Tuesday, October 24, 2017
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Super fruits - 3rd edition

Discover all super fruits from the Dominican RepublicThe Dominican Republic has so many fantastic beautiful tasty fruits that we’ve decided to make a series on them showcasing their health benefits. This is the third edition highlights two very well-known fruits as well as one quite obscure yet very tasty vegetable.

 

 

 

Sweet sweet pineapplePineapple or Pina
This fantastically sweet fruit is probably the first fruit people think of when they imagine the tropics.  The pineapple, which is actually made up of many individual berries fused together around a central core, looks good, smells great and tastes even better.

Cut up a pineapple in small pieces and enjoy it with yoghurt, in a smoothie or just on its own. Or add it to a savory dish to give it a tropical touch.

Where do they grow
Pineapples grow on plants with spiky sword-like leaves close to the ground. Driving from Santiago to Santo Domingo, you’ll see extensive fields with just pineapples. It is an important export commodity of the Dominican Republic these days and many of the sugar cane fields have now been turned over to pineapple plantations.

The good stuff inside
Pineapples have lots of vitamin C, which helps against such problems as heart disease and joint pain, and can help promote better eye health. These tropical treats also have high amounts of manganese, which is important for antioxidant defenses, as well as elevated amounts of thiamin, a B vitamin that is involved in energy production.


Delicious bananasBanana or Guineo
Bananas are thought to combat depression, make you smarter, cure hangovers, relieve morning sickness, and protect against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and blindness. They can cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes. And in the Dominican Republic we have loads of them. They grow all year round and are probably the most eaten fruit on the island.

Eat them plain or add them to your juices, smoothies, cornflakes, yoghurt and anything else you can think off that you want to sweeten up your snacks to brighten your day.

Where do they grow
Bananas grow in bunches upside down from a banana tree anywhere in the tropics. The tree is not much of a tree but more of an extremely fast growing plant. The bananas sometimes weigh too much for the trunk and the tree breaks in two.

The good stuff inside
Bananas are rich in vitamins including B6, which helps reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and the production of white blood cells. Also rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body. Before a strenuous workout eat two bananas to sustain your blood sugar. Bananas can also help when you are constipated as the high fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility. In the opposite case bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea.

Good to know
The banana peel can help remove a wart simply by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place. Need a quick shine on your leather shoes or handbag? Rub the inside of a banana peel on the item in question and polish with a dry cloth.


Chayote: a great source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitaminsChayote or Tayota
Chayote is actually a vegetable and is used a lot in local kitchens as seasoning for fish or meat dishes. Before it is peeled and served the chayote is like a hard green pear with short prickles on its outside skin. It is peeled, cut into strips and boiled. It has a light taste and is whitish in color, and will absorb other flavors easily if cooked with other veggies or meats.  It can also be eaten raw in salads.

Where do they grow
Chayota pears grow on vines running along fences, plants and even trees.

Health benefits
This veggie is very low in calories and high in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins, which is why it is often recommended by dietitians as a great vegetable for weight loss programs. It also is a great source of minerals.

Good to know
The sap is also used in the Dominican Republic as a cough remedy where the fruit is cut into slices and sugared overnight to release the sap.

Click here if you've missed the first edition of Dominican Super Fruits.

Click here if you've also missed the second edition of Dominican Super Fruits.

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