Healing Powers of Fruits
Since time immemorial, fruits, whether fresh or dried, have been a natural staple diet of human beings. Replete
with minerals, vitamins, enzymes, they are easily digestible. In some parts of the world, fruits serve as medicines
and can treat ailments.
Fruits, eaten raw or consumed as fresh juice, are excellent ways to retain and balance the moisture level in the
body. The low level of sodium in fruits plays an important role for people who would like to avail of a salt-free
Healing Powers Of Fruits
Recent scientific studies have also claimed that the naturally occurring antioxidants found in most fruits and
vegetable juices can help lower a person's risks of developing Alzheimer's disease.
In addition, fruits are known for their ability to promote detoxification in the human body. Fruits help to
cleanse the body, especially those with high acid levels.
Being a tropical country, fruits abound in the Philippines. They are available throughout the year and in any
parts of the country. One of this is the national fruit called mango. Reference to mangoes as the "food of the
gods" can be found in the Hindu Vedas. In the Philippines, the fruits are made into ice cream, pies, jams,
chutneys, drinks, preserves, brandy and vinegar.
Unripe mango is eaten with bagoong. Dried strips of sweet, ripe mangoes have also gained popularity both inside
and outside the country, with those produced in Cebu, making it to export markets around the world.
Dried mango flowers, containing 15 percent tannin, serve as astringents in cases of diarrhea, chronic dysentery,
and catarrh of the bladder. The bark possesses 16 percent to 20 percent tannin and has been employed for tanning
Mango kernel decoction and powder (not tannin-free) are used as vermifuges and as astringents in diarrhea,
hemorrhages and bleeding hemorrhoids. Extracts of unripe fruits and of bark, stems and leaves have shown antibiotic
activity. In some of the islands of the Caribbean, the leaf decoction is taken as a remedy for diarrhea, fever,
chest complaints, diabetes, hypertension and other ills. A combined decoction of mango and other leaves is taken
Another readily available health-packed fruits is the banana. Alexander the Great described this "heavenly
fruit" as something "that tasted like nectar sweetened in honey."
Nutrition experts claim that banana is low in protein, free of fats but high in energy. A fully ripe banana has
20-25 percent sugar. It has a significant amount of B-vitamins, especially B1 and B6. B1 is a brain tonic whereas
B6 relieves, in particular, uncomfortable symptoms of the pre-menstrual tension syndrome like irritability,
headaches, tender breasts, and water retention.
A recent survey undertaken in the United States has shown that many people suffering from depression felt much
better after eating banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts
into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
If you are having trouble with stress, potassium-rich banana can help you. Potassium is a vital mineral, which
helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body's water balance. When you are
stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of
a high-potassium banana snack.
Another fruit that you should eat is papaya. Its pulp is basically very sweet in taste, fiberless and
refreshing. Some liken the flavor to melon and apricot. It is used in salads, pies, sherbets, juices, jam, jelly
"Low in calories and full of nutrition, papaya has more vitamin C than an orange," says Amy Tousman, a
registered dietitian based in Hawaii. "It's loaded with vitamin A, potassium, folate and fiber. It also contains
lutein and zeaxanthin, substances which help protect our eyes from age-related blindness."
Likewise, papaya helps in the prevention of atherosclerosis, diabetes and heart disease. Folic acid found in
papaya is needed for the conversion of a substance called homocysteine, an amino acid. If unconverted, homocysteine
can directly damage blood vessel walls and if levels get too high, it is considered a significant risk factor to
heart attack and strokes.
Papaya is also a good source of fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels and helps in easing the discomforts
constipation. The fiber is able to bind to cancer toxins in the colon and keep them away from the healthy colon
In addition, vitamins C and E found in papaya are all associated with reduced risk of colon cancer. The pigment
in the fruit called carotene is similar to that of carrots and squash. Carotene in food is converted into vitamin
A, which promotes good eyesight. Papaya is also an ideal food for those with difficulty chewing and those who are
In Mindanao, particularly in Davao, one of the most popular fruits is the durian. The Muslims claim it
rejuvenates fertility (which is why is known as an aphrodisiac). It is called the king of fruits because in
Hindu-influenced; it was reserved only for royalty.
Durian, described as "the fruit that smells like hell but tastes like heaven," contains a high amount of sugar,
vitamin C, potassium, and the amino acid tryptophan, and is a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
In Malaysia, a decoction of durian leaves and roots are used as an antipyretic. The leaf juice is applied on the
head of a fever patient. Just a warning: Discover magazine reported an incident where a woman with preexisting
renal failure ate a durian and ended up critically ill from potassium overdose.
Another fruit grown mostly in Mindanao is the mangosteen. The fruit hull of mangosteen has been used for many
years as a medicine for treatment of skin infection, wounds, and diarrhea in Southeast Asia.
In her book, Fruits of Warm Climates, Julia F. Morton wrote: "Dried fruits are shipped from Singapore to
Calcutta and to China for medicinal use. The sliced and dried rind is powdered and administered to overcome
dysentery. Made into an ointment, it is applied on eczema and other skin disorders. The rind decoction is taken to
relieve diarrhea and cystitis and is applied externally as an astringent lotion. A portion of the rind is steeped
in water overnight and the infusion given as a remedy for chronic diarrhea in adults and children."
Outside Asia, mangosteen is completely unknown. Recently, however, the fruit receives some popularity in the
Western countries because of its medical properties. Dr. James Duke, who worked for the United States Department of
Agriculture for 35 years, mangosteen has over 138 beneficial properties including antioxidants and Xanthones, a
unique biological compound that can kill cancer cells.
Extensive research on mangosteen juice has been conducted in countries worldwide over the past years and
revealed the benefits gained from drinking mangosteen juice. Reportedly, mangosteen juice can combat Parkinson's
disease, fungal and viral ailments, aging and Alzheimer's disease. the healing powers of fruits can be a source of
healing for STD's.
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