TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUITS AND HUMAN HEALTH

S.K. Mitra, H.L. Devi, S. Debnath
Fruit is a rich natural source of valuable nutritional constituents and calories and thus plays a most significant role in human nutrition. Essential minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and dietary fiber are available in sufficient quantity and quality from fruits. The important vitamins in fruits are ascorbic acid (vitamin C), riboflavin, vitamin A, thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid and vitamin E. Calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium are the important minerals available from fruits. However, each kind of fruit is unique in its composition. Banana yields highest calories per unit area and takes least time for digestion. Cashew nut is rich in protein (21.2%) while mango and papaya lead in vitamin A content. Bael fruit is rich in riboflavin while Barbados cherry and aonla are rich in vitamin C. Litchi is rich in calcium. Fruit is unique as a healthy food because it does not contain cholesterol, compared to many forms or sources of food. The amount of quality fiber present in many tropical and sub-tropical fruits is another important constituent. It prevents constipation, reduces cholesterol levels, improves bowel movement, rejuvenates digestive system and hence helps fight obesity, high blood pressure and heart diseases. Fruits are the rich source of natural bioactive substances called “phytochemicals” and “antioxidants” that have the property to prevent oxidative chain reaction by removal of free radicals’ intermediates and even being oxidized themselves. Research suggests that phytochemicals, working together with nutrients found in fruits, may help slow the aging process, reduce cell damage, stimulate the immune system and reduce the risk of many diseases. This paper will discuss the health benefits of tropical and sub-tropical fruits.
Mitra, S.K., Devi, H.L. and Debnath, S. (2014). TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUITS AND HUMAN HEALTH. Acta Hortic. 1024, 39-47
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1024.2
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2014.1024.2
riboflavin, thiamine, vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemical
English

Acta Horticulturae