by Kimberly Allen R.N.
When I came to Honduras I discovered there are many fruits that are very beneficial for health maintenance that I’d never heard of.
The guayaba, which is also grown in Fla and Ca has a reputation locally as a ‘miracle’ fruit. It is higher in vitamin C than an orange. There’s 80mg of vitamin C in 100mg of fruit. The fruit is very sweet and popular with the locals. Guayaba has been shown to relieve diarrhea, kill bacteria and fungi as well as relieve pain. It is also used frequently in Peruvian herbal medicine for the treatment of a wide variety of gastrointestinal disorders as well as hemorrhages and pain. In Brazil the guayaba is used as an astringent. The guayaba also has significant vitamin A and is a good source of pectin, a dietary fiber. The leaf and bark of the guayaba tree are also beneficial and used for many different medicinal purposes including topical ointments and creams for the skin.
The Borojo is another fruit found in this area of the world that is not only high in nutritional value but also has many medicinal purposes. It’s most common uses are as a high energy source and natural aphrodisiac. The high levels of phosphorous stimulate the cellular activity thus increasing hormone generation of all types developing increased sexual power. It also has diuretic properties that assist in management of hypertension. Diabetics that include borojo in their diet are able to stabilize and maintain their blood sugar.
The mango though high in calories is also high in a variety of other nutrients critical to achieving and maintaining good health. It has high levels of antioxidant compounds known as poly-phenolic flavonoids. There have been several studies that have suggested that these compounds found in the mango offer protection against several cancers, especially breast and colon cancers. As much as 25% of the RDAof vitamin A is found in 100g of fruit. The vitamin A along with the flavonoids like the carotene’s help vision and is known to help protect against lung or oral cancers. The leaves and bark of it’s tree is also used for medicinal purposes.
The Noni for me is by far the most fascinating of the local fruit. It’s ugly, looks like a waxy white potato, it smells bad and tastes bitter. When I asked the locals about the noni they called it the ‘medicine’ fruit and said it was good for the stomach. Then when I started looking into the noni fruit I was amazed at how diverse the uses of this plant and its fruit are. The medicinal properties are extensive and range from treating cancer to skin conditions. In fct because of the diversity of its distinct physiological conditions many conventional physicians dismiss the reports of noni’s ability as folk tales that are unsubstantiated. However, the noni fruit is used widely in holistic medicine and Ayruveda. There continues to be much research done on the extracts of noni. Research done at a university in France showed that the analgesic properties of noni alleviated many types of pain and that moderate doses of noni were 75% as effective as an equal amount of morphine sulphate.
It is possible to obtain extracts from these plants and their fruit on line or at health stores, but as always it’s important to research any new product you are considering adding to your diet and health maintenance regime.
Kimberly Allen is a registered nurse with an AND in nursing. She has worked in ACF, LCF and psychiatric facilities, although she spent most of her career as a home health expert. She is now a regular contributor to HealthAndFitnessTalk.com, dispensing advice and knowledge about medical issues and questions. You can reach her with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.