Health Benefits of 10 Exotic Fruits in Thailand

May 8, 2019 | Food, Healthy Living, Lifestyle

Everywhere you go in Thailand, you will be met with plenty of fruit stands in almost every corner. The bright colors and shapes of these exotic fruits will attract your attention and call you to stop in your tracks and take a moment to divulge your senses in their sweet aroma and delicious flavors.

Thailand is blessed with a hot tropical climate and fertile plains – which make for the perfect land and environment to grow just about any kind of fruit available to man.

When you find yourself in Thailand, you must never leave your vacation without trying these 10 exotic fruits:

#1. Mangosteen

Mangosteen is called “Mang-Kut” in Thai and considered to be the Queen of Fruits. It is known for its “cooling” effect compared to other Thai popular fruits that have a “heating” effect on the body. The husk or rind is a leathery purple shell and once opened, 4-8 segments of seeds covered in an edible white texture are revealed.

Health Benefits: Highly Nutritious, Rich in Powerful Antioxidants, May Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties, May Have Anticancer Effects, May Promote Weight Loss, Supports Blood Sugar Control, Promotes a Healthy Immune System, Helps Maintain Healthy Skin.

#2. Rambutan

Called “NgoR” in Thai, this golf-sized, tiny red fruit is covered with “Velcro” hairs and when cracked open by squeezing it between your palms, reveals a seed covered with a white and translucent texture. You eat the fruit by chewing off the white texture off the seed, giving you a sweet and cool flavor with a mildly acidic taste. The best rambutans in Thailand come from the Surat Thani province where they were first planted in 1926.

Health Benefits: Decreases unwanted fat, Source of iron, Skin and hair care, Rich in Vitamin C, Improves sperm quality, Anti-Cancer.

#3. Pomelo

Pomelo is known as “Som-o” in Thailand and it’s a large and heavy citrus fruit that can be as large as a basketball. The rind is thick and leathery and once opened, reveals several segments that are grouped together. These can either be sweet or bitter and are best eaten fresh with salt or spicy dip.

Health Benefits: Urinary Tract Infection, Heart Health, Infections, Fights Cancer, Benefits for Skin, Benefits for Hair

#4. Durian

This is one of the most popular tropical fruits in the world, mainly due to its sweet or foul aroma – depending on who you ask. They say that you either love or hate the fruit as it has a powerful smell and flavor. Westerners particularly are aghast at the fruit’s aroma which can be smelled from yards away. However, Thais love the fruit’s smell and taste, which has a custard, creamy, smooth texture. Durian or known as “Turian” in Thailand, is a popular aphrodisiac as it has an uncanny ability to increase the body’s temperature.

Health Benefits: A good source of energy, Acts as a natural anti-depressant, For healthy bones and teeth, Aids in delaying aging, For a healthy digestive system, Maintaining blood sugar levels, Maintaining blood pressure levels, Beneficial for Anaemic patients, Helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, For a better libido.

#5. Rose Apple

Known as Chom-Poo in Thailand, Rose Apple resembles a small red apple but bell-shaped. It is similar in texture to apple but sweeter and most commonly eaten raw with salt or mixed in a spicy salad.

Health Benefits: Control Diabetes, Aid in Digestion, Reduce Toxicity, Anti-cancer Potential, Cholesterol and Heart Health.

#6. Lychee

The Thais call this fruit “Lihjee” and it’s bright red and has the size of a golf ball, but instead of dimples on the latter, features pimples on the rind. It looks like a rambutan without the hairs or a plump and dry strawberry.

Once opened, it reveals a white texture that covers a single seed. Lychee is only available for a few months each year but are easily canned and made into a popular fruit shake flavor.

Health Benefits: Disease-Fighting Flavonoids, Antioxidant Protection, Heart Health, Blood Regulation, Rutin, Anti-Inflammatory Benefits, Vitamin C, Mitochondrial Health, Anti-Viral Activity, More Antioxidant Power Than Vitamin C.

#7. Coconut

One of the most nutritious fruits in Thailand, coconuts are available all year round and are known well for their refreshing water. The meat can be mixed with coconut water or eaten separately. Coconut milk is made when the meat is grated and mixed with water. Coconut oil is also popular for frying food, for cosmetics, medicine, and even bio-fuel. A lot of dishes are also made with coconut milk, which is a staple in many Southern Thai foods.

Health Benefits: Good Source of Several Nutrients, May Have Antioxidant Properties, May Have Benefits Against Diabetes, May Help Prevent Kidney Stones, May Support Heart Health, May Reduce Blood Pressure, Beneficial After Prolonged Exercise, Delicious Source of Hydration.

#8. Mango

Mango is a staple in many Southeast Asian countries and is exceptionally sweet-flavored in Thailand. When unripened, they have a sour flavor that’s best eaten with salt or spices.

Most commonly served in restaurants with sweet sticky rice.

Health Benefits: Packed With Nutrients, High in Antioxidants, May Boost Immunity, May Support Heart Health, May Improve Digestive Health, May Support Eye Health, May Improve Hair and Skin Health, May Help Lower Your Risk of Certain Cancers.

#9. Dragon Fruit

This interesting- looking fruit known as “Gao Mung Gorn” in Thailand is called Dragonfruit because its rind resembles that of a dragon’s exteriors. It grows off the long arms of a cactus plant and when opened, reveals a fuschia colored texture packed with black seeds. The fruit looks and tastes like a mild or sugar-free strawberry.

Health Benefits: High in Nutrients, May Help Fight Chronic Disease, Loaded With Fiber, Promotes a Healthy Gut, Strengthens Your Immune System, May Boost Low Iron Levels, Good Source of Magnesium.

#10. Jackfruit

Known as “Khanoon” in Thailand, jackfruit is available from January to May every year. It’s the size of a large watermelon and can weigh around 80 pounds. The fruit contains dozens of large seeds with a yellow sheath and the taste is similar to that of a pineapple but less juicy. In fact, the flavor of the popular chewing gum called Juicy Fruit is said to mimic the flavor of this fruit.

There are many other fruits you can find in Thailand including pineapple, watermelon, papaya, pomegranate, passion fruit, and so much more. And they make for the perfect afternoon snacks amidst the hot and tropical climate. Get yourself some coconut juice and mango, head over to the beach, and have the perfect tropical paradise afternoon snack. Fruits are not only refreshing but healthy too!

Health Benefits: Jackfruit Is Packed With Nutrients, Benefit Blood Sugar Control, It May Protect Against Disease, Immune health, Preventing skin problems, Heart health

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