Tropical Fruits

Juicing Tropical Fruits for health

Tropical fruits are fruits grown in the tropical regions of the world, which include some parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, Northern and Southern America. These countries have a characteristic warmer all year-round climate, with an average temperature range of between 77 to 820F. They also have only two seasons, a dry season, and a wet/rainy season. These weather conditions favor the cultivation of a variety of fruits that are tasty and very nutritious (1).

Tropical Fruit

Pineapple (Ananas comosus), papaya (Carica papaya) and mango (Mangifera indica) are three of the most popular tropical fruits widely consumed around the world (2). They are made up of more than 80% water, at least 15% carbohydrates, and very small amounts of proteins and fats. However, they contain lots of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and folate (3, 4, 5).

Juicing is the process of extracting juice from fresh fruits and vegetables. It can range from manual squeezing with hand to using a household juicer to large scale extraction with sophisticated industrial machines. The two common types of juicers are cold press juicers and centrifugal juicers. Cold press juicers masticate/crush and press fruits slowly, to permit as much juice to be extracted as possible. Centrifugal juicers have cutting blades that grind fruits in to a pulp via a high-speed spinning action. Solid matter such as the pulp and seeds are removed and separated from the juice in the juicing process.

Importance of juicing

  1. Juicing provides juice with higher nutritional value as the process involves minimal or no processing, as such many nutrients are not degraded. Traditional fruit juice processing involving pasteurization and other thermal treatments degrade the nutrients in the juice, reducing nutritional value (6, 7).

  2. Juices supplement the diet with essential nutrients. Since many people do not meet their recommended daily nutrient needs, consuming fruit juices can make up for some missing and/or suboptimal nutrients. Papaya for example is a very rich source of vitamin C, providing about 75% of the daily recommended value, per 100g (4). Therefore, consuming papaya juice is one way of increasing vitamin C intake.

  3. Pure fruit juices are loaded with bioactive compounds like phenols and vitamin C that are potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that boost the immune system. Mango juice can potentially act as a functional food capable of reducing the risk of obesity that is correlated with adiposity and inflammation (8).

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that sequesters free radicals which damage cells and cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a risk factor for the development of many chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease (9).

Pineapple juice contains bromelain, an enzyme which prompts the body to fight pain and decrease swelling. As such it is used in treating inflammation such as sinuses, gum swelling, nose swelling, and sports related injuries. It can also reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis (10).

  1. Eases fruit consumption. Juicing is an easier way to consume fruits in adequate quantities. It is also a more convenient way to eat a variety of fruits as one can mix various fruits to give a cocktail, which is flavorful, tasteful, and more nutritious. Since some fruits may be very nutritive but not very tasteful, juicing a cocktail is a great way to easily consume them alongside other more tasteful fruits.

 

Tropical fruits are nutrient rich fruits that can supplement our diets and make up for missing nutrients. Juicing them, makes them even easier to consume and so in large quantities sufficient to meet daily dietary recommendations. However, it should be noted that juicing reduces fiber intake from these fruits, since the pulp is separated from the juice. As such it is advised to consume other fiber rich foods and vegetables to cover for dietary fiber needs.

WORD COUNT (627)

REFERENCES

  1. Tropics. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2022, from Nationalgeographic.org website: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/tropics/print/

  2. Editorial. (2019, January 19). Properties of tropical fruits. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from Botanical online website: https://www.botanical-online.com/en/food/tropical-fruits

  3. FoodData central. (n.d.-a). Retrieved April 2, 2022, from Usda.gov website: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169124/nutrients

  4. FoodData central. (n.d.-b). Retrieved April 2, 2022, from Usda.gov website: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169926/nutrients

  5. FoodData central. (n.d.-c). Retrieved April 2, 2022, from Usda.gov website: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169910/nutrients

  6. Khaksar, G., Assatarakul, K., & Sirikantaramas, S. (2019). Effect of cold-pressed and normal centrifugal juicing on quality attributes of fresh juices: do cold-pressed juices harbor a superior nutritional quality and antioxidant capacity? Heliyon, 5(6), e01917. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01917

  7. Wolbang, C. M., Fitos, J. L., & Treeby, M. T. (2008). The effect of high pressure processing on nutritional value and quality attributes of Cucumis melo L. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies: IFSET: The Official Scientific Journal of the European Federation of Food Science and Technology, 9(2), 196–200. doi:10.1016/j.ifset.2007.08.001

  8. Natal, D. I. G., Rodrigues, K. C. da C., Moreira, M. E. de C., de Queiróz, J. H., Benjamin, L. dos A., dos Santos, M. H., … Martino, H. S. D. (2017). Bioactive compounds of the Ubá mango juices decrease inflammation and hepatic steatosis in obese Wistar rats. Journal of Functional Foods, 32, 409–418. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2017.03.023

  9. Senoner, T., & Dichtl, W. (2019). Oxidative stress in cardiovascular diseases: Still a therapeutic target? Nutrients, 11(9), 2090. doi:10.3390/nu11092090

  10. Bromelain. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2022, from NCCIH website: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/bromelain

Back to blog