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A Living 'Farmacy' in 20 Florida Fruits

Florida yards and gardens offer a plethora of growing opportunities for individuals that want to eat fresh from a living pharmacy every day. These 20 fruits offer a bumper crop of vitamins, flavonoids, which act as antioxidants, minerals and more than 25,000 phytonutrients that may help prevent disease and keep the body working properly.

Avocadoes are a good source of glutathione, an antioxidant that prevents aging, cancer, and heart disease. They are also a source of vitamin E.

Bananas contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6, as well as tryptophan, an amino acid that plays a role in preserving memory and boosting mood.

Blueberries, considered number one in the world of antioxidants, contain anthocyanin, selenium, vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, among others.

Eggfruit, with a texture that resembles an egg yolk (soft, starchy, and somewhat creamy) is commonly referred to as canistel. It is rich in niacin, iron, calcium, beta-carotene and ascorbic acid.

Jackfruit is high in potassium and contains phytonutrients, with health benefits ranging from anti-cancer to lowering blood pressure.

Jaboticaba contains lots of protein and calcium, as well as iron and phosphorus. It is very high in vitamin C and some B vitamins. New studies are being done on the effectiveness of this fruit for fighting cancer, because it contains many anticancer compounds.

Limes contain a large amount of vitamin C and Flavonoids, class-1 antioxidants with antibiotic and disinfectant properties.  A glass of warm water with a full lime’s worth of juice is a weight reducer as well as refreshing antioxidant drink

Lychees are an exotic tropical delight that contains and high levels of vitamin C as well as, B vitamins, potassium, thiamin, niacin, folate, and copper.

Longans are high in iron, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C, used by the Chinese as a blood tonic to build energy (qi), calm the mind, support the spleen, support the qi of the heart and to add luster and beauty to the skin.

Mangoes are rich in vitamin A and flavonoids, as well as B vitamins and potassium. Considered the “king of fruit”, mangoes also contain considerable potassium.

Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as a variety of phytochemicals and flavonoids. They have high levels of vitamin A and contain some minerals such as potassium and calcium.

Papayas contain papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins. They are also a rich source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals potassium and magnesium; as well as fiber.

Olives are high in a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. In addition to vitamin E, olives contain a variety of beneficial active phytonutrient compounds including polyphenols and flavonoids, which appear to have significant anti-inflammatory properties.

Sapotes, which contain a good amount of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin A, are available in several varieties. The flesh of the white sapote is filled with vanilla aromatics. It is nectar is sweet with notes of banana and pear and its texture tender and custard-like.

Mamey sapote pulp is salmon pink, orange, red, dark red or reddish-brown in color, from soft and smooth to finely granular in texture, usually low in fiber. The pulp has a sweet, almond-like, unique flavor.

Black sapotes are also known as “the chocolate pudding fruit”. A healthier alternative to the real deal, they are lower in fat and contain about four times as much vitamin C as the orange.

Soursop has a delicious white pulp, with tones of fruit candy and smooth cream. The flesh of the fruit can speed the healing of wounds by using it as a poultice. A decoction of the young shoots or leaves is regarded as a remedy for gall bladder trouble, as well as coughs, catarrh, diarrhea, dysentery, fever and indigestion.

Star fruit, also known as carambola, provides 76 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C in a one-cup serving. The fruit also contains dietary fiber, copper, pantothenic acid and potassium, as well as B-complex vitamins like folates, riboflavin, and vitamin B6.

Strawberries contain the flavonoid quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory that can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and fight against free radicals, as well as decrease inflammation. The fiber and high potassium levels in strawberries also support heart health.

Pomelos are considered citrus fruit and contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin B6 and magnesium.  

Sapodillas are a popular tropical fruit in line with mango, banana and jackfruit. The fruit is rich in antioxidant polyphenolic compound tannin, which studies suggest possess astringent properties that are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-parasitic. The fruit is also a good source of minerals such as potassium, copper, iron and vitamins like folate, niacin and pantothenic acid.

Persimmons are a powerhouse phytonutrients, flavonoids and antioxidants such as of vitamin A and vitamin C, plus excellent amounts of manganese. They are also are an excellent source of fiber, B-complex vitamins, copper and phosphorus.

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