Variety they say is the spice of life. True saying. More truer when you are talking of the joy in enjoying the different varieties of fruits mother earth has afforded mankind. Today we’ll be looking at Top 10 Varieties of Fruits in Nigeria and their health benefits.
Located in the tropics, Nigeria is home to varieties of fruits that sure spice our lives…
Honey sweet, super sweet, bitter sweet, sour, just name it and to crown it all, its all packed with nutrients that keeps you going and coming for more. You just can’t have enough.
Top ten Varieties of Fruits In Nigeria And Their Potential Health Benefits.
Below are top ten fruits that you can easily get in Nigeria and their potential health benefits. Enjoy!
African Star Apple
This is a fruit loved by many if not all in Nigeria, it has got a unique sweet-soar taste and packed with nutrients
Its in season usually around December down to April. The general practice is to let the fruit ripen and allowed to drop on its own, cause its at this point that you really enjoy the fruit.
If you are looking for a natural source of iron, calcium , vitamin C and A to snack on, then this soury sweet fruit is your go to.
Its also a friend to pregnant women who snacks on it to fight the urge to vomiting when experiencing morning sickness. It also has medicinal usages.
It can be found anywhere in the country especially southern part of Nigeria..
Black Velvet Tamarind (Dialium cochinchinense)
To me, velvet tamarind commonly known as amoogen (Benin locality) and Icheku by the Ibos of Nigeria is a natural candy which can be enjoyed by any body. Your child hood wasn’t really fun if you didn’t look forward to around December to January for that black velvety rapped orangey (when rip) natural candy to start coming out.
Nature is so smart that it takes a candy, rapped it within a black velvety rap and just hang it up there in a tree for us sweet toothers. This fruit can be juiced also to make a nice drink after soaking and its packed with health benefits your regular candies don’t offer like iodine, calcium, potassium etc. Common in the southern parts, and known as ucheku by the Ibos, but can be found all over the country.
It is known among other things to be very medicinal, because of its antimicrobial, anti inflammatory properties. It is use to cure malaria, fight ulcer, for oral health etc. Its also a very good source of antioxidants.
Hmmmm. Ébélébó (Benin city) or generally known as Almond fruit in most parts of the country. That small tasty little fruit of variable colours and taste that brings out the stone throwing skills in you back in the days. And ye, girls love them; some good stone throwers can get that baby everyone loves down. Lol.
This fruit is rich in proteins and amino acids, phytochemicals, and has be known to have medicinal properties also.
Some of the known benefits and uses of the tropical almond includes:
- It helps in brain development and it is especially recommended for children due to the presence of Riboflavin and L-carnitine.
- It helps in fighting constipation due to its rich fiber content
- It is good for keeping healthy heart as it contains good amounts of magnesium, folic acid and vitamin E which is an antioxidant.
- It is also known to have anti inflammatory, antihepatotocitic properties and also helps in blood sugar and pressure regulations.
- The nuts are also very rich and a good snack.
This fruit is mainly cultivated as an ornamental plant because of its broad leaves and shades, despite having the name apple, it is rather more related to the guava fruit than apple but with taste (though a little blander) and texture more like the apple. It is as healthy also, and nutrient pack with vitamin A, , niacin, riboflavin, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, potassium etc.
Regular consumption of this fruit gives you the following benefits:
- Cancer prevention
- Better digestion
- Diabetes control
- Improve heart health.
- Helps bladder health
- Helps improve bone health, etc.
With hundreds of varieties and their different colors and unique tastes, mango which is loved by many if not all is also a favourite for a lot of people. It can be eaten raw, barely ripened, well ripened, in salads, processed as juice or in salads.
However you want to enjoy this fruit, you will be getting lots of nutritional benefits, and these ranges from protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Because of its tastes and benefits, it has been called the king of fruits. And I totally agree.
Arguably one of the most common and popular fruits out there. Orange or sweet orange is of the citrus family among whom are sweet grapes, tangelo, tangerine, lemon, lime etc.
Orange is very good for all period of time, heat period, cool period, and its better enjoyed when chilled as in juiced form or sucked directly.
Orange is a good source of the C vitamin, and in fact, provides over 100% of your recommended daily. Not only that, it is also rich in B vitamins like B1 and B9 (folic acid), fiber, potassium, citric acid, anti-oxidants and flavonoids, all of which have immerse health benefit to the human body. It’s a common fruit that can be gotten anywhere in Nigeria.
Also known as cashew apple is a succulent fruit mostly priced for its nuts (not true nuts though) which makes for a good and healthy snack after being processed. The fruit itself is quite enjoyable because of its sweet juicy content.
Its is high in calories, vitamins, minerals Etc. It is now commercially cultivated mainly in the eastern and western parts of Nigeria, but can be found in markets nationwide while in season.
This is well loved fruit that can be enjoyed juiced, in salads or just eaten fresh. It is incredibly tasty and nutrient dense.
The nutrient profile boast of high vitamin C content, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, Niacin, foliat , thiamine etc, with all the health benefits in one fruit…. Yummy!.
This fruit can be gotten readily anytime at vegetable markets nationwide.
Soursop (also called Graviola of the Custard Apple family).
This fruit is one of my favorite, maybe because it’s a blend (in taste) of my other 2 very loved fruits namely mango and pineapple, with a leaning towards coco fruit pulps.. Yummy yummy!
Apart from the Amazing taste and texture, soursop comes packed with amazing nutrient and health benefits like:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin C
Not only that, it is known to have anti cancer benefit, is a good immunity booster as it is loaded with antioxidants, helps in blood pressure regulation, has anti-inflammatory properties and other health benefits .
Its in markets most part of the year.
This has to appear on my list cause its quite unique in that avocado is arguably the only fruit that provides a substancial and healthy amount of health giving monounsaturated fatty acid. Its my natural healthy margarine or butter.
Packed with multivitamins, beta carotene, folate potassium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, it is known to be beneficial to the heart, osteoporosis prevention, sight health, cancer prevention, aids digestion, help to fight depression etc.
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