Organic farmers home grown fresh produce are widely and extensively widespread all over the Philippines. The abundance of unlimited retail places designated for vendors, in the market place. Market shoppers can enjoy the full service of vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables.
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide us a web of health benefits. Providing us detoxification products, cleanse and fuel our body with nourishments. Eating healthily gives you valuable sources of energy, in sustaining the quality of your life. Healthy living meant healthy eating choices. Fruit and vegetable consumption is your vessel of protection against sickness and harmful diseases. Every type of colorful fruits and vegetables contains various sources of beneficial health nutrients.
Identify the vital sources of nutrition, by these following nutritious fruits listed below.
Mango – great sources of vitamin A, C and D. Mango, from its delectable fleshy cheeks bedazzle our eyes from green to orangey pink with blush of deep red and when totally ripe, bright yellow. One of the best tasting fruits ever. Everything are in it taste and texture. Philippine mango taste so good, we are obviously smitten by its succulent sweetnes and invigorating scents. Eaten bursting with ripeness, nibbling and gnawing gloriously is refreshing. Mango is rich in anti-oxidants. Eating mango protect your vision. Imported mango from various countries is available in Netherland, but quality-wise not as good as our very own Philippine mango. No wonder, mango still provokes our appetite. Delicious!
Banana – sources of vitamin A and carotene, vitamin C and B6. A high source in potassium, maintain blood pressure level. Variety of bananas are grown in the Philippines, these varieties differ in sizes, shapes and colors. Ideal for snack are the cooking banana (saba and gardaba) for banana cue and boiled banana. Daily consumption are known to protect against cardiovascular disease and chronic disease, also preventive measures against diabetes. Luckily, abundant supply of bananas are available all-throughout the year. The widely known Del Monte and Dole bananas imported globally from the Philippines
Pineapple – an exceptional source of vitamin B, C, thiamine and dietary fiber. The juicy sweetness of this vibrant fruit is tenderly sweet with its texture, so delicious! Pineapple juice is a refreshing fruit drink. High traces of minerals (manganese) and enzymes beneficial for energy build-up and its high anti-oxidants content will disarm free radicals. A large percentage earned for this agricultural product, hence a number of pineapple plantations in the Philippines, being the 2nd largest pineapple plantation in the world. The re-known Del Monte and Dole Fresh Produce and canned products. Del Monte Pineapple Plantation in Bukidnon, Cagayan De Oro, with its 20,000-hectare pineapple plantation in the Philippines, 700,000-ton processing and manufacturing production. Del Monte operates the worlds largest pineapple operation, growing and processing of more than 80 years. Del Monte launched range of International del Monte products including Fruit Drinks, Packaged Fruits and Preserves, Sauces and Ketchup. Del Monte Food Products and Fresh Produce is the best known product brands globally. Polomolok, South Cotabato 12,000 hectares pineapple plantation is home to Dole Philippines. Large part of Dole's pineapple products comes from the Philippines.
Calamansi--Lime (dalandan/ lemonsito/agridolce) I love it. A small rounded fruit, about 2 to 3 cm. in diameter. Calamansi juice, a popular drink for healthy minded people. Besides being a refreshing, nourishing and nutritious citrus drink, calamansi will provide you high content of vitamin C. Best medication for common colds and flu, a replacement for aspirin or pain-relieving tablets. Calamansi is highly rich in ‘’kinine’’ a well-known factor that can lower down fever. Also helps blood circulation and normalize digestion. Drinking between 3 to 6 glass of calamansi juice per day keeps the doctor away. A great repellant for insect bites, it takes the itch away. Depending on how you want it, squeeze 10 pieces of calamansi in a glass and mix with desired water. Calamansi used as a flavoring for various food preparations like steak and fish. Squeeze over your noodles (pansit) grilled fish (sinugba) and pickled fish (kinilaw) Mixing calamansi with soy sauce is a great dipping sauce. Also used as a secret ingredient for beverages, purees and concentrates. Calamansi is widely known in Philippines as a front yard or backyard tree.
Avocado –housed as the best source of vitamin E. An essential vitamin in maintaining your health.. Research study say, avocado is important in preventing aging and heart disease. Avocados have more carotene and than any other fruit, protect against cataracts and eye diseases. Avocado is similar to olive oil destroys pre-cancerous and cancerous cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed. Avocado helps lower cholesterol.
Jackfruit—Langka or Nangka, considered the largest and biggest fruit (depending on variety of jackfruit) can weigh up from 30 to 35 kilos of up to 34 inches long and 15 inch in diameter. The outer skin is either yellow or green when ripe. It has a tempting smell on its own just like mango and pineapple. Jackfruit contains vitamins and minerals, sources such as vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B6 and potassium. When eaten, it will instantly revitalize your body and replenished your energy. Jackfruit has its own natural sweetness. Protect against prostate, colon, heart, endometrial, pancreatic and lung cancer. Eating fresh jackfruit is an excellent source of magnesium, potassium and iron. Control heart rate and blood pressure.
Lanzones, contains vatamins C and E, a good source of powerful antioxidants properties. I’m intrigue with this fruit. With my list of Philippine fruits, Lanzones is one of them. Abundant from September to November. The texture of this translucent meat once peeled has distinctive tasty flavor. Lanzones is sweet and taste good, depending on quality and ripeness. The bigger size Lanzones has got a slightly bitter seed, whereas the smaller size gives you a lot of meat and the seeds is seemingly soft and not bitter. I guess I can eat a quarter kilo of lanzones in one setting.
Papaya –a long pear shape fruit (some variety are rounded in shape) Papaya’s sweet juicy flesh is either red or golden yellow when ripe. Papaya is rich in vitamin A, B, C, E, minerals and fiber. The enzyme of papaya helps aid digestive problems. The unripe papaya is used in cooking (hmmm....the tempting aroma of chicken soup with cut-up papaya & lemon grass or tanglad/tangad) Shredded unripe papaya are made into pickles (achara or kinilaw papaya goes well with lechon) Extracts of papaya are used by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Papaya is also a key ingredient for soaps, shampoos, lotions etc.
Chicos –(Sapodilla) packed with vitamin C, E and fiber. I consider this lovely delicious fruit as one of my favorite. In fact, another special fruit, to satisfy my cravings. The smooth light brown skin of Chicos is shapely attractive, eye -catching fruit. Fully ripe is amazingly sweet and juicy with a nice fragrant. Chicos is great for snack or desserts.
Guava – dubbed as the ‘’Superfruit’’ is an anti-aging fruit, it keeps skin glowing and wrinkle free. Guava is the richest source of vitamin C more than orange. Guava provides 160 mg of vitamin C while orange just 69 mg of vitamin C. Rich in vitamin A, C, B3, potassium and magnesium. Guava has the highest concentration of antioxidant to fight prostate cancer. Guava taste similar to a pear. Guava, also has anti-histamine properties, protects the skin from hives as well as eczema. It purifies the blood and lowers down cholesterol levels. Prevent asthma problems. Guava keeps your weight down and prevents obesity.
Watermelon—has a great source of vitamin A, C and B6. Watermelon, completely packed with all the nutrients your body needs. Practically all vitamins and minerals are in it. For snack, much better eating a serving or slices of watermelon, rather than chocolate chip cookies, cakes and other junkfoods.
Carambola—Star Fruit (Balimbing or Garnati) A lovely looking attractive fruit. Once sliced, resembles exactly like a 5 pointed star. The exotic look of Carambola, adds a beautiful setting in the fresh produce section in supermarkets (imported from Asia, it is available in Netherlands) Unripe skin is lime green then to bright yellow when ripe. Carambola, contains high source of vitamin C, potassium and also rich in dietary fiber. A refreshing crispy juicy fruit eaten with peeling just like apple. Sliced Carambola, are excellent for garnishing for fresh salads, cocktails, cakes, vegetables and fruit trays.
Rambutan—about 5 cm in diameter is a hairy-skin fruit. Rambutan tree bears fruit from May to September. Good source of vitamin C, calcium, protein and iron. Unripe Rambutan, yellowy-pink in color, ripe color turns to dark red, once sliced the white fleshy meat is very sweet.
Tambis--Makopa (in Tagalog) called “water apple” fruit, is a bell shape fruit, labeled as a thirst- relieving fruit. Tambis offers substantial source of vitamin C for healthy bones, muscles and teeth. Varieties come in small and larger variety, in white, pink, green and red. Keep in mind, red is the sweetest. The juicy tambis flesh, taste quite similar to a watermelon. Tambis or Makopa tree are everywhere in Philippines.
Duhat or Lumboy—Black Plum, oblong to round in shape. Size of duhat fruit is similar to olives or grape, color comes in deep purple or black. Duhat or Lumboy, rich in vitamin B and C. Bear fruits from May to June, which is such a pain-sticking job to harvest, considering you have to hand-picked them. Under the tree is messy leaving a purple stain. Be extra cautious eating them, as it will stain your clothes. The fermented fruits (hard to reach fruits which are right on top of the tree) attracts birds and other insects.
Tamarind— (Sampalok or Sambag) Tamarind, high source in Vitamin D and calcium. Tamarind tree grow up to 20 meters in height with its unique leaves that will close up at night. Tamarind fruit, size varies from 2 to 8 inches long, swirl-curved like a legume. Mature tamarind can be eaten but sour in taste. Fully ripe tamarind, shells are brittle and can be easily crack open with a sticky fiber edible flesh. Tamarind, commonly used to flavor preserves. The tamarind leaves are used as flavoring for fish and meat soup (called sinampalukan soup) Yummy sweet tamarind preserves (tamarindo) Leaves can be used in herbal tea, also quite an effective remedy for reducing malaria fever outbreak. Leaves and flowers boiled (or dried) medicate swollen joints, boils and sprain muscles. It can be used as antiseptics. Tamarind is an excellent remedy for gastric digestion problems and minor cardiovascular problems.
Durian—The King of Fruits, labeled with the name “love it or hate it’’ fruit because of its unusual smell. Anyone will be able to smell the Durian from 60 to 100 meters away. After you consume this fruit, the smell clings in your breath for a while. The smell will remain in your hands virtually for an hour, unless washed properly with soap and hand lotion straight after. Durian is quite big and can weigh between 8 to 10 pounds. The skin is thick and somewhat spiky-sharp. Asians are keen on this fruit. Durian tree bears fruit from May till August. Durian fruit is rich in minerals and protein.
Pomelo -- locally called Suha or Bo-ongon, the largest family member amongst citrus fruits. Pomelo , an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Pomelo, transparent snow-white flesh is sweet and juicy, depending on variety. Pomelo flesh varies in two colors of white and pink. Some can be mild in taste. Pomelo fruit is sweet and delectable. Chinese strongly believe that pomelo is a sign of good fortune and prosperity, if eaten regularly good things can happen. Pomelo weigh between 1 and 3 kilo.
Maintaining the quality of life and feeling good about yourself, the essential components of a healthy mind and sound body. Why not? take fruits for snack or dessert.
©Marilyn Ouano Gilsing (naga-cebu.com)