12 Bizarre Fruits & Vegetables You’ve Never Heard of – And Their Health Benefits

1. Purple Haze Carrots

Purple Haze Carrots

Orange carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and contain phytochemicals that have antioxidants, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and other health enhancing qualities.  Purple carrots also contain all of these elements, but also include anthocyanins – potent antioxidants.    These anthocyanins play an important role in the reduction of risk to diabetes and coronary heart disease.

2. Okinawan Sweet Potato

Okinawan Sweet Potatoe

The Okinawan sweet potato is named for its origins in Okinawa Japan.  The residents of Okinawa are known for having one of the longest life expectancies in the world.  Some researchers are attributing their long life expectancy to their diet – in particular their consumption of the purple colored sweet potato.  This potato’s nutritional qualities are known to directly control blood sugar levels, lower risks of diabetes, and contain more antioxidants than blueberries.

3. Buddha’s Hand

Buddha's Hand

Buddha’s hand is one of the weirdest looking fruits on our list.  Reminding me of Davey Jones from the Pirate’s of the Caribbean movie, the Buddha’s hand is in the citron family and is one of the oldest members. It is entirely rind based and has an extremely low number of calories and has health benefits similar to that of a lemon.

4. Cape Broccoli (Purple Cauliflower)

Cape Broccoli - Purple Cauliflower

Purple cauliflower is very similar to its more commonly seen green colored variation.  The purple tint is caused by the presence of the antioxidant group, anthocyanin.  The cauliflower is low in fat, but is high in fiber, folate, water and vitamin C.  Consumption of cauliflower has been linked to lower risks of prostate cancer.

5. Square Watermelon

Square Watermelon

While nutritionally no different than a normal round watermelon, the square-shaped watermelon is just cool to look at.  It is forced into this shape during growth and the main reasoning behind it is that its easier to stack and store.

6. Pitahaya

Pitahaya

Pitahaya is the fruit of several cactus species, and are commonly referred to as “Dragon Fruit”.   The fruit is native to Mexico, Central and South America and Asia.  The Pitahaya is rich in fiber and minerals, contains poly-unsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants which help prevent cancer.  The fruit also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and can alleviate chronic respiratory tract aliments.

7. Romanesco Cauliflower

Romanesco Cauliflower

Also known as coral broccoli, Romanesco broccoli has a very fractal appearance and  is rich in vitamin c, fiber, potassium and caretonoids.  Health benefits of this broccoli include improved eyesight, prevents viral infections, colds and flu, and can improve cholesterol,  blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.

8. Cherimoya

Cherimoya

Native to South America, and more specifically Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru, the Cherimoya looks like a cross between an apple and the insides of a coconut.  The fruit has been shown to help control blood sugar levels and provides slowly released sustained energy.  It also helps increase the elasticity, firmness and suppleness to the skin.  The fruit is rich in vitamin c and b, fiber and potassium.

9. Durian

Durian

The durian is a very unique looking tree fruit that is around the same size as a watermelon, but has a spiky outer shell with yellowish innards. The fruit is known for having a pungent and sometimes offensive smell and taste. The smell can sometimes be so bad, that it has been banished from some hotels and public transportation in Asia.    The fruit contains a high amount of sugar, vitamin c, and potassium, and is a good source of carbohydrates, proteins and fat.  The fruit also contains rich levels of estrogen which may increase fertility

10. Lychee

Lychee

The lychee is a tropical and subtropical fruit native to China.  The outside of the fruit looks similar to a strawberry while the inside looks like an egg or golf ball and is a sweet/fleshy substance.  Lychee contain an average of 72mg of vitamin c. Nine of these  average out to an adults daily recommended amount of vitamin c.

11. Carambola – Star Fruit

Carambola, also called Star Fruit because of their shape, is native to the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka.  The Carambola is rich in antioxidants and vitamin c, but are low in sugar, sodium and acids, and can be compared to the health benefits of strawberries.  There are some risks with eating the star fruit though.  People with kidney failure have been shown to suffer from hiccups, vomiting, nausea, and mental confusion when eating Star Fruit.  Even fatal outcomes have been documented in some instances.

12. Rambutan

Rambutans, which look like hairy or spiny strawberries, are comparable to the Lychee.  The rambutan fruit is high in vitamin c, carbohydrates, protein, fat, phosphorus, iron, and calcium.

3 Responses to 12 Bizarre Fruits & Vegetables You’ve Never Heard of – And Their Health Benefits

  1. Kathryn Lacey

    Great job! Is the Rambutans the fruit of the Strawberry Tree?

  2. Bob Hynes

    It is important to have a variety of fruits and vegetables and you can get this all in one place with Juice plus

  3. maria meacher

    HII i like to straiten my hair with cherimoya and dye it with KOOL AID

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