Mangosteen, Bayberry, and Other Exotic Fruits Consumed in China

Cut white-fleshed dragon fruit.

Dragon fruit has a crunchy texture. (Image: via Pixabay)

The Chinese have a fondness for exotic fruits. During your travels to the Asian nation, it is possible that you might come across a few of them.

5 exotic fruits you must definitely try when in China

1. Dragon fruit

These exotic fruits are basically the fruit variation of a cactus plant species. Dragon fruit has a crunchy texture. The skin is bright red and unpalatable. It is rich in antioxidants like betaxanthins and betacyanins, which are known to neutralize the free radicals in the body, thereby minimizing cell damage. Dragon fruit has a strong prebiotic effect on the body, which provides nourishment for the gut bacteria and enhances digestion. They are also rich in omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids.

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One study looked at how dragon fruit affects the blood glucose levels in people suffering from prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. “The analysis examined multiple clinical trials comparing the effects of dragon fruit with a placebo in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Its authors conclude that the dragon fruit’s effect on fasting plasma glucose in people with prediabetes was significant. They also found that the more dragon fruit a person eats, the greater the blood sugar benefits can be,” according to Medical News Today.

2. Mangosteen

Mangosteen has white meat inside. (Image: taboty via Pixabay)

These exotic fruits, although they are named mangosteen, are no relation to the mango. They have thick purple skin that feels hard. On peeling it, you will find white meat that tastes like a combination of vanilla and strawberry. The rind of the fruit is said to contain Xanthones, which can help in alleviating inflammation and pain. Applying a paste of dried rind powder mixed with water on the skin is believed to make you look younger.

3. Durian

Durian iis one of China's exotic fruits that has an unpleasant smell.
Durian has an unpleasant smell. (Image: truthseeker08 via pixabay)

The durian is one of the smelliest of the exotic fruits and will definitely make you take cover. However, once you eat the fruit, you will be amazed at how sweet it tastes. Studies have shown that eating durian can help in fighting cancer, keep blood sugar levels low, prevent the onset of heart diseases, and fight bacterial and fungal infections.

However, you should never eat durian while drinking alcohol since it can cause several health issues. “Scientists believe that sulfur-like compounds in durian may prevent certain enzymes from breaking down alcohol, causing increased alcohol levels in your blood. This could lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and heart palpitations,” according to Healthline.

4. Bayberry

These exotic fruits have a furry texture on the outside and are colored reddish-purple. They have a sweet and sour taste similar to that of a pomegranate. The majority of the health benefits of the fruit can be attributed to its astringent effects. In the U.S., they are generally called “yumberries.”

“Infections of the digestive tract typically produce some of the most common signs that you might benefit from bayberry extract. These signs primarily include chronic gastritis and diarrhea, but digestive infections may also cause colitis and nausea. Internal inflammatory conditions may benefit from bayberry, especially if they affect the digestive tract,” according to Xtend Life.

5. Persimmon

Exotic fruits like the persimmon are delicious.
Persimmon is one of the most delicious fruits. (Image: Marco Verch via Flickr)

When ripe, this is probably the most delicious of the exotic fruits on the list. You might mistake it for an orange tomato at first. When you taste it, you’ll feel a burst of flavor filling your mouth. It tends to give a sweet and sour taste. Being high in Vitamin A, persimmons can help in improving vision. The shibuol and betulinic acid strengthen the cancer-fighting properties of the fruit.  

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