If you’re tired of eating kale, blueberries, and leafy greens, take note. A recent article written by Chris Kilham in Bottom Line Personal, May 15, 2014, touts some strange (to me), exotic fruits that pack a super-nutritional punch. I’ve found a few at Whole Foods and farmers markets, but I think Safeway and Fyrs have some of these. 1). Aronia, aka chokeberry, is actually native to the U.S. This fruit actually has more antioxidants than blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries. Research suggests that chokeberries lower blood sugar, and compounds in the berries have been linked to tumor inhibition, including tumors of the breast, colon, and skin. Chokeberries are also high in catechins like green tea. Catechins reduce arterial inflammation and the risk for clots. They are a bit tart, so a bit of honey or stevia   works great. They are also great in smoothies. 2). Buriti is a fruit from a palm tree in the Amazon, and soaking in water opens up the taste. Blended it makes a great drink. Buriti has high levels of carotenoids which become vitamin A in the body, along with forms of vitamin E. Both of these nutrients protect the heart and some cancers. 3). Dragon Fruit looks weird on the outside, but the inside is filled with what looks like poppy seeds. It kind of tastes like a cross between kiwi fruit and a melon. Dragon fruit is rich in catechins and lycopene (men listen up-lycopene reduces the risk for prostate cancer). 4). Gac, from Vietnam, has deep, reddish-orange flesh, and contains high levels of beta-carotene, the same nutrient in a carrot. Except Gac has 10 times more. Gac is also loaded with zeaxanthin (macular degeneration) and lycopene, with about 70 times more than that in a tomato. I have not tasted Gac, but its flavor has been compared to a slightly sweet cucumber. 5). Acai Berry is from Brazil. I’ve not eaten the fruit, but I drink 4 oz. of juice every day with my vitamins. Acai is rich in anthocyanins, which reduce premature cell aging and intestinal inflammation. Anthocyanins are common in many red and purple fruits, but acai has far more.

Food that’s good for you doesn’t have to taste bad. Nature makes good stuff to nurture you. You’ll feel better when you include them in your diet.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.