A Triple-Play: Fresh Fruit, Mood and Healing

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What could be more exciting than National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month?

Well, almost anything. However, nothing is more important than our health if we want to enjoy life.

The first and best line of defense against illness, including the mental variety, is a nutrient-rich diet.

Our bodies cannot manufacture serotonin and other mood-enhancing neurotransmitters from the amino acid tryptophan without the presence of B and C vitamins. Fresh fruits provide our body with B vitamins and vitamin C, plus healthy fiber and antioxidants.

Exploring and learning new things is also a good way to keep life interesting and our mood elevated, so here is a list of lesser-known fruits to consider trying. They may not be available where you live, but it is possible to order most anything via the Internet, or consider an excursion to your local produce market and see what surprises are there.

Five Lesser Known Fresh Fruits

  1. JABUTICABA is worth knowing just to say the name out loud. The word jabuticaba fills the mouth and rolls off the tongue like a lovely short poem. It is also a purple fruit that blossoms off the bark of its tree in South America. The taste is reported to be very sweet and similar to grapes. Like grapes, it is used to make liqueur and wine.
  2. DURIAN looks like the porcupine of fruits, and its thorny skin is said to have the perfume of an old gym bag. The unappetizing appearance is a ruse, hiding the flesh which was described by the naturalist Alfred R. Wallace as “a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds.” He makes this Southeast Asian fruit sound delicious enough to eat.
  3. MIRACLEFRUIT does not change water into wine, but if you mix its juice with the juice of sour fruits (e.g., limes, lemons), the sour juices magically taste sweet. There is a molecule in this fruit called, not surprisingly, miraculin, which alters the shape of our taste bud’s sweetness receptors. Miraclefruit is a native of West Africa. It is a red berry having the shape of a grape.
  4. AFRICAN HORNED CUCUMBERS appear to be spiky, yellow-gold, puffy versions of cucumbers. They are sometimes called “blowfish fruit.” Inside is a green, juicy flesh that is full of healthy fiber and vitamin C. This fruit is an African native and is reported to taste like a hybrid of zucchini and cucumber. It would probably work well in a smoothie.
  5. AGUAJEFRUIT is about the size of a small plum but more oblong. The yellow edible flesh is covered with red scales that need to be peeled away. This fruit is at home in the Amazon where people traditionally peel them by scraping the fruit across their bottom teeth. Utensils work as well. This fruit will provide you with plenty of vitamins A and C and can be fermented to make wine.

Nature as Teacher

Even when we take good care of ourselves, depression can occur and life has its sorrows. If you are feeling sad or grieving a loss, allow the nature of fruit to help you let go and heal.

Don't be ashamed to weep; 'tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.
~ Brain Jacques, "Taggerung"

Source: Mother Nature Network

 
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