Tropical Fruits: How and Why You Should Include Them In Your Diet 

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Whether you’re aware of it or not, you must have tried at least one or two tropical fruits and vegetables at home or family gatherings. But are you unsure of their health benefits and how you can prepare tropical fruit dishes?

Fret not, because this blog will give you a tropical fruits list, including the most famous ones, their benefits, and how you can easily incorporate them into your diet.

What Are Tropical Fruits?

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Tropical fruits and vegetables grow in hot and humid areas of Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Oceania. Examples of tropical fruits include papaya, mango, banana, guava, and pineapple. They are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fibers.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend these fruits for a well-balanced diet. They can also help prevent diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and even some types of cancer.

Top 8 Tropical Fruits and their Benefits

Some of the most famous tropical fruits include mango, papaya, pineapple, mangosteen, and guava. Refer to the tropical fruits list below to appreciate these fruits more.

1. Mango

Mango

Mangoes are high in vitamins A and C. They contain cancer-fighting antioxidants. You can eat them fresh or create different desserts out of them.

In Singapore and Hong Kong, mango puddings and jellies are popular. Meanwhile, in Thailand, you can enjoy the ripe fruit with sticky rice and coconut milk. In Jamaica, the fruits’ leaves are brewed into tea to help with coughs and asthma.

2. Papaya

Papaya

In Asia, papayas are usually eaten after a meal as it helps facilitate digestion. It is also rich in antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids, which possess powerful antioxidant functions. 

3. Pineapple

Pineapple

This juicy fruit is packed with vitamin C. It contains a protein-digesting enzyme known as bromelain, helping ease digestion. While you can eat it fresh, you can also enjoy it with different types of salad.

4. Mangosteen

Mangosteen

Mangosteen grows in different parts of Southeast Asia, like Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore and tropical South American countries, like Puerto Rico and Colombia. This tropical fruit is also a good source of antioxidants. As it is high in fiber, you can eat it to aid digestive problems.   

5. Guava

Guava

Guava is native to tropical America. The fruit is an excellent source of essential nutrients like iron, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. You can eat it fresh, add it to salads, or consume it as jams, jellies, or juices.

6. Banana

Banana

Bananas are full of potassium and vitamins A, B, and C. This famous tropical fruit also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps regulate feelings of wellness and happiness. Tropical bananas, particularly the small ones, are sweet.

7. Starfruit

Starfruit

Among all tropical fruits, starfruit or carambola possesses one of the lowest calorie content. Starfruit is abundant in vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, and fiber. It also contains potassium, zinc, and iron.

You can eat it fresh or drink it as a juice. In traditional Chinese medicine, this tropical fruit is used to treat coughs and sore throats.

8. Dragonfruit

Dragonfruit

We can probably all agree that when it comes to the looks, the dragonfruit or pitaya, is the absolute superstar. Because of its high fiber content and additional nutrients such as Vitamin C and Magnesium, it is also one of the healthiest tropical fruits. 

Top 3 Tropical Fruit Dishes or Drinks

The possibilities of preparing tropical fruit dishes, desserts, and drinks seems endless. Here’s three of them to help get you started: 

1. Cashew Mango Grilled Chicken

Mango Grilled Chicken

For this family-friendly dish, you only need to prepare the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of chopped mango chutney
  • 1/4 cup of cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup of chopped, lightly salted cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large mango (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

Once ready, mix together the main ingredients. Then, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper flakes. Place on an oiled grill rack with medium heat. Grill chicken, covered, until a thermometer reads 170 degrees, 6-8 minutes per side, brushing with chutney mixture during the last 5 minutes. Serve with mango and top with cashews.

2. Honey-Roasted Pineapple

Honey Roasted Pineapple

For this dessert, you only need 2 ripe golden pineapples, 1 cup of fresh orange juice, and 1/2 cup of honey. Simply take these steps:

  1. Peel the pineapple, quarter lengthwise, and take out the core. After cutting each pineapple quarter into three long, thin wedges, transfer them to a large bowl. Combine the orange juice with 1/4 cup of the honey and heat for about 15 seconds or until warm. Then, pour the juice over the pineapple and let stand for half an hour while stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and then line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. You can then drain the pineapple wedges and put them in one layer on the baking sheets. Set aside the juices for another purpose.
  3. For 10 minutes or until tender, roast the pineapple wedges. Halfway through, shift the pans from top to bottom or front to back. Put the pineapple wedges on a platter and drizzle with the other 1/4 cup of honey. Serve warm.

3. Tropical Smoothie

Tropical Smoothie

For this smoothie, you only need the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1/2 large mango
  • 1/2 cup peach nectar
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Make sure to use nectar and not juice to get the right thickness in this smoothie. You can also use passionfruit or apricot as an alternative to peach.

All you need to do is slice the banana and put it in a blender together with the other ingredients: pineapple, mango, peach nectar, and ice. Then, puree until you get a smooth texture.

Choosing Tropical Fruits For a Healthier You

Eating tropical fruits and vegetables is more beneficial than we think. With all the vitamins and minerals that tropical fruits like mango, banana, and pineapple offer, you shouldn’t hesitate to add them to your diet.

Use the tropical fruits list and recipes above or check out our website to learn more ways to achieve your health goals!