Tropical fruits were once restricted to those lucky people who live in tropical climates. But with modern transport and modern refrigeration, they are now becoming much more readily available outside those areas. Those of us who live in more temperate climes can enjoy their wonderful taste and health benefits. The world is now discovering what those who live in the tropics have known for centuries, these fruits are a nutritional powerhouse.
Tropical fruits, as the name suggests have their origin in the tropics and require a tropical or subtropical climate to grow. They thrive in warm and humid conditions and don’t tolerate frost. This is the area centered on the equator that stretches from the Tropic of Cancer in the north to the Tropic of Capricorn in the south. Although some fruits will grow in warmer areas outside the tropics.
The list of fruits grown in tropical regions is huge with only a few well known outside their growing area. As their popularity grows, more and more are gradually finding their way into our supermarkets. Below is just a small list of tropical fruits. These are now readily available for most and all suitable for turning into delicious smoothies.
So sit back and imagine yourself lying on a far away beach enjoying warm tropical breezes and gently swaying palm trees sipping on a tropical fruit smoothie. Well, one can dream.
Tropical fruits are a great addition to a healthy diet. As well as being delicious they pack a nutritional punch.
Most are good sources of potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants which boost the immune system and prevent diseases. The orange and yellow fruits such as mango and papaya are good sources of beta-carotene.
Bananas are probably the most well known of the tropical fruits and one of the most popular in smoothies. One of the best sources of potassium, they are high in fiber, vitamin C and B6, and popular with athletes for a quick energy boost and to replenish electrolytes through dehydration.
Avocados are also popular and are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. They also contain the highest percentage of protein of any fruit.
Pomegranates are becoming known as a superfood with high levels of antioxidant-rich tannins and flavonoids. Traditionally used to reduce fevers, they are also beneficial in helping to prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce plaque in arteries and prevent heart disease.
1 cup peeled papaya chunks
1 cup peeled mango chunks
½ cup low-fat frozen yogurt
½ cup coconut milk
How to Make
Peel and dice a mango, then ditto with a papaya. Place the chopped mango, papaya, frozen yogurt and coconut milk into a blender. Blend for a minute or until smooth and creamy. Pour into 2 glasses and serve immediately.
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