 2012;83(3):545-553.
The natural fatty acids in Lucuma may help heal damaged and wounded skin. This fruit is a popular and sweet tasting fruit from Peru that is made into smoothies, shakes and ice cream. You can find Lucuma powder in stores like Whole Foods.
- Rojo L, Villano C, Raskin I, et al. Wound-healing properties of nut oil from Pouteria lucuma. Journal Of Cosmetic Dermatology. September 2010;9(3):185-195.
Like many citrus fruits, mandarins may have a protective effect on the skin. The peel can help regulate the skin’s moisture especially, when your skin is particularly oily. The polyphenols in the peel help remove oils and dry your skin. These same polyphenols can also help remove blemishes.1 The fruit has an anti inflammatory effect but it has an especially strong anti inflammatory effect on the skin.1,2
- Khan M, Ali M, Alam P. Phytochemical investigation of the fruit peels of Citrus reticulata Blanco. Natural Product Research. April 2010;24(7):610-620.
- Ok I, Kim S, Kim B, Lee J, Lee Y. Pinellia ternata, Citrus reticulata, and their combinational prescription inhibit eosinophil infiltration and airway hyperresponsiveness by suppressing CCR3+ and Th2 cytokines production in the ovalbumin-induced asthma model. Mediators Of Inflammation. 2009;2009:413270.
Mangoes are a great source of vitamins A and C, which are both powerful antioxidants that work as a team in your body. Interestingly enough, mangoes have much more vitamin C than they do vitamin A. One mango contains about 96% of your daily value of vitamin C and about 32% of your daily value of vitamin A. An added bonus, mangoes contain some omega-3 fatty acids. They contain linolenic acid, which is the same type of omega 3 that makes up alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Our bodies use this omega 3 fatty acid to create an even more important omega 3 called DHA, which our bodies use to fight off or prevent a slew of diseases. Read more about the importance of omega 3 fats.
They contain quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant that’s also found in onions and apples, which makes it a great anti inflammatory fruit. It also contains an antioxidant called mangiferin, which has anti inflammatory and antimicrobial abilities and can help fight diabetes because it can help promote the creation of new blood vessels (i.e: angiogenesis).2
It may help diabetics because there is some evidence that mangiferin, and other compounds in Mangoes, can cause endothelial cells to migrate to areas where the lining of blood vessels have been damaged. Endothelial cells are the cells that make up the lining of your blood vessels. What usually happens when the lining is damaged is the body heals it. However, like a cut on your skin it can form a scab which is mostly made up of calcium and cholesterol, which is relatively hard. Over time this scab can grow to the point where pieces can break off and cause blood clots, which can lead to strokes or other complications. The scab can also grow large enough to the point where it begins to cut off the blood flow, causing a stroke or even a heart attack. What makes Mangoes so great is that they may cause your body to replace damaged lining with endothelial cells, reducing the chances of a scab forming or keeping these scabs significantly smaller than they would be without the presence of mangiferin.
In one study, it was shown that Mangoes and mango juice may have the potential to stop leukemia cells from growing but more research is still needed.3 They may also help prevent periodontal disease. 1
One study showed that mangoes caused a 60% reduction in gallbladder cancer, the largest risk reductions for this type of cancer for any fruit or vegetable.4 Mangoes have lactase in them which can help with the digestion of lactose from dairy products and help your gut function even stronger. The carotenoid content helps protect against infections and can help protect your cells from sun damage.
Mangoes have a lot of iron, potassium and magnesium so it’s a great fruit for menstruating and pregnant women and people with anemia to eat. As sweet as Mangoes are, it’s a safe fruit for diabetics to eat because the insulin response compared to other tropical fruits was low.4
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- Daud N, Aung C, Parat M, et al. Mango extracts and the mango component mangiferin promote endothelial cell migration. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. April 28, 2010;58(8):5181-5186.
- Percival S, Talcott S, Chin S, Mallak A, Lounds-Singleton A, Pettit-Moore J. Neoplastic transformation of BALB/3T3 cells and cell cycle of HL-60 cells are inhibited by mango (Mangifera indica L.) juice and mango juice extracts. The Journal Of Nutrition [serial online]. May 2006;136(5):1300-1304.
Mangosteens are high in fiber. 1 cup has about 3.5 grams of fiber, which is around 14% of your daily requirement. It’s also a good source of folate, a B-vitamin, and manganese. The fiber, and another group of antioxidanst called xanthones, which are almost exclusively found in mangosteens, may also help with the fruit’s potential to help slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells according to one study. 1 Mangosteens may also help stop the growth of prostate and skin cancer cells as well according to studies done on human cells and mice. 2,3
Mangosteens are known for its’ anti inflammatory ability. It may help treat skin infections and parasitic skin infections if you rub some of the rind on wounds or pus discharges. It has been traditionally used in treatments for dysentery and the bark of the tree has been used as a treatment for ameobic dysentery. It has also been used for urinary disorders, ulcers, and gonorrhoea (and gleet) when eaten.4
Mangosteen leaves are useful for treating eczema, psoriasis, inflammation when used on the skin (hyperkeratosis).
The fruit can also help treat diarrhea and can prevent dehydration. The roots have also been used to treat menstrual disorders.4
As a tea, Mangosteens can help treat fatigue and can possibly help with digestion.4
Mangosteens are becoming more and more available in supermarkets and health food stores but if you can’t find the fruits the juice may be easier to find.
- Aisha, Abdalrahim FA, et al. “In vitro and in vivo anti-colon cancer effects of Garcinia mangostana xanthones extract.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 12.1 (2012): 104.
- Johnson, Jeremy J., et al. “α-Mangostin, a xanthone from mangosteen fruit, promotes cell cycle arrest in prostate cancer and decreases xenograft tumor growth.” Carcinogenesis 33.2 (2012): 413-419.
- Wang, Jing J., et al. “Anti-skin cancer properties of phenolic-rich extract from the pericarp of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana Linn.).” Food and Chemical Toxicology 50.9 (2012): 3004-3013.
- Obolskiy D, Pischel I, Siriwatanametanon N, Heinrich M. Garcinia mangostana L.: a phytochemical and pharmacological review. Phytotherapy Research: PTR [serial online]. August 2009;23(8):1047-1065.
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Maqui Berry ★★
This berry is exceptional because it contains a very high amount of antioxidants. It ranks higher than most, if not all, fruits.1,3 The key antioxidant in Maqui berries is delphinidin, which is also found in Concord Grapes. Because of the anthocyanin antioxidants in the berries, The berry is a very effective anti-inflammatory food that is great for treating any type of inflammatory condition ranging from all types of arthritis to cancer.1 These berries have also been shown to stop the growth of colon cancer cells in lab studies.
Maqui berries can also slow down or stop LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood, meaning, it can help keep your arteries from hardening from cholesterol build up.1,2 Therefore, it can help lower your risk for heart attacks, heart disease, strokes and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Maqui berries can also cause you to release more insulin in your body when you drink (or eat) them with a meal. This means it can lower your blood sugar levels and help balance your energy levels out.1
As a bonus, it has antibacterial qualities to it so it may be able to help with protect you against food borne illnesses. 1
You can get Maqui berry in juice form from health food stores.
- Foxnews.com, health; Maqui berry: the newest superfruit. Located at http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/01/26/marvelous-maqui-berry/. Accessed March 28, 2013.
- Miranda-Rottmann S, Aspillaga A, Pérez D, Vasquez L, Martinez A, Leighton F. Juice and phenolic fractions of the berry Aristotelia chilensis inhibit LDL oxidation in vitro and protect human endothelial cells against oxidative stress. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry. December 18, 2002;50(26):7542-7547.
- Escribano-Bailón M, Alcalde-Eon C, Muñoz O, Rivas-Gonzalo J, Santos-Buelga C. Anthocyanins in berries of Maqui (Aristotelia chilensis (Mol.) Stuntz). Phytochemical Analysis: PCA [serial online]. January 2006;17(1):8-14.
Mulberries contain powerful antioxidants and have strong anti inflammatory abilities that may help calm the inflammation associated with diabetes. It does this by lowering your blood pressure and blood sugar levels and keeping bad cholesterol (LDL) from damaging the body.1,2,3 The fruit has been traditionally used as a treatment for urinary incontinence, dizziness, pre-maturing grey hair and constipation in elderly individuals.
Mulberry leaves (in beverages or as a tea) have been traditionally used to cure and prevent diabetes, treat sore throats, colds, eye infections and nose bleeds in traditional Thai and Chinese medicines. The leaf extract or tea may also promote overall good health.
The leaf or tea may possibly help with combating atherosclerosis as well.2,3
The root of the tree has been used for many years as an anti inflammatory, a cough suppressant and fever reducer. An acid in the root bark called betulinic acid may also have the potential to kill melanoma cancer cells but more research is still needed.
- Naowaboot J, Pannangpetch P, Kukongviriyapan V, Kukongviriyapan U, Nakmareong S, Itharat A. Mulberry leaf extract restores arterial pressure in streptozotocin-induced chronic diabetic rats. Nutrition Research (New York, N.Y.) [serial online]. August 2009;29(8):602-608.
- Naowaboot J, Pannangpetch P, Kukongviriyapan V, Kongyingyoes B, Kukongviriyapan U. Antihyperglycemic, antioxidant and antiglycation activities of mulberry leaf extract in streptozotocin-induced chronic diabetic rats. Plant Foods For Human Nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands) [serial online]. June 2009;64(2):116-121.
- Doi K, Kojima T, Fujimoto Y. Mulberry leaf extract inhibits the oxidative modification of rabbit and human low density lipoprotein. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin [serial online]. September 2000;23(9):1066-1071.