All fruits are good. They benefit the skin and hair, help prevent cholesterol build-up, lower the chances of cardiovascular problems and create an anti-carcinogenic environment, thus offering an anti-cancer effect.
Many fruits contain ellagitannins (ETs), a family of polyphenols that have several functional health benefits beyond basic nutrition, including anti-neurodegenerative, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer properties.
People tend to view the health benefits of foods in isolation. They think, for example: how much calcium will this food give me? But in reality, every food contains several thousand biochemicals that are linked to each other synergistically, and these offer benefits only when eaten as a whole rather than as a pill containing the active ingredient. This is because the multiple phytochemicals present in a complex food matrix provide better protection. For instance, pomegranate juice, peels, and seeds have been used in Indian culture since time immemorial. The traditional Indian system of medicine also talks about the curative effects of anar.
One of the best parts of the cool season is the sheer variety of fruits you find everywhere. Not only are there our own Indian fruits, but you also get many that have been imported from surrounding countries. These are an absolute delight, because they are good to look at and also provide us with varied tastes and flavours:
Kiwi fruit has a green creamy texture and tiny black seeds. It is grainy in taste, and sweet and fragrant. Nutritionally, a medium-sized kiwi fruit contains about 46 calories, 0.3-gram fats, 1 gm proteins, 11 gm carbohydrates, 75 mg vitamins and 2.6 grams dietary fibre.
Dragon fruit is native to Mexico, central and South America. Also known as strawberry pear, it is a fruit of several cactus species with a delicate taste and soft pulp.
Mangosteen is delicious; the fruit is soft, pulpy and a light cream shade on the inside . It has a citrusy flavor and is rich in antioxidants. Some scientists even suggest that it can lower the risk of intestinal cancer.
Star fruit, as its name suggests, is shaped like a star. It is pale green or lemon coloured. Tangy and crunchy, it has a sweet-citrus flavour and is an interesting item to put in an internationalised fruit chaat! It is found in Indonesia, Sri Lanka.
- From HT Brunch, February 6
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