Our Nutritional Power section will be broken into a four part series that will cover a little sample of the best that summer has to offer. To kick off our series, we’ve focused on a “A Taste of the Tropics”. Our first installment features fruits that will whisk you away to soft, sandy beaches just by indulging in them!
Papaya is a spherical, pear shaped fruit that is believed to be native to Central America and Mexico. The edible seeds have a somewhat spicy taste to them (it’s reminiscent of black pepper). Papaya is not only super tasty but packed full of nutrients that aid in the health of both hair and skin. Potent enzymes present in papaya help to make it a great wrinkle reducer, skin moisturizer, and hair conditioner. Additionally, papaya as a part of your diet helps to prevent macular degeneration, boost immunity, and aid in digestion. Look for papayas that are mostly yellow and a little green to ripen at home. Papaya is fully ripe when it is bright yellow. To give the power of papaya a try, check out this recipe for Thai Green Papaya Salad.
Pineapple is probably the unofficial mascot of the tropics at this point. It pairs well with other ingredients but it can also stand alone and steal the show. Pineapple can be eaten fresh, juiced, cooked, and preserved and their leaves are even used some places for wallpaper and ceiling insulation. Pineapple is a powerhouse fruit. It is loaded with health benefits that help to enhance your quality of life. Pineapple has the ability to improve respiratory health, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and increase heart health, just to name a few. Picking the perfect pineapple is a pretty simple process: The bottom of the pineapple is where it is most fragrant, so if you detect a sweet scent wafting from it then you have a winner! If you don’t smell anything, the pineapple is most likely unripe. Pineapple also contains relatively low traces of pesticide residue, making it safe to consume through conventional farming methods. Try out this fun and fast salad recipe to reap the benefits of pineapple in a new and interesting way.
Mango is the final member of our Tropical fruit trio. Mango is actually a member of the stone fruit family and its origins can be traced to Southeast Asia. Some of the health benefits associated with mango include normalizing insulin levels in blood, alkalizing the whole body, clearing skin of clogged pores and acne, protection against heat stroke, and lowering of cholesterol levels. Ripe mangoes give off a fruity aroma at their stem ends and give a little bit when you place pressure on its skin with your fingers. The great part about mango is that it has two growth seasons: one in the spring/summer and one in the fall/winter. These overlapping seasons makes mangoes available all year round. This raw mango, lime, and coconut pudding is a great way to add more mango into your diet.